Monthly Archives: February 2015

Mediation Chosen for Amicable Divorces in Houston

Texas courts encourage those involved in a dispute to attempt settling their cases through alternative dispute resolution. Alternative dispute resolution is the settling of cases outside of court, saving parties time, money, and stress. Mediation has enjoyed a high rate of success in Houston divorce cases. The goal of mediation is for the parties to create their own settlement with the assistance of a third party neutral, the mediator. Each party will have the opportunity to privately discuss concerns and goals with the mediator, and these conversations will remain confidential. Each party has the comfort of knowing that the mediator has considered those concerns and goals when suggesting ways to settle the case. Houston is the fifth largest city in... Read More

Choosing a Divorce Mediator: 10 Tips

To find mediators, check your state’s bar association website, Texas Mediator Credentialing Association, Association of Attorney-Mediators or simply perform an Internet search. If you have legal representation, give the list of proposed mediators to your attorney to review. If you are pro se (representing yourself) then call the mediator to discuss their availability and costs. When you are doing your research, review their resume. Your mediator should have significant experience both as a mediator and in divorce law. An understanding of both is necessary to help parties reach a settlement. Ask for a list of references, and discuss the mediator with those references. What percentage of divorce cases has the mediator settled? How many mediations has the mediator handled? Does... Read More

Do-It-Yourself Divorces: 5 Mistakes to Avoid

Many websites advertise “do-it-yourself” divorces, offering a cheaper, easier solution. However, there are mistakes that many parties make that have damaging effects in the future. Many internet companies are not located in Texas and their forms do not comply with Texas laws. You need a final order signed by the judge that is legally binding and enforceable. Property division is typically a final issue—meaning that it cannot be amended later if you made a mistake. Are you aware of marital and non-marital property? Do you know the extent of your spouse’s assets? Many parties agree to property division settlements without full knowledge of the marital estate, which can have a devastating impact. If you aren’t aware of the deadlines required... Read More

How Adult Children are Affected by Divorce

My parents divorced after 42 years of marriage. It was a horrible experience for me and my sister. Divorces in older couples are often called “gray divorces.” The adult children of these couples may be severely affected by divorce, just as young children are. Perhaps one of the most difficult parts of a gray divorce is that parents may feel they can turn to their adult children to vent. However, many adult children feel as though they have to take sides when one parent complains about the other. Whether a child is 4, 14, 24 or 34, matters between parents should remain private. Even if adult children have not lived at home with their parents for years, divorce is extremely... Read More