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What matters can you address in a parenting plan?

Divorcing your spouse is inevitably complicated, and so, too, is learning to adjust to a joint-custody or similar arrangement that means you will only have your children in your home part of the time. Chances are, you are divorcing your one-time partner because you no longer agree on certain areas or aspects of life, and this can lead to complications when the two of you continue to share parenting time after you split up.

Increasingly, parents who split up but plan to continue to share custody are creating parenting plans to help prevent unnecessary discord and hardship down the line. Essentially, a parenting plan is a written document that sets guidelines you and your former partner agree to follow when it comes to co-parenting after divorce. While you can address an exceedingly broad range of areas in your parenting plan, many divorced couples use them to set guidelines with regard to the following.

3 myths people still believe about child custody

Divorce is typically a straightforward process, but there are times when it can become substantially more complicated and heartbreaking. For instance, some couples in Texas have contemplated divorce so that they can afford medical care for their ill or disabled children. 

Another factor that can make divorce harder is the litany of myths that persist about the process. In particular, child custody creates a lot of headaches. That is why it is important to separate fact from fiction. 

Do I have to modify my custody order if I am being deployed?

If you are in the military and are scheduled for deployment, it is natural to wonder if you need to go through legal channels to change your custody order. The best person to ask about your particular situation is your lawyer.

In general, it can be wise to ask a temporary custody order, but you do not necessarily have to.

3 ways that mediation can help you maintain control

When you are in the middle of a divorce, it can seem like everything is out of control. The future that you had planned is suddenly changing, and it can be easy to get sucked into a cycle of bitterness and resentment towards your ex. If you want to minimize conflict and maintain control over your life and divorce, mediation may provide the solution that you have been looking for.

Mediation allows separating couples to avoid court and instead hammer out the details of their divorce in a neutral, mediated environment. According to the American Bar Association, it is generally a shorter process than a litigated divorce, and this means it is also less expensive. How can mediation help you maintain control, too?

4 myths about divorce mediation

The divorce rate has slowly declined in Texas. In 2015, there were only 2.6 divorces for every 1,000 inhabitants, which is down from a divorce rate of 5.5 in 1990. 

Before any couple proceeds with the divorce, both people should seriously consider going through mediation. Although many people associate mediation with uncontested divorces, they can be beneficial even if the couple has significant disagreements about how to divide assets. You may decide mediation is best for your divorce after you realize the following common myths are not actually true. 

Should my new spouse have a say in what my children do?

When you remarry, it is normal to wonder about the role that your new spouse will play in your children's lives. For example, what say, if any, should the new spouse have in what your children do? Does the spouse weigh in on rules? Do you expect your spouse to help pay for your children?

There are no easy, cut-and-dried answers. What is best depends on many factors and can change considerably in just a short time. Here are some things to think about as you ponder this question.

What happens to military pension after divorce?

If you are a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, or if you are currently involved in a divorce from a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, you may have questions about the division of military pension once your marriage officially ends. Maybe you have concerns about having to share your pension with your former spouse, or maybe you feel you have a right to at least some of it and want to make sure you understand your future needs with regard to saving.

Regardless of your reason for asking, there are certain rules that govern how couples divide military pension in divorce. In Texas, which is a community property state, any money given to the military retirement account during the marriage becomes the property of both parties. However, any money placed in the account prior to the marriage remains the exclusive property of the military member.

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.

How To Avoid The Courtroom

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  • ABA | American Bar Association
  • Frisco Bar | The State Of Texas | Association
  • State Bar Of Texas | Created in 1939