Author: Renken Law Firm

How To Find A Mediator for Divorce

How To Find A Mediator for Divorce

Are you currently seeking a divorce but interested in exploring different methods to dissolve your marriage? Mediation is an increasingly more popular choice these days due to the cost efficiency, privacy, and ability to communicate directly. As we see an increase in divorce mediation, we also are experiencing a higher demand for divorce mediators.

Attorney Dawn Renken is a practicing family law attorney in Texas, that specializes in divorce cases in Houston, TX. Attorney Renken received her mediation license through ADR Services International Inc. in 2014. Since this time, she has worked with a wide range of divorcing couples looking for alternatives to traditional courtroom divorces. Mediation offers the opportunity to divorce without public court appearances or back and forth litigation. Mediation is a private method of divorce that allows both parties to work together to reach an amicable solution as a neutral third-party mediator works to ensure both parties are fairly represented in the final agreement.

 

7 Questions to Ask Potential Mediators

Now that you have an idea of what to look for in a divorce mediator, here are some questions you can ask to help you decide whom to hire. Some online mediation services will assign you a mediator—if you’re using such a service, you can still ask these questions.

  • What sort of training do you have? Many mediation courses involve at least 40 hours of training. But you’ll want to know more than whether the mediator has met the technical requirements to become a mediator. For instance, if the mediator doesn’t have specialized divorce training, it’s best to look elsewhere.
  • Are you required to be certified as a mediator by our state’s courts? If so, are you? Court certification isn’t always needed for someone to mediate divorce cases, but it’s an indicator of expertise in the field.
  • What types of cases do you mediate? A mediator who mediates cases in a number of areas of the law can still do a great job with your case, but you might be more comfortable with a mediator who specializes in divorce.
  • How long have you been mediating divorce cases? How many have you handled? Don’t be shy about asking how many cases the mediator has handled. Nor should you hesitate to ask how the mediator defines success (more on this topic below) or how often they’ve been successful. That said, if you’re very comfortable with a mediator who’s properly trained, lack of experience needn’t be a deal breaker.
  • In your opinion, what makes a divorce mediation successful? The mediator should give an answer that includes the preparation of a written settlement agreement. If not, you might want to continue your search for another mediator who will help you complete this key document.
  • What are your fees? Some mediators charge by the hour. It’s not unusual for attorney-mediators to charge the same hourly rates that attorneys charge for non-mediation work. The hourly rates of mediators who are not attorneys are typically far lower than attorney-mediator rates. However, the hourly rate will probably depend on where you live. Some mediators—and many mediation services—charge by the session or offer a flat fee for the entire process. The good news is that you and your spouse will likely be sharing the cost, which is a lot cheaper than each of you paying your own attorney to do battle in court.
  • What do your fees include? Mediators often charge more for “extras” like filing the paperwork, use of a process server, court fees, and additional sessions (if the parties don’t reach an agreement during the scheduled sessions).

 

7 Ways to Find a Divorce Mediator

Mediation is such a popular method of settling legal issues that there’s no shortage of qualified mediators. Here are some ways to find one.

  • Personal recommendations. Of course, firsthand knowledge is always helpful. Recommendations from friends or family members who’ve been through divorce mediation are often the best referrals you can get.
  • Your marriage counselor or therapist. If you’ve used the services of a marriage counselor or therapist, inquire about mediators they’ve worked with and trust.
  • An online mediation service. If you know you want to mediate your divorce online, finding a mediator is as simple as pinning down a service provider. Most reputable online mediation services will assign your case to a qualified mediator who appears to be a good match based on your answers to a few straightforward questions.
  • Your local courthouse. The clerk at your local courthouse might have a list of mediators who regularly work on court-ordered mediations—these mediators often have practices of their own and are willing to take on private clients.
  • Your state courts’ administration office. The office that oversees all the courts in your state might maintain a list of approved mediators—check the state judiciary website to see if it’s provided there, or give the office a call.
  • Your state or county bar association. The professional organization of lawyers (known as the “bar”) in your state or county might maintain a list of qualified mediators. (The mediators referred by the bar association will probably be lawyers.)
  • National and state mediation organizations and directories. The Academy of Professional Family Mediators, the National Association of Community Mediation, and the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals are just a few of the many organizations where you can find mediators.

 

Divorce Mediator in Houston, Texas

Our team proudly serves the Greater Houston area, including but not limited to Brazos County, Cypress, Fort Bend County, Galveston, Houston Heights, Houston, Humble, Katy, Kingwood, Memorial Houston, Montgomery County, Montrose, Richmond, Rosenberg, Spring, The Woodlands. All marriages are different, making each divorce equally unique with its own set of needs that must be addressed. Contact our law office to explore your options moving forward, and find out how we can help you.

 

Renken Law Firm, PLLC
11500 Northwest Fwy #586
Houston, TX 77092
(713) 956-6767
https://therenkenlawfirm.com
Google Business Listing

Divorce Mediator Near Me

Divorce Mediator Near Me

Are you looking for an experienced mediator to help you navigate your divorce case? Are you in the Greater Houston area and in need of professional guidance from a neutral third party? If so, the divorce specialists at Renken Law Firm are here for you.

We work with couples from all types of backgrounds to reach amicable agreements in their divorce cases. Mediation provides a more private and affordable divorce alternative that can benefit you in many ways. If you are unsure if divorce mediation is right for you, read this blog post to gain insight into who divorce mediation works best for.

 

Will Divorce Mediation Work for Me?

For some couples, working with your spouse and a mediator might be just what you need to obtain a divorce with as little conflict as possible. But, mediation will only work if you and your spouse are on the same page. You are more likely to have a successful mediation if all or most of the following statements are true.

