Category: Practice Areas

4 Reasons To Choose Divorce Mediation

4 Reasons To Choose Divorce Mediation

Divorcing couples have options when it comes to choosing the best method of dissolving their marriage. These days, more than ever, many couples are choosing mediation to work out their divorce issues. Listed below are 4 of the top reasons to consider mediation for your Texas divorce:

  • Time: While all divorces in Texas require at least 61 days to become finalized, mediation takes less time than litigated divorces. During mediation you and your spouse are given the opportunity to sit together and resolve the issues on your own without the back and forth communication between attorneys.
  • Price: The divorce mediation process is typically much more affordable for couples that are ready to end their marriage. You are able to sit down and quickly come to conclusions about what the best options are for both parties without letting attorney fees skyrocket.
  • Privacy: Litigated divorces are public record, this means any evidence entered into the court, and information shared with the court, all becomes available for anyone who looks it up. If privacy matters to you, a mediated divorce is an excellent option. The terms of your divorce will remain private.
  • Your Say: Unlike with litigated divorces, the terms of mediated divorces are completely up to the two divorcing parties. This means you have the final say when it comes to coming up with child custody and child support. If you are looking for a parenting plan that fits your specific needs and don’t want a judge weighing in on the outcome of your divorce, mediation grants you this freedom.

 

Is Divorce Mediation For Me?

Divorce mediation is an affordable and private divorce option, mediation also has a proven history for helping families resolve disputes without the need for a trial. Taking your case to trial typically will increase the amount of time, money, and stress involved in your divorce.

While no divorce method is completely stress free, divorce mediation allows both parties to have their needs represented. The divorcing couple will be given the chance to work together to reach an amicable resolution in their case, instead of allowing a judge to have the final say.

Dawn Renken, became a licensed mediator through ADR Services International Inc. in 2014. Since this time, Attorney Renken has been working as a Cypress divorce mediation expert with couples to help them work together to reach divorce agreements that are mutually beneficial for their long term needs.

The role of the mediator is to simply ensure all important matters are discussed and dealt with, as well as ensure neither party is using bully tactics in order to get the other party to agree to the terms they desire for their divorce. Your divorce agreement is only finalized when both parties agree to the terms of the divorce and sign off on it. If you are unable to work together to reach an amicable divorce agreement, mediation will not be a viable method for divorce. If you and your spouse are actively looking to work through your divorce together, Renken Law Firm can help by offering affordable divorce mediation in Houston, TX.

 

Affordable Divorce Mediator in Houston, TX

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
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Is Texas A No-Fault State

Is Texas A No-Fault State

Texas is considered a no-fault state, which greatly impacts the divorce process and guidelines that surround a divorce case in the state of Texas. Renken Law Firm works with individuals to help them through the divorce process so that they are able to protect themselves and their children.

 

What Is a No-Fault Divorce?

A “no-fault” divorce refers to a divorce based on “irreconcilable differences” or an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.” These are just fancy ways of saying a couple can’t get along and there’s no hope for reconciliation.

When you fill out your petition (legal paperwork) for divorce in a no-fault state, you simply let the court know you’re seeking a divorce based on irreconcilable differences; you don’t have to tell the court what led to the divorce or prove that the divorce is your spouse’s fault. In a no-fault divorce, there’s no need to claim that your spouse engaged in bad behavior, because courts won’t consider either spouse’s misconduct when deciding whether to grant the divorce.

Most states now have statutes (laws) that allow for a pure no-fault divorce. Those that don’t, allow for some variation of one. Arkansas and Louisiana, for example, still don’t recognize “irreconcilable differences” as a basis for divorce. Previously, in these states, you had to prove your spouse’s fault before a court would grant a divorce, but that’s no longer the case. Even in states that don’t recognize irreconcilable differences, couples can get a divorce based on the ground of “separation.” If you and your spouse want to avoid alleging fault in these states, you can do so by showing that you’ve been separated for the requisite period of time.

 

Do I Have to Live in a State to Get a Divorce There?

All states have a residency requirement that one or both spouses must meet to be eligible to file for a divorce. Often, states require the filing spouse to be a state resident for at least three months or even as long as a year. The filing spouse must provide proof of residence for the required length of time. Only a few states have no time requirement for resident status (being a resident at the time you file is enough).

