Terry L. Hart, Attorney at Law

Increasing the chances of avoiding divorce court

Couples ending their marriage may begin a stressful and expensive battle, especially if they have children. Fortunately, there are methods for avoiding these difficulties and staying out of the courthouse while undergoing a divorce.

Mediation allows the spouses to control their spousal support, property division and custody issues without a court imposing rulings on them. A neutral mediator helps couples design their own solutions to matters that must be acceptable to each party. Mediation also helps assure that divorce issues remain confidential.

Collaborative divorce brings in experts to help negotiate settlement terms. Both parties must agree in writing to participate in a respectful process to solve problems.

The parties may also participate in traditional negotiations to reach a fair settlement. Willingness to compromise in settlement meetings continues to offer a favorable chance of avoiding litigation and its costs.

There are ways to help ensure the success of each of these methods. First, parents should recognize the reality that courts will seek a child custody order that protects the best interest of the children and preserves their relationship with each parent. In other words, some sort of joint custody will be awarded unless there are accusations of domestic violence, abuse, drug use or other threat to the children's health and safety.

Likewise, the children's interest requires parents putting their interests aside. Spouses should also respect each other's privacy and refrain from using social media to criticize their soon-to-be former spouse or discuss their disagreements.

An attorney who is experienced in finding creative solutions and negotiating settlements can help obtain a fair and reasonable divorce settlement. They should also be prepared to fight for the spouse's rights in court, when necessary.

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Terry L. Hart, Attorney at Law
4265 San Felipe Street
Suite 1100
Houston, TX 77027

Toll Free: 877-576-7390
Phone: 713-581-1773
Fax: 713-968-9817
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