Houston Divorce Law

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.

Law Family Attorney

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 As an Alternative to Traditional Divorce Litigation

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.

Family Law Service

Lawyer Services for Family Law

Whenever someone thinks of the word "divorce," it brings to mind several different emotions. Hurt and betrayal are just a couple of them. Drawing a divorce agreement can be an extremely messy and devastating time for a couple. However, if they have children, this task can be even more difficult. This is where a child custody lawyer comes into play. The services they offer can help both parties in their battle to determine and solve the many issues that will arise during the divorce proceedings.

The first is fighting for child custody. There are several different ways this can turn out. The most common is joint or shared custody. Whenever parents have shared or joint legal custody, they each retain their parental rights as the minor(s) legal guardians. This still allows both parents to make major decisions for those in question. These decisions would mostly be those that pertain to medical care and anything else that requires consent from both legal guardians. An attorney can also fight on behalf of a parent for sole legal custody of the minor. This means that only one parent has the legal right to make major decisions concerning the minor's medical wellbeing, religion, or education.

These attorneys also fight for child support. A child custody lawyer can debate in the initial proceedings, presenting to the judge figures such as taxable income or other means of support one of the parents receives. This helps the judge determine a fair amount of child support that one of the parents is obligated to pay to the other. However, these attorneys can also bring the ex-spouse/parent back to court if they are not paying enough money or paying it on time. This sets the legal wheel in motion on collecting back pay. They can also bring him or her back if their income increases. This allows the parent that keeps the kids for most of the time to receive a fair amount from the other parent.

The last piece of the custody puzzle is visitation rights. Whenever parents maintain joint custody of their children, there has to be an arrangement that allows each parent to see the children. There are several different types of visitation. The most common one is unsupervised visitation. Unsupervised visitation means that each parent is scheduled certain times they are allowed to see the child. During this time, they are free to take them to their homes or to go on outings. Supervised visitations are visitations where at least one of the parents is required to have another adult present for the visit with the children. Often a time, this adult is a social worker who will make sure nothing out of the ordinary or inappropriate happens during the visit.

Going through a divorce is a mess. Each spouse seems to place blame on the other, and neither of them wants the other to abuse their parental rights. A child custody lawyer will fight for parental rights and is the best way to ensure each receives the time with the children s/he deserves.


Houston Find A Divorce Lawyer

In law, a family lawyer in Houston can deal with many different cases, which fall under it. This field deals with the different issues that are often related to this basic unit of society. The main point of the attorneys that practice family law in Houston is to keep the peace within the unit and help the members be in harmony with each other. There is a variety of cases that get filed which fall under family law. Examples are divorce, separation, annulment, adoption, spousal abuse, child abuse and many others.

Divorce Mediation Attorney

Family Unions

Family unions in Houston are among the many cases that a lawyer may encounter in family law. The union and dissolution of people is often dealt with in this field. Prenuptial agreements are usually drafted and made by legal representatives who are very well versed in the laws that govern these unions.

These agreements usually outline the conditions of the marriage and deals with the results or outcome of the union when an end is apparent. The same family law professionals in Houston who can draft and make the prenuptial agreements deal with divorce, legal separation and annulments. The many different aspects of the dissolution of the union are also part of the responsibility of the attorney. These include dependents such as children and pets, properties and assets as well as others. There has to be an agreement between both parties regarding the many different matters that often come up when partners in Houston dissolve their union or partnership.

If there is no agreement, both parties may need to go court and be heard by a judge. The lawyer usually represents his client in the meetings for the amicable dissolution of the union as well as the hearings that will follow if there is no agreement reached. It is important that the client outline his or her preferences to the family attorney in Houston before attending any meetings in which the terms of the dissolution will be discussed. This is so that there is already a clear understanding between the attorney and the client as to what the goals of the meetings are.

Divorce Mediation Using a Family Law Or Child Custody Attorney As a Mediator

Today, for significant portion of adult and children marital and family relations are neither straightforward nor stable. In the US, according to the recent researches 13.8 million children, 25% of those under the age of 18, are living with only one parent and another 5 million children in two parents homes live with a biological parent and a step parent. And it is a clear estimation that half of the marriages will end up in divorce.

Now, when the problem of family disruption is a widespread, the question of how to minimize the pain of disruption arises with growing number of professional.

If we are establishing minor dispute mediation centers in the country and developing effective divorce mediation efforts, however not only must we be knowledgeable about the process of mediation but we must also ground the knowledge in substantive understanding of the broad-range impact of the divorce on people's lives.

According to a research, there are at least "six divorces" contained in any marital breakup which count as emotional, legal, economic, co-parent, community, and psychic divorce.

Today, as mediation is very common, some states of the US have quite constant and broad use of divorce mediation e.g. Taxes and Connecticut. On contrary, in many other states the divorce process is made complex and difficult hoping that this will improve the quality of families. In fact this attempt has saved many marriages but, if the marriages cannot be saved what is the next alternative?

Usually divorcing couples lack information about the divorce process and are unnecessarily fearful of what may happen. Many just wanted to know their rights for years; the "knee jerk" reaction was "I'll get an attorney."