You and Your Spouse Agree to Divorce

Despite what we see on television—or what we often hear from friends or family—not all divorces are contentious. In some cases, the decision to divorce is mutual. If you and your spouse agree that the marriage is over, you can file a petition for divorce together or, one spouse can file with the other’s knowledge. When you’re both on the same page, it’s often easier to negotiate and work together to find a resolution for any unresolved divorce issues in mediation.

There’s No History of Domestic Violence

With divorce mediation comes the need for frequent meetings involving both spouses, the mediator, and possibly attorneys. If you and your spouse have a history of domestic abuse, most mediators won’t take your case because it’s difficult to keep both spouses on track, and it’s challenging for the mediator to determine if the victim agrees to the settlement because of fear or intimidation from the abuser. In states that require mediation, if you can demonstrate a history of physical violence, the court will excuse you from the mandatory sessions.

Both Spouses Are Forthcoming About Finances

One of the most complicated parts of any divorce is the finances. Both spouses must be willing to provide the other (and the mediator) with sensitive information, including documentation relating to bank accounts, retirement, pensions, stocks, and all other assets and debts. In most marriages, it’s common for one spouse to be more familiar with the family assets and liabilities than the other. If you don’t have all the relevant financial information, you’ll need to investigate and understand your marital estate before you agree to a proposed property settlement.

You Agree on Custody Terms

Next to finances, child custody and visitation can be the most challenging aspect of divorce. Most parents can set aside their differences for the children’s sake, but sometimes even the best intentions are met with complications.

Divorce mediation is an excellent way to work with your co-parent to decide who should care for the children on a day-to-day basis, who should be responsible for paying child support, and the type and frequency of visitation with the non-custodial parent.

There’s no question that parents know what’s best for their children, and the most effective way to ensure that your judgment of divorce protects your children’s best interest is to negotiate the terms for custody with your spouse. If you discuss custody and reach a roadblock, your mediator may be able to offer advice or suggestions on how to resolve the issues without asking the court for help.

If you and your spouse disagree on custody, especially if there are allegations of abuse or neglect, you’ll need court intervention. The court will try to determine what arrangement is in your child’s best interests by using your state’s custody process before the judge makes a final decision.

 

Divorce Mediator in Houston, Texas

Our team proudly serves the Greater Houston area, including but not limited to Brazos County, Cypress, Fort Bend County, Galveston, Houston Heights, Houston, Humble, Katy, Kingwood, Memorial Houston, Montgomery County, Montrose, Richmond, Rosenberg, Spring, The Woodlands. All marriages are different, making each divorce equally unique with its own set of needs that must be addressed. Contact our law office to explore your options moving forward, and find out how we can help you.

 

Renken Law Firm, PLLC
11500 Northwest Fwy #586
Houston, TX 77092
(713) 956-6767
https://therenkenlawfirm.com
Google Business Listing

Divorce Mediation Attorney Near Me

Divorce Mediation Attorney Near Me

When you have made the decision to divorce your spouse, you will want to explore all options for dissolving your marriage. This is because each relationship is different, making each divorce unique as well. The team at Renken Law Firm wants to help you make informed choices that protect you and your family. We understand that divorce can be emotionally and financially draining, this is why we work with you every step of the way to find solutions that fit your needs.

 

What Is Divorce Mediation?

Divorce mediation is a popular method for divorcing couples to openly discuss and negotiate their needs, as well as the needs of their children. During your divorce mediation, you will work with an experienced divorce mediator, who will remain a neutral third party throughout the entire process. Their job will be to ensure you are identifying all important issues that need to be resolved to end your marriage amicably.

During divorce mediation some of the issues you will work to resolve include:

 

What Are The Benefits of Divorce Mediation?

It Is Less Stressful

Mediation is far less stressful than regular divorce proceedings, which may be fraught with frequent attorney meetings, court appearances, and multiple confrontations. The idea behind mediation is to promote friendly cooperation that is mutually beneficial to everyone. The mediator’s job is not only to help with agreement over terms of the divorce but also to ease tension, remove emotion from the process and help both sides behave amicably.

Less stress on you means less stress on the whole family. Your kids will benefit as will your job. People going through a divorce tend to be more distracted at work and less efficient overall. If your mediation goes smoothly, your divorce should not negatively affect any other areas of your life. The reduced stress factor alone is a huge benefit for choosing mediation.

It Is Less Expensive (40-60% less than divorce)

Because the mediator is not necessarily a high-priced attorney but a court-appointed professional, and the proceedings are simplified, mediation can be much less expensive than divorce.

On average, the typical cost is about 40-60% less. The cost of mediation depends on the complexity of splitting the assets, child visitation schedules and other concerns. Even in complex cases though, the cost should be much less expensive. You might be shocked at how little it costs to hire a mediator instead of a fancy, high-priced divorce lawyer.

The cost of getting divorced will vary from state to state but hiring attorneys and using court resources in many cases can bankrupt you. If you can proceed with a divorce and save money, mediation may be the best option for you, and you won’t end up broke. In some cases, people stay married because they cannot afford a divorce. In these situations, mediation might be their only solution.

It Is Quicker and More Flexible

Although mediation can take time in some cases, the average time for completion is four to ten weekly sessions. In contrast, a long, complicated divorce can drag on for months or even years. Mediation is meant to be quick, efficient and flexible.

Due to the relaxed, negotiable process, the lines of communication are kept open and allow for brainstorming of unique solutions to solve any contingency. This flexibility allows for a swift and cooperative approach rather than a combative, engagement where everyone is left feeling exhausted and dissatisfied.

You may find that you have options available to you in mediation that a court-centered divorce does not allow. Mediation offers a lot of flexibility and if you and your partner agree on the details and your mediator feels that it is fair, you can pretty much dictate how you want to split the assets and handle child affairs. This flexibility can ease a lot of tension during negotiations.