If you think that your spouse might file for divorce in another state, consider trying to be the first to file—in your own state. Rarely is a divorce settled in one court appearance, and if your spouse files elsewhere, you could rack up a lot of traveling expenses. Also, after the divorce is over, you must file any modifications to the divorce decree, including the property settlement agreement and arrangements for child custody and support, in the state that heard your divorce, which could require you to travel out of state for years to come.

 

Can a Court Enforce an Out-of-State Divorce?

If one spouse meets the residency requirement of a state or country (such as having lived there from six months to a year), a divorce obtained there is valid, even if the other spouse lives somewhere else. The courts of all states will recognize the divorce.

However, a court’s decisions regarding property division, alimony, custody, and child support might not be valid unless the court had jurisdiction over (the legal power to make decisions about) the nonresident spouse. The nonresident spouse falls under the court’s jurisdiction when:

  • the filing spouse personally serves the nonresident spouse with the divorce documents (meaning you deliver them into the person’s hands)
  • the nonresident spouse consents to jurisdiction (by either showing up at a court hearing or signing an affidavit of service acknowledging receipt of court documents), or
  • the nonresident spouse obeys the rulings of the out-of-state court (for example, by paying court-ordered child support).

 

Affordable Divorce Lawyer Serving Houston, TX

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
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How Long Until My Divorce Is Finalized in Texas

How Long Until My Divorce Is Finalized in Texas?

Does Texas have a waiting period for divorce?

In Texas, a judge may not grant your final divorce until at least 60 days have passed after you filed the divorce petition. The only exceptions to this waiting period are in cases involving domestic violence, when the petitioner has an active family violence protective order against the respondent, or the respondent has been convicted of a a domestic violence crime against the petitioner or someone else in the household. (Tex. Fam. Code § 6.702 (2022).)

Although your divorce will be final when the judge signs the divorce decree, neither you nor your spouse may marry someone else until another 31 days have passed. (Tex. Fam. Code § 6.801 (2022).)

 

What is the divorce procedure in Texas?

Filing for divorce in Texas involves several steps:

  • Filing the divorce petition. One spouse (the “petitioner”) will file an Original Petition for Divorce and accompanying documents with the court clerk in the county where either spouse has lived for 90 days.
  • Serving the divorce papers. The petitioner then must either have the divorce papers personally served on (hand-delivered to) the other spouse (the “respondent”) or have the respondent sign a waiver of service and simply accept the documents from the petitioner.

The next steps in the Texas divorce process may depend on whether you’ve filed for an agreed divorce or a contested divorce.

  • Answering the divorce petition. In a contested divorce, the respondent has 20 days to file an answer to the divorce petition. In an uncontested divorce, the respondent may either file an answer in that time or simply return the signed waiver of service.
  • Standard temporary orders. Either spouse may ask the judge to issue standard temporary restraining orders, including orders meant to preserve the couple’s property during the divorce proceedings. Judges might also issue these orders on their own, if they think it’s necessary. (Tex. Fam. Code §§ 6.501, 6.502 (2022).)
  • Financial disclosures. If the respondent has filed an answer, the spouses must exchange certain information and documents about their property, retirement plans, and other financial matters. (Tex. Rules Civ. Proc., rule 194.2 (2022).)
  • Finalizing an agreed divorce. Both spouses must sign and file a Final Decree of Divorce, which could be included with the initial paperwork. After the waiting period (more on that below), the court will schedule a hearing. At the hearing, the judge will review the divorce papers and, if everything is in order, will sign the final divorce decree.
  • Finalizing a contested divorce. Typically, contested divorces will go through discovery, the legal process for getting evidence from the other spouse and from experts (like custody evaluators and financial analysts). The process could also involve multiple motions and court hearings on issues that crop up during the divorce, including requests for temporary support (more on that below). Most couples negotiate a settlement at some point during the process, usually with the help of their lawyers. The judge may order the couple to participate in mediation. (Tex. Fam. Code § 6.602(a) (2022).) If the spouses aren’t able to reach a complete settlement agreement, the’ll have to go to trial to have a judge decide any remaining issues for them.

 

At Renken Law Firm, our experienced divorce attorneys can help you navigate your divorce case and reach an agreement that fits your needs and timeline. For those who are interested in having the quickest divorce possible, we suggest mediation, as the process is quick and affordable. While divorce mediation is typically much faster than litigated divorce, it will still require you meet the 60-day waiting period in order to have your divorce finalized. Our attorneys can help you navigate the most difficult of issues including child custody, child support, spousal support, property division, and more. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you through your divorce process.