This is at the responsibility of the divorcing couples that they should supply themselves with sufficient enough knowledge about divorce so that they have a choice of which divorce process is best for them. In most of the situations at least 95 percent of all divorce cases settle rather than being tried to conclusion.

A divorcing couple must subject themselves by asking how much time and energy do they waste on the way to a hostile or angry settlement? Are there better ways to achieve settlement? The answer is yes! There are better ways to achieve settlement. Divorcing couples should consider their options in a constructive and progressive manner starting with the least hostile approach, divorce mediation.

The term "mediation" got significance in the area of family law for about 25 years now. As the family problems are becoming extensive, likewise divorce has become so very common. And thus every involved one is in search of an effective a way-out. A divorcing couple knows that divorce just doesn't end everything about a marriage, though it ends the legal contract between a husband and a wife but, it shatters the household that was based on that marriage. It also cannot break the relationship that the children of the marriage create merely by existing.

Mediation, also called as "alternative dispute resolution" is a process by which an impartial third person (sometimes more than one person) helps two discordant parties to resolve dispute through a mutual concession and face-face negotiation. A mediator is a trained professional who doesn't force rather assists the parties in their own negotiation without making decisions for the parties. A mediator rather help the parties understand what is happening to them and encourages them to negotiate in good faith that brings fruitful results in future.

Mediators most often are appointed by the court, usually with agreement by the lawyers for both sides. Mediators come in several varieties. Some of them are professional private mediators, many of whom are lawyers. They eliminate the need for a jury trial about 90 percent of the time. Others are volunteer mediators and many of them are retired attorneys or nonlawyers trained by Dispute Resolution Services. Their settlement rate is 65 to 70 percent most of the times.

After a long course of hard work, if divorce mediation doesn't suit, the parties should consider a collaborative law divorce. It is a process in which the parties and their attorneys agree to resolve all issues in an atmosphere of cooperation, honesty and integrity with out being engaged in adversarial tactics in or out of court.

If divorce mediation and collaborative divorce do not work for a given couple, the parties may choose the adversarial approach (keeping its cost in mind).

Mediators often seek to better meet the supposed advantages of the mediation process over litigation. The general benefits and advantages argued to be seen as a result of divorce mediation include:

- Both the parties are free to air their concern.

- A neutral person assists both the parties

- The approach is always nonadversarial

- Both the parties have control over the outcome

- The costs are cut to a great extent

- No one's privacy is hurt

- A settlement agreement according to the family's needs

- Avoidance of litigation

Extensive researches show that mediation is the appropriate way but the argument is the field is still lacking knowledge on the effect of personality styles on mediation outcome. Despite substantial support for divorce mediation disadvantages do exist.

Divorce mediation may not be appropriate for both the spouses undergoing the process. It has several disadvantages as well:

- The other spouse may not cooperate and you can't force him/her.

- The other party may try to show dominance over you and here a court lawyer can only offset the imbalance.

- The other spouse may frighten or threaten you, and once a spouse is afraid of personal safety, the participation interest drastically drops down.

- Others argue that the decrease in the cost of mediation and the higher fee of lawyers is due to their high expertise in the field and only they can better predict the appropriate outcome of the case.

Therefore, every divorcing couple must try to settle down their marital issues within themselves. If they can't go that way at least they must not hide anything from one another and should undergo the mediation process leading to a conclusion. In circumstances, the situation goes out of hand and both the spouses cannot reach to conformity, the traditional adversarial approach could be a final resort (bearing the costs in mind).

Divorce Mediation Attorney

Compassionate, Sensitive, Knowledgeable Family Law Attorneys Committed to Your Cause

Divorce and separation is a stressful and upsetting time for every child involved no matter how old they are. Even adults whose parents decide to separate after a number of years can still be traumatised by the events. And what makes matters worse is that the legal system in this country is not set up properly to deal with custody battle in a number of situations. When one parent decides that they want to move far away from the family home and take the child with them, the justice system is more commonly than not on the side of the mother. The child's wishes and emotional health play little part.

During the Victorian era, men were always granted custody whenever a marriage dissolved, no matter what the reason and the competence of the mother to look after their child. Now, we see that women are more often than not granted custody of their children when a marriage or partnership ends, often with a harsh settlement deal for the father.

Campaigners are now trying to find a middle point between these two extremes by making the child's life easier during this time and continuing their access to both parents, unless of course there has been violence or mental damage done by one party.

A report has been published recently which criticises the court's reluctance to give custody rights to fathers over mothers, and allows a mother to move far with the child so that the father is unable to see their child. It has called this action 'state-sanctioned kidnap' because the courts do not prevent one party taking their child a long distance away from their former partner.

Forcing a child to leave one of their parents, their other relatives, friends and the school which they have grown up in causes children emotional harm, stress and damage in the long-term. Judges have sometimes seemed to totally ignore the wishes of the child and granted custody to a parent when they showed a greater wish to stay with the other parent.

If you are going through a separation at the moment and children are involved, speak to a family lawyer like Raleys Solicitors who will be able to talk through your situation and help you decide on the best course of action for you and your child.


Houston Divorce Law