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Ever scroll through social media and see those cute pictures of divorced people who still throw joint birthday parties, go on vacations together and celebrate holidays together, all for the sake of the children? If your separation appears to be on a path to a much less happy ending, there is a way you can help reduce the stress and angst divorce actions cause: family law mediation.

When trying to minimize costs and stress during divorce proceedings, consider going the route of a mediator to assist in settling matters amicably for both parties. While you may not want to book a vacation with your ex, you may wind up feeling less hostile.

Mediation is less threatening than court

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The only thing worse than being in an unhappy marriage is feeling like you cannot afford to get out of it. While getting a divorce may not be the most joyous process, it is better than feeling miserable in a relationship that is going south. What do you do when you do not have enough funds to hire an attorney or move out on your own?

Contrary to popular belief, divorces do not need to be expensive. You can leave your spouse without breaking the bank. Here is how to do it.

Divorce without attorneys

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The beginning of a new year is a popular time for couples to split. Perhaps you are contemplating ending your marriage, but are hesitant due to the overwhelming divorce process. Such fear and anxiety can prevent you from making the right choice for you and your family. The good news is there are many things you can do to reduce the stress of divorce and make it more manageable.

Choose the right approach

Most of the stress comes from the contention divorce involves. However, fighting is not an inevitable part of splitting up. You can choose to cooperate and be civil, and you can even stay out of the courtroom and forgo lawyers.

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Posted on in Uncategorized

When it comes to divorce, there can be so many different opinions that you may find yourself overwhelmed. Friends may say you have to take your soon-to-be-ex to court, while others may advise you to avoid the courtroom at all costs.

Divorce mediation is an increasingly popular option for couples who want to move through the divorce process in a way that helps them find collaborative solutions. Not all divorces have to be bitter and drawn-out battles. However, there are several myths about mediation that may steer people away from this option before they have the chance to really learn how it works. Inform yourself about the misconceptions surrounding mediation so you can make the most informed choice for your divorce.

1. Mediation only works if you already get along with your ex

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If you are opting for divorce mediation, it is likely because you hope to reap the practical and psychological benefits it offers. Mediation can save time and money; it can also dial down the level of negativity and help you communicate better.

However, some mistakes can undermine the process. If this happens, mediation may no longer serve as an effective solution, and you may need to continue via costly and anxiety-inducing litigation. Avoiding the following errors can help you make the most of mediation.

Maintaining an adversarial attitude

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While divorcing your spouse can have a ripple effect on the entire family, you may be able to minimize the emotional impact your split has on any children you have by opting for divorce mediation as opposed to litigation. Mediation differs substantially from a traditional courtroom divorce, but if the relationship between you and your spouse is not especially ugly or acrimonious, it may be worth your while to consider it.

Mediation, at its core, involves you and your soon-to-be-former spouse sitting down together with a mediator, an impartial third party who “has no horse in the race,” so to speak. In other words, the mediator reaps no benefits from having one party “beat” the other, so he or she is able to provide an unbiased opinion while you and your spouse work through your issues.

A cost-effective alternative

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If you can tell your marriage is nearing its end, you may be contemplating the various aspects of the divorce process. One thing on your mind is probably how the split will impact your finances. Divorcing can be an expensive experience, but it does not need to be that way.

Breaking up with your current spouse does not need to result in financial turmoil. Follow these simple guidelines to have an affordable split.

Divorce without lawyers

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When your marriage is falling apart, you may find yourself in the midst of an emotional storm. You could feel a range of emotions, including grief, anger and resentment. At such times, it is easy to result to name-calling and bickering, and you may have a strong desire to fight relentlessly to make your ex miserable.

While these are normal feelings to experience, you should not give in to them. Instead, you should be the better person during divorce. Here are a few motivating factors for taking the high road while you and your spouse separate:

1. You will feel better

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If you and your spouse have arrived at the point in your marriage where a Texas divorce appears likely, neither of you probably relishes the thought of an expensive, lengthy court battle during which you hurl accusations at each other across a crowded courtroom. Take heart. Divorce need not be that way.

If you seek a more amicable way to end your marriage, you would do well to consider mediation. Not only can mediation cost as much as 40-60 percent less than a traditional litigated divorce, this out-of-court process allows you and your spouse to maintain control over your respective lives instead of leaving important life-altering decisions up to a judge. Since the two of you resolve your own differences during mediated negotiations, you save yourself the excessive stress associated with many litigated divorces. Best of all, you may be able to obtain your divorce without either of you having to step foot inside a courtroom.

Getting started

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Posted on in Uncategorized

If you are choosing to mediate your divorce, it is likely because you are aware of the benefits this process can yield. Mediation can deliver substantial savings both in terms of financial cost as well as in time and psychological wear and tear.

Taking the time to prepare for your mediation sessions can help you get the most out of the process. The following steps can lead to a more effective, streamlined mediation:

Have your information ready

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In 2016, researchers who were studying the effects of recession chanced upon information that took them in a totally different direction. Their findings indicated an unusual pattern in divorce filings at certain times of the year.

