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San Antonio Family Law Blog

Not all divorce proceedings have to be bad

At the beginning of the process of dissolving a marriage in Texas, expecting to go through a drawn-out battle with a future ex is common. However, not all divorce proceedings are filled with strife. A few tips can help with facilitating a divorce process that is as amicable as possible, which is especially helpful when children are involved.

First, going through counseling can be invaluable. Counseling can help the parents and the children to communicate their feelings in a healthy manner. The parents can also learn what to avoid in their future mates if they decide to date or get married again.

A collaborative divorce: 4 benefits

You know that despite your differences, you and your spouse can work together to get through a divorce without making it contentious. That's great news, because when you can work together, you're more likely to create a settlement that works well for your needs.

While a divorce can be complicated and it's likely you may not agree on everything, what you're trying to do is possible. This process is called a collaborative divorce. In a collaborative divorce, you don't take your problems to the court room for a scenario where a judge determines who "wins" or "loses." Instead, you negotiate with one another until you can come up with a solution you can both agree with.

Negotiation can be helpful during divorce in Texas

When a couple gets married in Texas, the prospect of getting divorced is often far from their minds. However, it can become a reality in many couples' cases if they end up being unable to reconcile their differences. Although many spouses getting divorced initially focus on bracing for the divorce emotionally, bracing for it financially is critical, too.

After deciding to get divorced, a couple may agree to try to negotiate a divorce settlement. With negotiation, both sides are willing to give some things up to get other things they really want. For instance, perhaps keeping the family home is more desirable to one party, whereas keeping another high-value asset in the marriage is more critical for the other party.

Gathering paperwork an important part of divorce proceeding

Marriage counseling is effective for working through marriage problems for some couples in Texas. However, it is not effective for other couples. When divorce is unavoidable, a few tips may help with preparing for it as soon as possible.

First, gathering documentation is an important step early on. Financial records are critical because they provide valuable information about the financial health of the marriage. Gathering such documents may be time consuming and tedious, so starting early is essential. These documents include savings and checking account statements, retirement account statements, loan ledgers and even investment account statements. Other relevant documents include income tax returns, recent pay stubs and credit card statements from the past year.

Child custody dispute may negatively impact children's health

During the divorce process, dealing with sticky matters such as property division can understandably be stressful. However, one of the biggest causes of contention during divorce in Texas is child custody. Research shows that when parents battle over who gets to keep the children, which can be emotionally overwhelming, the children end up suffering emotionally, too.

According to a new study, a marital split-up does not necessarily have a negative impact on the health of the children involved in the split-up. Rather, the parents' incorrect handling of the divorce can negatively affect the children. This was confirmed by both the existing scientific literature and the data obtained in the recent study.

Collaborative divorce an alternative to litigation

Although the dissolution of a marriage is often painted as a contentious process in Texas, it does not always have to be filled with fighting and disagreement. In fact, in many divorce situations, the spouses are hoping to call it quits in as amicable a way as possible. These spouses may benefit from a process known as collaborative divorce.

The collaborative divorce process is client driven, allowing both parties to set the pace instead of having the court dictate what happens. Typically, each spouse has his or her own attorney during this process. In addition, a financial professional and mental health expert who are both neutral play important roles during this type of family law proceeding.

Prenup may help during family law proceeding of divorce

Premarital agreements may appear to remove the romance from marriages before they ever get started. However, this does not have to happen. Rather than pitting two soon-to-be spouses against each other, a premarital agreement -- also known as a prenuptial agreement -- can actually be a useful financial planning tool for when the family law proceeding of divorce in Texas is inevitable.

When the words premarital agreement come up, a common misconception is that a wealthier future spouse is making a one-sided deal with his or her not-so-wealthy spouse. In reality, a prenuptial agreement is an agreement that simply defines the obligations and rights of those getting married. With a prenuptial agreement, protecting assets is possible long term.

You need an attorney even for a collaborative divorce

Getting divorced can be a painful, messy experience. Emotions tend to run high for both parties, and years of frustrations may come out at once. Even so, some couples understand that divorcing is in the best interest of both parties and work together throughout the divorce. This process of working together, rather than fighting at every turn, is called collaborative divorce or collaborative law. In cases where you disagree with the division of assets or aspects of child custody and support, mediation with a neutral third party may help. Other times, you can sit down together and agree to terms about it all.

In many ways, a collaborative divorce is a best case scenario. It gives you and your former spouse more control over the final divorce decree, including parenting time and asset division. That means that you can create a divorce that is fair and reasonable to both parties, often for much less expense that protracted divorces in court. Even if you and your former spouse are working through the process collaboratively, you still need an attorney's guidance. Your attorney can help ensure you complete all legal requirements for divorce in Texas while also looking out for your best interests.

Some pressing financial matters must be addressed after divorce

During the time of transition that takes place following the dissolution of a marriage, some heavy financial decisions have to be made in Texas. These decisions affect not only the recently divorced party but also possibly his or her children, and they can have lifelong consequences. A few tips may help with addressing some of the most critical financial matters following divorce.

First, it is essential to update all accounts following the finalizing of the divorce. This task involves contacting financial institutions, brokerages or banks to change accounts that were once jointly held into accounts that are now only in one's name. The necessary guarantees and signatures need to be provided to the financial institutions to change the ownership of each account.

Texas family law: Online postings can impact divorce proceedings

During the dissolution of a marriage in Texas, the desire to move on emotionally can understandably be great. This is why dating even during divorce is not all that uncommon. However, keeping one's dating life offline is paramount for helping to ensure the best outcome during this type of family law proceeding.

In some cases, those going through divorce try to paint more attractive pictures of themselves in their online dating profiles. This may mean leaving out that they have children, or indicating they earn much more than they really do. If their soon-to-be-exes get wind of these fudged profiles, the resulting anger may lead to requests for an increase in alimony and even a decrease in parenting time. In some cases, a demand may be made for an audit to search for any hidden assets.

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