 It Is Private and Confidential

Divorce aired in a public courtroom, allows anyone present at the time access to the intimate details. There is very little privacy for individuals who choose to use the court system for divorce. No one wants his or her dirty laundry aired in public. However, if you get divorced in a courtroom, your neighbor or the guy who sells you coffee in the morning can hear every little detail. A traditional divorce may not be the best option for people who value their privacy.

One of the most desirable benefits of mediation is that it is completely private and confidential. Participants may not ever have to show up in court. The mediator handles all the paperwork, document signing, and filing, and each person’s privacy is ensured.

Your mediator will hold sessions in a mutually agreed upon location which is private, and comfortable. No one except your mediator will hear or ever know the details of discussions that take place during your sessions. The only documents the court will receive are the final, signed, agreed-upon divorce details.

It is Child-Centered and More Peaceful

Another significant benefit is the child-friendly approach to mediation. Custody battles may be damaging to children. Due to the cooperative nature of mediation, custody issues and visitation are all negotiated and agreed upon quietly. Children are less affected and do not have to appear or testify in court on either parent’s behalf.

This one benefit might be the most important. Protecting your children from harmful exposure to anger, confrontation and the messy details of their parent’s divorce is priceless. Choosing mediation may help your children stay happy and well adjusted despite the new circumstances.

Unlike with traditional divorce, most people who use mediation feel satisfied with the results and the process itself. You will most likely feel safer, more confident and in control of the process.

Divorce can be extremely challenging and painful. Mediation presents a much better option by making it less stressful, less expensive and is more comfortable for the whole family.

 

Renken Law Firm, PLLC
11500 Northwest Fwy #586
Houston, TX 77092
(713) 956-6767
https://therenkenlawfirm.com
Google Business Listing

 

Experienced Divorce Lawyers in Houston

Experienced Divorce Lawyers in Houston

At Renken Law Firm our team of family law experts understand that divorce is never easy. This is why we work with our clients every step of the way to ensure their specific needs are being met and that they are able to navigate the process without letting their emotions guide them into making abrupt choices.

The Huffington Post shares some helpful tips for individuals exploring their options for divorce below:

  1. Be realistic: First, you need to realize that divorce is a legal process with the sole purpose of dissolving your assets and resolving custody issues. Your divorce attorney’s job is to represent you to the best of his or her ability in this process. While you might want them to listen to your anger, frustration, pain and sadness, that is not their job. They are not trained to be your therapist or coach, and they don’t want to be. Since your attorney has higher rates and the clock is always running, it’s a gross misuse of your money if this is how you’re using them. And divorce attorneys have seen it all. What seems immensely important to you might barely register for them within the scope of the legal process. So be realistic about the role of your divorce attorney, and what you can expect from them.
  2. Stay focused on the goal: Your ultimate goal in this process is to get divorced, and hopefully you can do so without any major depreciation of your lifestyle. Don’t let your emotions jump in and run rampant when it comes to negotiating over material things that don’t mean much to you in the big picture. If you do, your divorce will be longer, more litigious, and definitely more expensive than otherwise. Is it worth it? No. So keep your focus on getting divorced as quickly, and with as little financial damage, as possible. Ask yourself, what kind of divorce will do that for me?
  3. Know what you want: Before you rush out to hire a divorce attorney, consider other alternatives to traditional litigation. If you aren’t completely entangled with children and finances, you could hire a mediator to help you negotiate the terms of your divorce. Mediation is the fastest, cheapest way to get divorced, and you might not need to hire an attorney at all! If your negotiation is more complicated, you’ll have to hire a divorce lawyer to negotiate a settlement with your spouse’s attorney. Or you could consider a collaborative divorce. A collaborative divorce is focused on negotiation with the goal of preserving a co-parenting relationship. Your last resort is a litigated trial. Typically, these are the cases when neither side will compromise. So you need to determine what type of divorce attorney you need based on your unique circumstances. Realize that any divorce attorney you talk to will try to steer you in the direction of their own specific expertise. It’s up to you to know what you want first, so you can make the right choice.
  4. Identify at least three potential attorneys: Don’t jump to hire the first lawyer you meet. They are not all the same. Find at least three divorce attorneys that you can interview before making your decision. Clearly, you need to hire a lawyer that specializes in family law and one that’s experienced in the specific type of divorce you think is best for you. The ideal attorney has the legal knowledge and experience you need, helps you understand the process, communicates and negotiates well, solves problems creatively and is experienced in your specific court system. So you need one that’s local to you. Regardless of whether or not your divorce is headed to trial, your attorney needs to be experienced with the family law judges in your jurisdiction so that he or she can advise you appropriately on legal strategy. How do you find potential attorneys? Ask you friends for personal recommendations. Ask your trust or estate lawyer for divorce attorney recommendations. Go online to the numerous websites that provide client reviews of attorneys local to you.
  5. Interview and research potential attorneys: Start with an initial phone call. Ask them about their experience and specialization within family law. Ask them about what type of client they typically represent. Ask them about their rates. Most divorce lawyers charge an hourly fee and require a retainer — a fee charged in advance. Some lawyers will also negotiate fees based on anticipated settlements. Don’t waste your time (or theirs) on a meeting if they’re out of your cost range. Most divorce attorneys provide a free consult to discuss your specific situation and what their legal approach would be. So take advantage of it to gather as much legal advice as possible! Typically, the attorney you meet with will not be handling the day-to-day issues related to your case, so ask to meet the colleague or associate that would. The divorce process can also include financial experts, parenting coordinators, coach facilitators, and forensic appraisers. Find out your attorney’s access to these resources and if any would be relevant to your case, as it will affect overall cost. And even if you have no intention of heading to trial, look at the attorney’s trial record and history of success in court. This track record is an indicator of your attorney’s success in negotiation.
  6. Look for red flags: Unfortunately, many attorneys will tell you what you want to hear just to close the deal. While this is your life, it’s a business for them. There are no guarantees in this process, so if an attorney is making promises, don’t believe it. If an attorney talks about high-profile clients or divulges confidential information based on other cases, it’s highly likely they’ll do the same to you. If they aren’t respectful of other divorce attorneys you’re interviewing, it’s a sign that they won’t be to you either. And if during your consult, they’re constantly distracted by phone calls and emails and can’t focus their sole attention on you, they likely won’t during your divorce case. Make sure the lawyer you choose acts according to the professional ethics of the industry and treats you with the respect and attention you deserve. This might be their business, but it’s your life.
  7. Make your choice: The divorce attorney you choose to represent you is local, professional, knowledgeable, responsive and communicates well. This attorney is someone you trust and feel comfortable with. This attorney supports your basic philosophy toward divorce and has a style that works for you. This attorney recognizes the importance of your children and puts them first in the legal process by not making unreasonable child support demands or custody arrangements. This attorney is affordable. Divorce is a highly personal and emotional process, the outcome of which can have a significant impact on your life. This is an important decision, and there are no guarantees in this process. However, if you follow these steps, you’ll find the right one — the one who listens to what you want, advises you well and has your best interest at heart.

