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 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.
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.
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