 

Affordable Divorce Lawyer Serving Houston, TX

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
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Affordable Divorce Options in Texas

Affordable Divorce Options in Texas

It is no secret that the divorce process is emotionally and financially straining on many couples. When you are looking for an affordable option to file for divorce, divorce mediation can be an excellent alternative for you. This will help to reduce the divorce cost, while also ensuring you are getting quality legal advice to guide you through the process. Working with a divorce attorney can help you handle all of the divorce forms and issues that come up with family law cases in the state of Texas.

If divorce mediation does not work for you, there are other options such as filing for a contested divorce or an uncontested divorce in Texas. Call us today to learn more about your options for divorce.

 

What Is Divorce Mediation?

Divorce mediation is a process that allows divorcing couples to meet with a specially-trained, neutral third-party to discuss and resolve common divorce-related issues. Mediation is typically less stressful and less expensive than a divorce trial, and it usually proceeds much faster. Because you and your spouse have the final say over your divorce matters, mediation also allows couples to maintain the power and control in their divorce, as opposed to asking a judge to decide.

Mediation gives you and your spouse the opportunity to build your communication skills, even in situations where a lack of communication was the cause for the relationship’s demise. With the help of a trained professional, even the most communication-challenged couples can succeed in mediation.

 

How Do Parents Choose a Mediator?

There’s no doubt that divorce becomes more complicated when it involves children. Parents seeking a divorce will need to select a mediator who is trained to handle the various issues that come with divorce, like child custody, visitation, and child support.

Your mediator should be trained in conflict resolution and have extensive knowledge of your state’s divorce laws. Additionally, your mediator should be willing to work with you and your spouse to facilitate a meaningful conversation about the issues at hand, which can help eliminate the finger-pointing and other drama that usually accompanies divorce. Typically, mediators will keep you on track and may make suggestions to help you resolve any lingering issues. However, your mediator can’t make decisions for you, force either spouse to accept a term, or insist that either spouse sign a contract.

 

How Does Mediation Work?

The mediation process starts once you and your spouse agree to use this method of alternative dispute resolution and choose your mediator. In most states, mediation is voluntary, so if either spouse disagrees and wants to follow the traditional divorce route, a court won’t force your spouse to engage in mediation. That said, there are some states where the court requires couples to demonstrate a good faith effort in mediation before scheduling additional court hearings.

Mediation will only work if both spouses are open to negotiating the terms of the divorce. Typically, you’ll set up an initial meeting between the spouses and the mediator. During the first meeting, each spouse will have the opportunity to explain expectations for the most common divorce-related issues, including:

  • property division
  • child custody and visitation
  • child support, and
  • alimony or spousal support.

This initial discussion will help the mediator gain an idea of how far apart you are and what areas need the most work.

Aside from statutory limitations of divorce, mediation doesn’t have a time limit. You can continue to mediate and work on your divorce judgment for as long as you, your spouse, and the mediator would like. Naturally, the longer it takes and the more meetings you have, the more expensive it becomes. You can decide to meet once per week, monthly, or at any other time. Most couples can resolve mediation with a few sessions, which typically costs thousands of dollars less than litigating your case in court.

Once you agree on all the outstanding issues, the mediator will draft a divorce settlement agreement for both spouses (and their attorneys) to review, sign, and present to the judge.

 

Affordable Divorce Lawyer Serving Houston, TX

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
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Trusted Divorce Attorney in Houston

Trusted Divorce Attorney in Houston

Are you looking for a Houston divorce attorney to help you find resolution throughout your divorce process? If So, Renken Law Firm can help you. Our family law attorneys have years of experience helping individuals from all different backgrounds and lifestyles through their divorce proceedings. We offer legal representation to help you through this difficult time.

Our divorce lawyers in Houston are familiar working with cases involving child custody and child support, spousal support, the division of marital assets, other family law matters involving children, and more. Reach out to us today to schedule a divorce and family law case evaluation for your specific situation.

Listed below are some tips shared by HuffPost’s online publication for how to find the right divorce attorney for your unique case:

  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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.

 

Divorce and Family Law Attorney Houston

At Renken Law Firm in Houston, our team of experienced divorce attorneys 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 on your side 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 focus our efforts 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. Call our office today.