What they learned

Researchers at the University of Washington were going over recession data that had been gathered between 2001 and 2015 when they discovered the pattern of divorce filings in the state. There was a marked increase after the holiday season and at the end of the summer each year. The researchers concluded that the holidays represent anticipation and rising expectations and are, therefore, inappropriate as a time to divorce. However, if the holidays are a let-down that only creates additional stress, couples will make the decision to divorce once the holidays are over. Summer is also a crucial time for decision-making since it is often reserved for vacations and family time. However, the researchers found that the divorce process was set in motion once the children went back to school.

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After years of trying, you and your spouse have finally decided to call it quits. You both simply have too many differences to make your marriage work. However, now you have children to worry about, and both of you have significantly different philosophies on raising children – especially when it comes to your religious beliefs. If your faith is causing a great deal of contention during your divorce and visitation battle, you are not alone. Countless people in Texas and elsewhere are going through the same thing.

As you might expect, two people with differing faith beliefs can have a difficult marriage. The Chicago Tribune reported the results of an extensive interfaith marriage survey. The journalist conducting the survey determined that people in mixed faith marriages tend to be less stable, happy and satisfied with their relationships, with the divorce rate for interfaith marriages being high.

You might not be surprised to hear that children can be greatly impacted by their parents’ arguments over religion, which may include the following:

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Couples stay unhappily married for many reasons, including the cost of a divorce. With divorce costs potentially running into the tens of thousands, many people are afraid that their divorce will lead to a bankruptcy. Considering that divorce is one of the top reasons why people file for bankruptcy, this is a healthy fear.

The lower cost of a mediation is a key reason why many people choose it as an alternative to divorce. While you may have heard that mediation is cheaper, you may be wondering exactly how it can save you money. Here are three common reasons why mediation is often the cheaper option compared to divorce.

How mediation can help your wallet

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Divorce is a painful process that typically takes an emotional toll on all parties involved. Even if you mutually agree that it is the best option, you can likely expect a certain level of contention to follow. This is especially true if you choose to go through the traditional divorce process and duke it out in court. While this is the method of the majority, it is not necessarily the most productive path.

Many people are unaware that there is an alternative, though. Mediation offers another way to negotiate the details of a divorce without going through the process of court. There are a number of reasons why it is becoming increasingly popular. You might see why when you consider the following downsides of a litigated divorce.

1. It takes more time

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The divorce process is notorious for fostering contention. Feelings of anger, pain and revenge can cause spouses to choose not to act cooperatively to hurt each other. Even without those emotions, disagreements over the division of property and time with children are inevitable.

Fighting over everything in a divorce draws it out, leading to higher legal bills, more stress and a greater negative impact on children. However, being passive and unconcerned for your own welfare can also result in an undesirable outcome. How much arguing is appropriate, and about what?

Assets

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Mediation is great for couples who still get along reasonably well and want a less stressful separation process. However, those with disputes and conflicts may still find this a viable solution. It may also be possible for individuals in abusive relationships to benefit from mediation because it can help provide strength to the person who suffered abuse.

There is a lot to discuss during mediation sessions. One item some spouses may not think to ask about is who gets the family pet. Whether a couple shared a dog, cat or bird, it is not likely spouses will be able to reach a custody agreement where they trade off. In the eyes of the court, an animal is property, so they may be better off figuring out who gets the pet during these sessions.

Questions to help reach a conclusion

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Nowadays, mediation has become a popular way to move through the divorce process. However, many people still are not exactly clear on the specific differences between a mediator and a family law or divorce attorney.

It is important to distinguish between what a mediator does and the services he or she can provide in helping you handle your divorce, as opposed to what a lawyer can do. The two professionals are not the same, and the benefits of each are different. Here are some basic considerations to help you understand how mediators and divorce attorneys differ.

Mediators are not necessarily attorneys

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When it comes to divorce, one perspective is that there are three types: a simple divorce, a somewhat simple divorce and a complicated-as-heck divorce. A simple divorce would be one in which the parties have few joint assets to divide and no children. A somewhat simple one might be a divorce in which they agree on most issues but have a child or piece of property to talk about. A complicated-as-heck divorce could be one in which many joint assets are involved as well as children and businesses. Even if the couple agrees on most or all the issues in a complicated divorce, there is just so much involved that the divorce has to be complicated as well.

It does not, though. It really does not, even if the couple disagrees on some issues.

Mediation and the keys to staying out of court

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Your divorce is likely to be heartbreaking for your children. As you may suspect, it can take a long time for kids to move on after their parents' divorce. Fortunately, when you and other Texas parents understand how divorce affects children, you may help them adjust to this difficult period.

As HelpGuide explains, children react to their parents' divorce in different ways. It is how you approach the topic with them and work with your ex-spouse that can have a positive or negative impact.

What to avoid during a divorce

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Perhaps you and your spouse are facing divorce and have agreed that mediation is a much better solution than going through a traditional court proceeding.

You have already reached agreement on your own about the division of certain assets. However, you have issues over what happens to the family business. Can mediation help?

The largest asset

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