 

Divorce Attorney in Houston, Texas

Our team proudly serves the Greater Houston area, including but not limited to Brazos County, Cypress, Fort Bend County, Galveston, Houston Heights, Houston, Humble, Katy, Kingwood, Memorial Houston, Montgomery County, Montrose, Richmond, Rosenberg, Spring, The Woodlands. All marriages are different, making each divorce equally unique with its own set of needs that must be addressed. Contact our law office to explore your options moving forward, and find out how we can help you.

 

Renken Law Firm, PLLC
11500 Northwest Fwy #586
Houston, TX 77092
(713) 956-6767
https://therenkenlawfirm.com
Google Business Listing

Best Houston Divorce Attorney

Best Houston Divorce Attorney

When you are looking for a seasoned divorce attorney in Houston to help you with your divorce case Renken Law Firm is here for you. We have the best divorce attorneys in Houston, offering legal advice and cheap divorce options for your family.

Our team knows that every divorce case is unique, we can help you with all related legal needs including child custody, child support, contested divorced, uncontested divorces, and divorce mediation services. When you are looking for the best house divorce attorney to help you in your case, contact our team.

HuffPost outlines the 5 steps to choosing the right divorce lawyer for your case:

  1. Be realistic.

First, you need to realize that divorce is a legal process with the sole purpose of dissolving your assets and resolving custody issues. Your divorce attorney’s job is to represent you to the best of his or her ability in this process. While you might want them to listen to your anger, frustration, pain and sadness, that is not their job. They are not trained to be your therapist or coach, and they don’t want to be.

Since your attorney has higher rates and the clock is always running, it’s a gross misuse of your money if this is how you’re using them. And divorce attorneys have seen it all. What seems immensely important to you might barely register for them within the scope of the legal process. So be realistic about the role of your divorce attorney, and what you can expect from them.

  1. Stay focused on the goal.

Your ultimate goal in this process is to get divorced, and hopefully you can do so without any major depreciation of your lifestyle. Don’t let your emotions jump in and run rampant when it comes to negotiating over material things that don’t mean much to you in the big picture. If you do, your divorce will be longer, more litigious, and definitely more expensive than otherwise. Is it worth it? No. So keep your focus on getting divorced as quickly, and with as little financial damage, as possible. Ask yourself, what kind of divorce will do that for me?

  1. Know what you want.

Before you rush out to hire a divorce attorney, consider other alternatives to traditional litigation. If you aren’t completely entangled with children and finances, you could hire a mediator to help you negotiate the terms of your divorce. Mediation is the fastest, cheapest way to get divorced, and you might not need to hire an attorney at all! If your negotiation is more complicated, you’ll have to hire a divorce lawyer to negotiate a settlement with your spouse’s attorney. Or you could consider a collaborative divorce.

A collaborative divorce is focused on negotiation with the goal of preserving a co-parenting relationship. Your last resort is a litigated trial. Typically, these are the cases when neither side will compromise. So you need to determine what type of divorce attorney you need based on your unique circumstances. Realize that any divorce attorney you talk to will try to steer you in the direction of their own specific expertise. It’s up to you to know what you want first, so you can make the right choice.

  1. Identify at least three potential attorneys.

Don’t jump to hire the first lawyer you meet. They are not all the same. Find at least three divorce attorneys that you can interview before making your decision. Clearly, you need to hire a lawyer that specializes in family law and one that’s experienced in the specific type of divorce you think is best for you. The ideal attorney has the legal knowledge and experience you need, helps you understand the process, communicates and negotiates well, solves problems creatively and is experienced in your specific court system. So you need one that’s local to you.

Regardless of whether or not your divorce is headed to trial, your attorney needs to be experienced with the family law judges in your jurisdiction so that he or she can advise you appropriately on legal strategy. How do you find potential attorneys? Ask you friends for personal recommendations. Ask your trust or estate lawyer for divorce attorney recommendations. Go online to the numerous websites that provide client reviews of attorneys local to you.

  1. Interview and research potential attorneys.

Start with an initial phone call. Ask them about their experience and specialization within family law. Ask them about what type of client they typically represent. Ask them about their rates. Most divorce lawyers charge an hourly fee and require a retainer — a fee charged in advance. Some lawyers will also negotiate fees based on anticipated settlements. Don’t waste your time (or theirs) on a meeting if they’re out of your cost range. Most divorce attorneys provide a free consult to discuss your specific situation and what their legal approach would be. So take advantage of it to gather as much legal advice as possible!

