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Frisco, Collin County & Denton County Law Blog

How does divorce mediation work?

If you are contemplating a Texas divorce, your life undoubtedly is in turmoil right now. Not only are all your hopes and dreams crashing around you, you and your spouse likely have numerous issues regarding your children, the possibility of spousal support, and how you will divide your marital property. Nevertheless, it is highly unlikely that either of you looks forward to an expensive, protracted and nasty divorce. Surely there must be a better, less stressful way to split up.

There is. Today, more and more divorcing couples are finding that mediation is the answer they are searching for. Unlike a traditional litigated divorce, mediation lets you and your spouse maintain control over your respective lives by making your own decisions, not leaving those decisions up to a judge.

Key benefits of divorce mediation

Couples who get married usually plan to be together forever. However, that does not always occur. For those who may be contemplating a divorce, it can be helpful to understand a few things about the process.

Outside of court, divorce mediation is a common option for dissolving a marriage. There are a few key benefits in choosing mediation.

What schools should do for you and your co-parent

By now, schools are used to students who have divorced parents. However, some schools and teachers are better at handling these situations than others. Still, you and your co-parent should expect a minimum of consideration from the school.

To that end, here is a look at how schools should communicate with co-parents who have legal custody of their children.

3 essential tips for divorcing peacefully

Contrary to what you may believe, your divorce does not need to be nasty. While it will probably be painful and difficult at times, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse may be able to work together to get an amicable divorce. It will be better for everyone–including your kids–to divorce as quickly and harmoniously as possible. 

So how can you avoid wasting years and tons of money in a contentious divorce? Here are some guidelines for ending your marriage as smoothly as possible.

3 tips for co-parenting during parent-teacher conferences

Parent-teacher conferences are often a joyous occasion. In addition to meeting your child’s teachers and getting acquainted with their curriculum, you may learn about your kid’s success in class and hear more about her or his academic strengths. You will likely emerge from the conference a proud parent, but the stress from sharing the time with your ex may put a damper on the excitement and pride you should be feeling.

It is important to develop some co-parenting strategies prior to attending the parent-teacher conference. Utilizing the following tips can help prevent tension and ensure the meeting is a productive discussion of your child’s academic performance. 

Prenuptial agreements and your divorce

If you entered into a prenuptial agreement, you need to know how its provisions can affect the course of your divorce proceedings.

Signing a prenuptial agreement can be a good way to protect your finances in the event of a future split. While the law generally wants people to have the freedom of choosing what to agree on, there are some areas where courts are unlikely to enforce prenups.

How should I handle it if CPS knocks on my door?

Getting a visit from Child Protective Services is one of the things a parent dreads the most. Finding out that someone is questioning your parenting skills and feels as if the state needs to intervene can be a frightening, infuriating and humiliating experience. However, you are far from alone. Countless parents in Texas and elsewhere receive visits from CPS, and most cases find a resolution without having the children taken away.

Even so, this can be an uncertain time as you worry about the outcome of your case and whether you might lose your children. If you get a knock on your door and it turns out to be a social worker with CPS, stay calm and remember the following tips:

  • Ask to see the social worker’s warrant. You do not have to let CPS into your home without a court warrant, no matter how intimidating they are.
  • You can tell the social worker you need time to get in contact with your attorney. The worker will likely schedule another visit, but this will give you time to prepare for the visit and seek legal counsel.
  • The social worker may return with law enforcement. You may ask again to see a warrant, but the law may require you to let the CPS worker into your home this time.
  • During the visit, remain polite but answer questions briefly and to the point. Do not offer additional information or appear overly helpful. The CPS worker’s job is to make sure your children are safe and well cared for, but he or she is not your friend.
  • Ask for the social worker’s contact information. A business card is ideal. If you decide to record the visit for your protection, you must inform the CPS worker that you are doing so.

Holiday co-parenting tips

Depending on your relationship with your ex-spouse, co-parenting may not be easy, and it may become especially difficult during the holiday season. Whether you have or are seeking full or shared custody, you want to create the best possible environment for the kids, which in many cases is spending time with both parents.

Having a specific plan for the holidays can be quite helpful. There are a few things you should consider in your co-parenting plans through the holidays.

Modifying a Texas child custody order

When a Texas couple with minor children divorces, the custody order is a necessary and important part of the divorce judgment. Parents must continue to follow the order, as failing to do so can involve legal consequences and may ultimately even affect custody.

However, circumstances can change. Sometimes an order that made perfect sense initially may no longer work in a new situation. When this happens, you may request a modification of the custody order.

The basics of Texas child support

Divorcing Texas couples with minor children will have to deal with the issue of child support. Getting a quick overview of some basic concepts can help you better understand what to expect.

Similar to many other states, Texas law approaches issues relating to children from the standpoint of the best interests of the child. Thus, parents may not waive or agree to amounts below the state's guidelines. While they are free to compromise on their own rights, they may not do so on behalf of the child. They may, however, agree to amounts higher than those the guidelines would produce.

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