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Three myths about mediated divorces

Posted on in Divorce

Divorce is a legal process that ends a marriage. It is often accomplished in the courts of Texas, but it can also be completed through alternative means. One of those means is mediation, and for some readers, the idea of divorce mediation may be completely new.

Mediation is a process that uses collaboration and cooperation to settle legal matters, as opposed to the adversarial process of divorcing in court. This post will address 3 myths that individuals may wrongly believe about mediation as a tool to achieve a divorce, but readers are reminded that this post does not offer legal advice. When a Texas resident has questions about divorce and their options, they can turn to a trusted Frisco family law attorney who works with both mediation and litigation divorce clients.

Myth #1: Can’t get a satisfactory outcome through mediation

It is a common myth that a divorce must involve fighting and high conflict. This is not true. Though some divorces happen in court and involve significant differences and dispute, others are worked out between the parties with limited involvement from others.

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Divorce mediation is a different way of handling the divorce process and is an alternative for divorcing couples to familiarize themselves with. Divorcing couples should understand the potential advantages of divorce mediation and how to prepare for the divorce mediation process.

Potential advantages of divorce mediation

The following are some advantages of mediation

  • Saves time and money: mediation means avoiding the formal divorce process which can be more costly and time consuming. Compared to litigating a divorce, mediating it can be a more efficient process for the divorcing couple.
  • The process is fair to everyone: mediation involves a third-party neutral who helps the divorcing couple resolve their divorce-related concerns. As an objective party, the mediator may be able to help the divorcing couple reach solutions they may not have otherwise considered.
  • The process is more private: mediation is not a public process and does not create a public record. For that reason, it can be more private which can be easier on the divorcing couple and any children from the marriage.

How to prepare for divorce mediation

To prepare for divorce mediation, the divorcing couple should:

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How to receive assets in divorce

Posted on in Divorce

When couples are preparing to divorce, each spouse may wonder how marital assets such as retirement funds will be divided. The way assets are split between the two spouses will depend on the type of retirement account the former couple has and the regulations associated with the account(s). It's important to know that not all retirement accounts are alike. If you live in Texas, here are some important things to know about receiving assets once your marriage is over.

Defined contributions

Defined contributions are retirement plans in which an employee contributes a set amount. The employer will likely match the employee's contributions to a certain amount. A 401(k) plan is the most common type of defined contribution account. A worker has a specific amount of their paycheck deducted and set aside into a retirement account. The employer matches the contribution to a certain point. The deduction for this account is pre-tax, which means the money comes from the worker's gross pay before taxes are taken out. Once the employee retires, the money is taxed when received. Account-holders are always aware of what is in their retirement account and what the funds are worth. If the account holder is involved in a divorce, the money from the retirement account generally must be split between the account holder and their former spouse.

IRAs

For an IRA, the funds are given to each party by way of a transfer after the divorce is final. For instance, if the account contains $200,000, the spouse who is not the retirement account holder will receive a portion of the funds transferred into a new IRA. The funds will not be taxed if they are transferred to an account that similar to the original one.

Filing for divorce in Texas is a challenging time for parents and their children. While you're trying to navigate through the divorce process, your child might have trouble concentrating on their schoolwork. How can you keep their grades from slipping when you have so much on your plate?

Tips on keeping your child focused on school

During the divorce process, school is one of the few things that give your child a sense of normalcy. Make sure you focus on your child's education just as much as you did before you filed for divorce. While it's easy to focus on other things, you should set expectations for your child and encourage them to keep up with their schoolwork. If you're not paying attention to them, they might give up on their grades altogether.

If possible, you should communicate with your former spouse to make sure that you have a consistent set of rules in both households. If you make your child do their homework but your former spouse doesn't, your child will probably start thinking that education isn't important. They might even want to spend more time with their other parent because they're the "fun" parent. You and your former spouse should set up a consistent schedule for your child to complete their homework and participate in after-school activities.

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Who gets the car in a divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

Texas is a community property state, which means that all joint assets are generally divided on a 50/50 basis in a final divorce settlement. However, it is obvious that you won't literally get half of the family car after your marriage officially comes to an end. Let's take a look at the various ways that ownership of this asset may be determined.

Is there positive equity in the vehicle?

If there is positive equity in a family car, truck or van, a judge may order you to sell it. The proceeds from the sale would then be split equally between yourself and your former spouse. Alternatively, you may be able to take ownership of the vehicle by paying them what they would receive if the car were sold.

You could trade the car for another asset

Let's say that your former partner has an attachment to a vehicle that you have an ownership interest in. It may be possible to waive your right to that asset for something that you want more such as your favorite recliner, an art collection, or full ownership of a brokerage account.

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