Typically, the attorney you meet with will not be handling the day-to-day issues related to your case, so ask to meet the colleague or associate that would. The divorce process can also include financial experts, parenting coordinators, coach facilitators, and forensic appraisers. Find out your attorney’s access to these resources and if any would be relevant to your case, as it will affect overall cost. And even if you have no intention of heading to trial, look at the attorney’s trial record and history of success in court. This track record is an indicator of your attorney’s success in negotiation.

 

Divorce Attorney in Houston, Texas

Renken Law Firm is here to help couples who wish to dissolve their marriage, whether that be through divorce or legal separation. We are here to help those who are ending marriages that have been contested, uncontested, or collaborative.

 

Renken Law Firm, PLLC
11500 Northwest Fwy #586
Houston, TX 77092
(713) 956-6767
https://therenkenlawfirm.com
Google Business Listing

Contested Divorce Lawyer Near Me

Contested Divorce Lawyer Near Me

Are you looking to hire an attorney for your divorce? Working with one of our experienced divorce attorneys can help you to navigate this difficult time. Divorce cases are rarely as simple as they first seem. Schedule a consultation with our team today.

 

Contested Versus Uncontested Divorce

Typically, there are two kinds of divorces. The first is an “uncontested” divorce—which is where both spouses agree on all issues concerning the divorce, including but not limited to the division of marital property and debts, child custody, child support, and spousal support (“alimony”).

The second—a “contested” divorce—is where the spouses can’t agree on their divorce issues, and they end up in court, asking a judge to make these decisions for them. Whether it’s one or all issues, if you disagree on anything, the court considers your divorce “contested.”

Perhaps the most significant difference between an uncontested and a contested divorce is the legal process’s cost and time. Although it usually costs the same to file either type of divorce, spouses going through a contested divorce are more likely to spend money on attorney’s fees and expert witness fees (such as financial consultants or appraisers) than a couple that agrees on most divorce-related issues.

In many states, the law requires judges to wait a certain amount of time before finalizing a divorce. Although the waiting period is usually the same for both contested and uncontested divorces, divorcing spouses involved in a contested divorce will often see the waiting period come and go before the court decides all the divorce-related issues. As a result, an uncontested divorce is not only cheaper but will take significantly less time to finalize than a contested case.

 

Contested Divorce in Houston

A contested divorce is just what it sounds like: one or both spouses contest (dispute) some aspect of their divorce. Therefore, the divorce proceedings take much longer to complete and typically involve greater stress and increased legal fees.

With a contested divorce, spouses will have to go through numerous steps before the divorce is finalized, including:

  • prepare, file, and serve (deliver) the divorce petition (legal paperwork asking for the divorce and stating the grounds for the breakdown of the marriage)
  • respond to the petition
  • interview and hire an attorney
  • engage in “divorce discovery” – the information gathering process, which involves various legal procedures to get information from your spouse and third-party witnesses (e.g., written questions, subpoenas, and depositions)
  • pre-trial legal motions and hearings
  • settlement proposals and negotiations between attorneys
  • if settlement fails, prepare for trial
  • complete a court trial, and
  • file an appeal, if you dispute the trial judge’s decision(s).

During the settlement phase, spouses are often unable to resolve issues. Although the divorce judge may encourage spouses to work things out, the next step is divorce court when that doesn’t happen.

During the trial, both spouses present witnesses, and their lawyers cross-examine the witnesses and present closing arguments. After the trial is over, the court will issue a final order memorializing all of the judge’s decisions and finalize the divorce.

Divorce—especially contested divorces—are complex. Therefore, spouses in a contested divorce should definitely speak with an experienced divorce lawyer who can inform them of their legal rights and ensure they are fully protected.

Renken Law Firm is here to help couples who wish to dissolve their marriage, whether that be through divorce or legal separation. We are here to help those who are ending marriages that have been contested, uncontested, or collaborative. We are fully prepared to help you navigate the specifics of your case.

 

Divorce Attorney in Houston, Texas

Our team proudly serves the Greater Houston area, including but not limited to Brazos County, Cypress, Fort Bend County, Galveston, Houston Heights, Houston, Humble, Katy, Kingwood, Memorial Houston, Montgomery County, Montrose, Richmond, Rosenberg, Spring, The Woodlands. All marriages are different, making each divorce equally unique with its own set of needs that must be addressed. Contact our law office to explore your options moving forward, and find out how we can help you.

 

Renken Law Firm, PLLC
11500 Northwest Fwy #586
Houston, TX 77092
(713) 956-6767
https://therenkenlawfirm.com
Google Business Listing

Common Causes for Divorce

Common Causes for Divorce

Marriage.com has compiled a list of commonly observed grounds for divorce with reasons for divorce statistics. If you identify any of these in your relationship, you must get conscious about where your relationship is heading.

  1. Infidelity or an extramarital affair

When one person goes outside of the relationship to get their needs met, whether it is physical or sexual, this can doom a relationship. It is very difficult to get trust back once a partner feels betrayed.

Extra-marital affairs are responsible for the 20-40% breakdown of most marriages and end in divorce. This is one of the most common causes of divorce. The reasons why people cheat aren’t as cut and dry as our anger may lead us to believe.

Anger and resentment are common underlying reasons for cheating, along with differences in sexual appetite and lack of emotional intimacy.

Infidelity is one of the primary reasons for divorce. It is also one of the legal divorce reasons, besides living apart for more than a year and subjecting your partner to cruelty (mental or physical).

  1. Trouble with finances

If a couple is not on the same page about how the finances are going to be handled, it can lead to terrible problems.

Why is divorce so common due to financial incompatibility? According to divorce statistics, a “final straw” reason for divorce is a lack of compatibility in the financial arena and causes almost 41% of divorce.

