Going through a divorce is one of the most stressful events that a person can experience. When matters like property division and child custody arrangements are uncertain, the experience can even be more nerve-wracking. Divorce litigants can have more control over what happens in their case by choosing to settle the case out of court. Settling the case can save significant costs of litigation.
In Texas, divorce affected the lives of 59,135 children in 2013. Parents can reduce the drama in a divorce by creating a parenting plan regarding things like visitation scheduling, extracurricular activities and how they will discipline the children.
It’s in both parties’ best interests to settle out of court
In cases where parents cannot get along, discussing a parenting plan together may not be feasible. However, keep in mind that if there is no agreement between the parties, a judge is likely to award custody to one parent and grant liberal visitation to the other. The non-custodial parent will usually be ordered to pay child support.
In addition to division of child custody and determination of child custody, support and visitation, property and debt must be divided in a divorce. When the spouses do not own a lot of property, sometimes each spouse takes the property that is in his or her possession. If the parties own a marital home, the spouse who keeps the home usually pays the other spouse half of the equity invested in the home and assumes any debt.
When you are trying to work out an agreement on property division, it is important to remember which items are most important to you as well as their overall value. Pets are considered property just like furniture and other property, though despite the emotional value they provide, they are not worth much in the marital estate.
Mediation is another option
Many divorcing spouses are choosing mediation as a way to settle their case out of court. Mediation gives the parties a chance to sit down with their attorneys and a mediator and talk about what they each want in their divorce. Mediation is focused on reaching an agreement, so it is intended to be less contentious than a courtroom.
Attending mediation can help save money on the costs of litigation. Another advantage is that each party will be able to negotiate for some of the things that are most important to them. Leaving these decisions up to a judge can create more uncertainty. If the parties are able to reach an agreement, the agreement is written down in a settlement agreement and can be incorporated into the final divorce decree.
Not every couple will be able to settle their divorce case out of court. Sometimes it is impossible to agree. If you are trying to negotiate a settlement agreement and it doesn’t work out, you can always go to court and let a judge rule on your case.
For all your divorce questions, call Justin M. Jackson. Justin M. Jackson is an experienced attorney who may be able to help you keep the property that is most important to you and fight for child custody. Contact The Jackson Firm today to schedule a consultation.