Research shows that for families in Houston, a high percent of marriages end in divorce. If you are planning to get a divorce, you may be going through a tough time right now. However, a skilled family law attorney in Houston will make the divorce process easy for you. A child custody attorney will help you avoid many common mistakes that can make you miserable for a long time.
The divorce process is complicated, especially when children are involved. The entire family is affected and changed, and the process may be confusing and traumatic for you. When two people get divorced in Houston, they often face many issues such as child support, child custody, and spousal support to name a few. A family lawyer will make sure your custody agreement is fair to you and your kids. An experienced attorney will also make sure the child support payments are fair. If you are a victim of domestic violence, a family law lawyer can tell you which legal steps should be taken. Speaking with a qualified lawyer in Houston is essential before you make any decisions and it will prevent future complications in your life.
These issues are emotionally trying and legally complex for all the family members who are involved. Whether you’re a mom or a dad who is seeking custody of your kids, or if you’re trying to resolve a legal matter that pertains to your children, a child custody lawyer in Houston can help you.
Divorce Mediation - The Process and Its Perceived Advantages and Disadvantages
The divorce process varies from state to state. However, what doesn't vary is that divorce can be very, very expensive. There are a number of reasons for this but the primary reason seems to be emotions. Emotions get us to do stupid things like paying $5000 to fight over something worth $500. Its not until the dust settles do we realize how stupid we were. While lawyers are supposed to protect you, it may be in their best interests to fan the flames of the case which will only run up your bill. Luckily, divorce mediation provides an alternative to a traditional divorce and all the headaches it can bring.
Fighting a traditional divorce case will likely require each party to hire a lawyer and pay a retainer which could start at $5000. Going through the divorce case could take years to resolve. As a result, your final bill could be tens of thousands of dollars. However, when it comes to divorce mediation, there is only one person to hire, the divorce mediator. The initial retainer will likely be less than just one attorney, let alone the two that you would have to hire. This is because a typical divorce mediation could be settled in as little as ten hours. Thus, even at $400 an hour (some rates may be much lower), the total cost to the both of you is only $4,000. This equates to a 90% cost savings or more.
If you submit your case to the court either via a motion or trial, it will be the judge who determines the outcome of your case. On the other hand, the mediator does not dictate how your case will settle. Instead, the mediator will help the both of you make all of your own decisions. When deciding if mediation is a good idea, ask yourself this: "do you really want a stranger who knows nothing about you and your family dictating your family's future?". Of course, you can back out of the divorce mediation at any time since it is voluntary. Thus, you shouldn't view it as an either-or approach. Instead, its an alternative you can try and if it doesn't work, you can still fall back on the traditional approach.
Mediation allows you to work out your divorce issues, in a private, confidential and informal atmosphere. No court appearances are required until you settle your case. You can still use a lawyer before, during or after the divorce mediation as well. Before the mediation, a lawyer can help you get some ideas about what positions you should take and how a judge may decide the case. During the mediation, a lawyer can give you some ideas on how to negotiate and what deals are good. After the mediation, a lawyer can review the settlement to make sure that it is fair and equitable.
When you work together to come up with an agreement, you can both maintain a good relationship. Since you did this together and no one forced it upon you, there won't be that bad blood that can last for years after divorce. No one screwed over the other and no one pulled a fast one. You did this together. This is especially important if you have children since no matter what happens, you will be in each other's lives forever. Thus, divorce mediation is an option worth exploring for many reasons.
Divorce Mediation Using a Family Law Or Child Custody Attorney As a Mediator
Family law is the term given to the law practice area covered by a family attorney. The issues these lawyers mostly deal with involve legal relationships between and among spouses, children, and domestic partners. The lawyer who specializes in family laws need to have knowledge regarding a range of issues, right from child custody problems, visiting rights of a parent, domestic violence cases, divorce cases, issues involving juveniles, property rights, support obligations, foreign relatives to adoption rights. However, family law can vary from state to state.
In family law, the lawyers come across a number of different situations. In property division cases for example, the common understanding is court divides the property equally but, if you are in Texas, courts there believe in the "just and right" attitude. They weigh both the party's situation and rights and then they give away the final decision. Sometimes if there is an involvement of children, the property might be divided unequally. If the case at hand us about divorce, Texas courts would first resolve the issue on properties, child custody and support. This does not take a very long time, however, as these are done all at the same time. In lawyer speak, this is what they call as "no bifurcation".
There are many ways by which you can get in touch with a Texas family lawyer, the most common of which is online. There are a number of online directories that could give you contact details of family lawyers in your area. You can also ask for referrals from your family and friends.
When looking for a lawyer, you have to take into consideration several issues, one of which is the area of expertise of the lawyer. Check whether the lawyer you have in mind has a solid background in the area of your problem. Keep in mind that family lawyers can indulge in different types of cases. Do not be ashamed to ask them how long they have been practicing family law, and if he or she has handled a case similar to yours as well as what the outcome was. Check also what strategy they have in mind for your case. It is also advisable that you discuss financial matters with him or her before getting their services. This would include the mode of payment, hourly rates, and miscellaneous expenses (telephone calls, faxes, photocopies, etc.). That way, you have time to prepare yourself financially. Some lawyers would also allow you to negotiate directly with your spouse while some would even suggest that you undergo a marriage counselling first. You should also note where you could get in touch with them in cases of emergency.
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