Everything from different spending habits and financial goals to one spouse making considerably more money than the other, causing a power struggle can strain a marriage to the breaking point. Also, differences in how much money each partner brings into the marriage can also lead to power plays between a couple.

Financial troubles can be categorized as one of the biggest causes of divorce, following infidelity, the number one reason for divorce.

  1. Lack of communication

Communication is crucial in marriage and not being able to communicate effectively quickly leads to resentment and frustration for both, impacting all aspects of a marriage.

On the other hand, good communication is the foundation of a strong marriage. When two people are sharing a life together, they must be able to talk about what they need and be able to understand and try to meet the needs of their partner.

Yelling at your spouse, not talking enough throughout the day, making nasty comments to express yourself are all unhealthy methods of communication that need to be ditched in a marriage.

Besides, when couples stop talking to each other, they can feel isolated and lonely and stop caring about one another altogether. This can lead to the breakdown of the relationship.

Poor communication is one of the biggest reasons for 65% of divorces.

Practicing mindful communication to change age-old marriage mistakes can be hard, but it’s well worth the effort to improve and save your relationship.

  1. Constant arguing

From bickering about chores to arguing about the kids; incessant arguing kills many relationships.

Couples who seem to keep having the same argument over again often do so because they feel they’re not being heard or appreciated.

Many find it hard to see the other person’s point of view, which leads to a lot of arguments without ever coming to a resolution. This can ultimately be a cause of divorce for 57.7% of couples.

  1. Weight gain

It may seem awfully superficial or unfair, but weight gain is one of the main reasons for divorce.

It may seem odd, but weight gain is also one of the leading causes of divorce. In some cases, a significant amount of weight gain causes the other spouse to become less physically attracted while for others, weight gain takes a toll on their self-esteem, which trickles into issues with intimacy and can even become a cause of divorce.

  1. Unrealistic expectations

It’s easy to go into a marriage with lofty expectations, expecting your spouse and the marriage to live up to your image of what they should be.

These expectations can put a lot of strain on the other person, leaving you feeling let down and setting your spouse up for failure. Wrong expectation setting can become one of the reasons for divorce.

  1. Lack of intimacy

Not feeling connected to your partner can quickly ruin a marriage because it leaves couples feeling as though they’re living with a stranger or more like roommates than spouses.

This can be from a lack of physical or emotional intimacy and isn’t always about sex. If you are constantly giving your spouse the cold shoulder, know that it can become the ground for divorce over time.

Often couples struggle with different sex drives and different sexual appetites. This can really plague a couple as they try to get their needs met. In addition, at different stages of life, our sexual needs can change, which can lead to feelings of confusion and rejection.

Ignoring your partner’s sexual needs is being called the number one cause of divorce in recent times.

Making your relationship intimate and special is the responsibility of both partners. Practice little acts of kindness, appreciation, and enjoy physical intimacy as much as possible to sweeten your relationship.

  1. Lack of equality

Lack of equality comes closely behind the number one cause of divorce, lack of intimacy, in recent times.

When one partner feels that they take on more responsibility in the marriage, it can alter their view of the other person and lead to resentment.

Resentment often snowballs to become one of the reasons for divorce. It is a leading cause of divorce.

Every couple must negotiate through their own and unique set of challenges and find their own way of living together as two equals who enjoy a respectful, harmonious, and joyful relationship.

  1. Not being prepared for marriage

A surprising number of 75.0% of couples of all ages have blamed not being prepared for married life for the demise of their relationship. Divorce rates are highest among couples in their 20s. Lack of preparation is one of the most common reasons for divorce.

Almost half the divorces occur in the first 10 years of marriage, especially between the fourth and eighth anniversary.

  1. Physical and emotional abuse

Not feeling connected to your partner can quickly ruin a marriage because it leaves couples feeling as though they’re living with a stranger or more like roommates than spouses.

This can be from a lack of physical or emotional intimacy and isn’t always about sex. If you are constantly giving your spouse the cold shoulder, know that it can become the ground for divorce over time.

 

Renken Law Firm, PLLC
11500 Northwest Fwy #586
Houston, TX 77092
(713) 956-6767
https://therenkenlawfirm.com
Google Business Listing

Why Do Narcissists Drag Out Divorce

Why Do Narcissists Drag Out Divorce

Are you currently in the process of separating or divorcing your spouse? Are they holding up the process and dragging it out, complicating every aspect of the process? You may be married to a problematic narcissist.

By definition, a narcissist is unable to compromise and empathize with others. They may seem unfazed when it comes to your best interests, or even the best interests of their own children. But there are more complex factors that drive the narcissist’s tendency to drag out divorce.

Some of the most common ones include:

Not Letting You Move On: A narcissistic spouse will do everything in their power to prevent you from moving on with your life. It may not be an intentional choice they are making, but narcissists are uncomfortable when it comes to letting you go. This can happen even if they were the one who originally asked for a divorce. They desire control and will actively work to possess it over you.

Narcissists will fight you every step of the way to maintain control and power over your situation. They may choose to work with aggressive attorneys who take actions to make your life more difficult. Making it hard for you to reach a mutually agreeable divorce settlement may be their primary goal, which can be extremely difficult to combat. These petty strategies are used against you as a way to keep you stressed out and unsure of what to do next.

Avoid Responsibility: For someone with narcissistic tendencies, one of the most difficult things to do is to take blame for the marriage not working out. They will actively work to pursue an image that they gave the marriage everything they had and that it was your actions that caused the relationship to come to an end. If they were to take ownership in the role they played in the ending of the marriage, they would be forced to acknowledge the shortcomings they brought to the marriage. To protect themselves from that shame, they will utilize bully tactics to drag out the divorce by blaming you for everything. Working with an experienced divorce attorney can help protect you against this type of behavior.

Revenge: The last thing a narcissistic spouse wants is to let you move on with you life, regardless of what position they are in. Knowing that you are able to move on without their influence can be unbearable for them. They crave your dependence and loyalty above all else. Without you, they will feel the need to act in an aggressive or jealous manner. This can make a simple divorce case quickly turn into a drawn out affair. Protect yourself by working with an experienced divorce attorney that advocates for your best interests.

Inability To Share: Narcissists are unable to share. Dealing with people like this, is similar to dealing with children that lack the ability to process their emotions. In many cases, spouses like this would rather prolong the process and waste money, than give you the freedom you deserve. This may also present itself in custody battles, where they ask for more rights or time than they even truly want. They desire the power that comes with being in control or granted rights that complicate your life.

Understanding how to handle your narcissist spouse, and coming to terms with the fact that they won’t change, will help you accept reality and move forward. Working with an experienced divorce attorney can save you time, money, and drama.

Working with an experienced attorney, such as Dawn Renken, can help you get the best legal advice and result in your divorce. For almost two decades, Attorney Renken has focused her legal practice on family law. In this time, she has earned her place as one of the best divorce lawyers in Katy, by taking on a wide range of cases in which she helped families resolve legal issues quickly and fairly.

The goal is always to help families reach resolution so that they can continue focusing on the most important things in their lives. If you or someone you love is looking for the best divorce lawyer in Katy, contact the Renken Law Firm today.

Once we hear the specifics of your situation, we will be able to provide advice for any individual or unique situation you are in. This helps you to explore your options moving forward to ensure you are making the best choice for yourself. Attorney Renken represents those who are looking to dissolve contested, uncontested, and collaborative divorces. Each divorce is unique and deserves the same attention to detail as the next. At Renken Law Firm, we are devoted to helping your family move on peacefully.

Renken Law Firm is here to help couples who wish to dissolve their marriage, whether that be through divorce or legal separation. We are here to help those who are ending marriages that have been contested, uncontested, or collaborative. We are fully prepared to help you navigate the specifics of your case.

 

Divorce Attorney in Houston, Texas

Our team proudly serves the Greater Houston area, including but not limited to Brazos County, Cypress, Fort Bend County, Galveston, Houston Heights, Houston, Humble, Katy, Kingwood, Memorial Houston, Montgomery County, Montrose, Richmond, Rosenberg, Spring, The Woodlands. All marriages are different, making each divorce equally unique with its own set of needs that must be addressed. Contact our law office to explore your options moving forward, and find out how we can help you.

 

Renken Law Firm, PLLC
11500 Northwest Fwy #586
Houston, TX 77092
(713) 956-6767
https://therenkenlawfirm.com
Google Business Listing

Best Female Divorce Attorney in Houston

Best Female Divorce Attorney in Houston

Are you interested in hiring a divorce attorney in Houston, Texas? At Renken Law Firm we can help you with a wide range of family law issues including the divorce process, spousal support, division of property, child support, spousal maintenance, and more. We understand how difficult divorce can be on families, this is why we work with our clients every step of the way providing legal advice and helping them navigate this time.

Our team serves Houston, TX and the areas around it. We handle divorce cases in families from all backgrounds including the LGBTQ+ community. If you are looking for a lawyer in Houston or a Houston divorcing coach, contact our law office today.

 

What Should I Look For in My Divorce Attorney?

Honest Communication

When it comes to working with a divorce attorney it is crucial for both you and your attorney to be able to communicate honestly in order for there to be a successful attorney-client relationship. You need to come clean about the details of your specific divorce situation and your divorce attorney needs to be honest and realistic with you when setting your expectations and exploring your options. Many bad attorneys will get their client’s hopes up, luring them in and making promises they cannot keep in the case. This is poor ethics and can be extremely damaging to your case. A good attorney will never make claims or promises they can’t back up. They will also tell you the truth as it is, even if it’s not what you want to hear.

 

Professional Demeanor

When choosing a divorce attorney you will want to work with someone who conducts themselves with composure and maintains an air of professionalism. This means being polite, respectful, well spoken, on time, and more. You want to hire a Houston divorce attorney that has all of these traits in order to get the best results in your divorce case. Your attorney should arrive to court and meetings on time and looking sharp. They need to be charismatic and informed in order to properly represent you in court. Attorney Dawn Renken hold herself and legal practice to a high professional standard. She understands the importance of representing her clients and will not let you down.

 

They Need To Be Reachable

Many divorce attorneys will take on too many clients at once, making it difficult to reach them to discuss important details about your divorce case. You need someone you can rely on to communicate with you whenever you have questions or new information to share in regards to your case. While most divorce attorneys will be working on multiple cases at a time, it is important that they stay organized and available to their clients. Feel free to ask your attorney during your consultation about their average response times or availability of support staff who can offer help in their absence. You want to ensure you have access to the resources you need to be successful in your case.

 

Confidence is Key

When you are being represented in court, you want it to be from someone who sounds like they believe in what they are saying. It requires a certain level of confidence in order to address a judge and communicate directly with a courtroom. You want an attorney that can take charge of your case, predict and prepare for the other side’s arguments, and never lose composure. Your attorney should have an unwavering voice and be able to stand up against the feedback they receive.

 

Experience

You will want to hire an attorney who has years of experience handling a wide range of divorce cases. This experience will help them to be prepared and anticipate that outcome of your case every step of the way. There is nothing worse than hiring a new attorney who is completely unprepared for the courtroom. Work with Dawn Renken to get the results you are looking for in your family law case.

 

Divorce and Family Law Attorney Houston

At Renken Law Firm in Houston, our team of experienced divorce specialists help you to find divorce solutions for your unique situation. We understand each marriage and divorce case is different. This is why we work closely with our clients to ensure their specific needs are being met.

Having an experienced divorce attorney working with you can help you reach a divorce settlement that fits the needs of you and your family. Our divorce attorneys will represent you by being your ally and advocating for you throughout the entire divorce process.

At Renken Law Firm we go out of our way to ensure every client we work with is able to come to a divorce settlement with their spouse that represents their needs. No matter how you file, our team of divorce specialists are here to help you.

 

Divorce Attorney in Houston, Texas

Our team proudly serves the Greater Houston area, including but not limited to Brazos County, Cypress, Fort Bend County, Galveston, Houston Heights, Houston, Humble, Katy, Kingwood, Memorial Houston, Montgomery County, Montrose, Richmond, Rosenberg, Spring, The Woodlands. All marriages are different, making each divorce equally unique with its own set of needs that must be addressed. Contact our law office to explore your options moving forward, and find out how we can help you.

 

Renken Law Firm, PLLC
11500 Northwest Fwy #586
Houston, TX 77092
(713) 956-6767
https://therenkenlawfirm.com
Google Business Listing

Best Divorce Lawyer in Katy

Best Divorce Lawyer in Katy

Are you one of the thousands of Texans interested in pursuing a divorce with your spouse? Are you looking to work with a divorce attorney that has years of experience helping with complex divorce issues like legal separation, property division, spousal support, and child custody?

If so, Renken Law Firm can help you. Our team respects the attorney client relationship- we do everything in our power to advocate for your needs and protect you throughout your divorce process. We understand how emotionally and financially taxing divorces can be, this is why we work closely with our clients to help them navigate this difficult time.

We work hard to help you find solutions for your individual case or situation that keep your divorce civil and fair. Our Katy divorce attorneys want to help make the process go as smoothly as possible for you while also ensuring your needs are being met in the divorce. Make sure you are not settling in your divorce settlement, when you work with our experienced family law attorneys in Katy, TX.

 

Does Texas Recognize Legal Separation?

You cannot get a legal separation instead of a divorce in Texas. Texas law does not recognize legal separations. However, there are options that provide similar outcomes to what you might think of as a “legal separation.”

In Texas you can use temporary orders, protective orders, suits affecting the parent-child relationship, or separation agreements to obtain many of the same goals as someone might want in a so-called legal separation.

All of these options are similar to a legal separation because they are ways to provide visitation, financial support, and property orders without getting a divorce, or before the divorce is finalized.

 

What Do Temporary Orders Do?

Temporary orders can cover many things—including who gets possession of the children, who gets what property, or who has to pay what bills—while the divorce is still ongoing.

 

How Is A Protective Order Similar To “Legal Separation”?

A protective order, which is available to protect a victim of family violence, can be seen as similar to a legal separation because protective orders can dictate where children live and who has access to them. Protective orders can also determine who gets to stay in the house or who has to leave. They can also establish child and spousal support. Typically, protective orders expire after two years.

Since legal separation is not recognized in Texas, it is important to remember that a divorce cannot be finalized until 61 days to have passed from your initial petition. After the waiting period concludes, the court clerk will set a final hearing with the judge to finalize your divorce. This mean, if you want a divorce from your spouse, it is in your best interest to begin the process as soon as possible.

There are many complications that can occur during your case which may extend the length of time it takes to have your divorce legally recognized. This can include your spouse wanting to negotiate the terms of your settlement, record collection taking longer than anticipated in the discovery process, and more.

 

What Is The Discovery Process in Divorce?

Discovery is the pre-trial phase in a lawsuit during which each party can obtain evidence from the opposing party. The purpose of discovery is to ensure that both you and your spouse have access to the same information. This plays a vital role when determining how to divide property, debt, child custody, and other important marital factors. This process is intended to create the opportunity for shared information. This information is not intended to lead to legal consequences but to share relevant infomration.

Working with an experienced attorney, such as Dawn Renken, can help you get the best legal advice and results in your divorce. For almost two decades, Attorney Renken has focused her legal practice on family law. In this time, she has earned her place as one of the best divorce lawyers in Katy, by taking on a wide range of cases in which she helped families resolve legal issues quickly and fairly.

The goal is always to help families reach resolution so that they can continue focusing on the most important things in their lives. If you or someone you love is looking for the best divorce lawyer in Katy, contact the Renken Law Firm today.

Once we hear the specifics of your situation, we will be able to provide advice for any individual or unique situation you are in. This helps you to explore your options moving forward to ensure you are making the best choice for yourself. Attorney Renken represents those who are looking to dissolve contested, uncontested, and collaborative divorces. Each divorce in unique and deserves the same attention to detail as the next. At Renken Law Firm, we are devoted to helping your family move on peacefully.

Renken Law Firm is here to help couples who wish to dissolve their marriage, whether that be through divorce or legal separation. We are here to help those who are ending marriages that have been contested, uncontested, or collaborative. We are fully prepared to help you navigate the specifics of your case.

 

Divorce Attorney in Katy, Texas

Our team proudly serves the Greater Houston area, including but not limited to Brazos County, Cypress, Fort Bend County, Galveston, Houston Heights, Houston, Humble, Katy, Kingwood, Memorial Houston, Montgomery County, Montrose, Richmond, Rosenberg, Spring, The Woodlands. All marriages are different, making each divorce equally unique with its own set of needs that must be addressed. Contact our law office to explore your options moving forward, and find out how we can help you.

 

Renken Law Firm, PLLC
11500 Northwest Fwy #586
Houston, TX 77092
(713) 956-6767
https://therenkenlawfirm.com
Google Business Listing
https://therenkenlawfirm.com/cities-we-serve/katy-tx-divorce-attorney/