 

Affordable Divorce Lawyer Serving Houston, TX

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
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What Role Do Divorce Lawyers Play In Mediation

What Role Do Divorce Lawyers Play In Mediation

Mediation offers an opportunity for divorcing couples to work out the terms of their divorce agreement with an impartial third party. The mediation process is typically much less expensive and time consuming than the traditional divorce process. While you do not have to use a divorce attorney in your mediation session, they are familiar with state laws and have the most experience dealing with divorce cases. This allows them to give thoughtful legal advice and help couples work through complex matters such as spousal support, child custody, property division, and more.

Your family law attorney can work with both parties throughout the divorce mediation to ensure they are being heard and that their needs are being met. They are present to ensure that no one is being intimidated into signing a divorce agreement that does not serve them. If emotions get high or one person is becoming aggressive your mediator may reschedule the session or decide mediation is not a good option for your situation.

If you are considering mediation for your Texas divorce, call our law firm today. The team at Renken Law Firm work with families from all different backgrounds to find solutions for their specific situation.

 

Why Choose to Mediate Your Divorce?

Although judges often order divorcing couples to participate in mediation before going to trial, you have the option of mediating on your own—either before you file for divorce or at any time after. Mediating your divorce has a lot of advantages over litigating it (fighting it out in court).

  • Cost. Mediation is much less expensive than a trial.
  • Settling the case. Most mediations end in settlement of all of the issues in the divorce.
  • Confidentiality. Mediation is confidential, with no public record of what goes on in your sessions.
  • Freedom. Mediation allows you to arrive at a resolution based on your own ideas of what is fair in your situation, rather than having a solution imposed upon you based on rigid and impersonal legal principles.
  • Advice still available. You can go to mediation and still choose to have a lawyer give you legal advice.
  • Control. You and your spouse—not the court—control the process.
  • Communication. The mediation process encourages communication between you and your spouse, helping you avoid future conflicts.

Successful mediation makes the rest of your divorce easier: Because you’ve done all the hard work of hammering out the details in the mediation, you can file an “uncontested” divorce. Uncontested divorces are usually less expensive and faster than litigated divorces (divorces where the couple battles in court).

With an uncontested divorce, you’ll save money on attorneys’ fees and the costs of going to trial. Also, many courts fast-track uncontested cases because everything has been worked out in advance, meaning that a judge will be able to finalize your divorce faster than if you’d gone to trial.

 

Affordable Divorce Mediation Lawyer

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
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What Happens After Divorce Mediation Settlement

What Happens After Divorce Mediation Settlement

Mediation is a popular choice for divorcing couples because in most aspects, it is easier and less complex than marriages dissolved through litigation. One of the main perks of working with your spouse to come up with a divorce agreement is that once you have agreed to the terms of your divorce, it will not require much more effort to become finalized.

Once you have come up with a divorce agreement that both parties fully agree on, you will just need to fill out a few forms and file them with the appropriate court. When you work with a family law attorney as your divorce mediator, such as Dawn Renken, they will be able to file all of this paperwork for you.

You and your spouse will have a final review hearing as well, to ensure everyone is on the same page as far as the final divorce agreement. In some cases it is possible to file a motion to have the requirement of your attendance waived. The hearing will not be a long and drawn out process, the judge will just want to ensure both parties are aware of what they are signing and in agreement with the terms outlined.

Attorney Dawn Renken is here to help assist you throughout your divorce case. She has decades of experience and understands how mediation works, even in complex divorces with child custody and support issues. If you are considering divorce mediation reach out to our law firm today.

 

How Do You Complete Your Texas Divorce After Successful Mediation?

After you’ve signed a mediated settlement agreement, the final divorce paperwork will have to be prepared and filed, including:

  • the proposed final divorce decree, and
  • a motion to enter a judgment based on your agreement.

When your mediated settlement agreement meets the requirements discussed above (including the statement that it can’t be changed), Texas law says that you are entitled to a final divorce decree that follows the terms of the mediated settlement. That’s true whether the mediation took place before you filed for divorce or during the divorce proceedings.

This rule has only two exceptions. The first is if the judge finds that the settlement was illegal or resulted from fraud, duress, or coercion. The second exception is if the agreement isn’t in a child’s best interests, and either:

  • a spouse’s decision-making was impaired due to being a victim of domestic violence, or
  • the agreement allows unsupervised access to a child by a parent with a history of physical or sexual abuse.

Unless one of those circumstances applies, the judge may not refuse to enter a divorce decree based on what a mediated settlement agreement says—even if the judge doesn’t believe it’s fair or in a child’s best interest.

 

Affordable Divorce Mediation Lawyer

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
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Family Law Attorney Near Me

Local Family Lawyers Near Me

When you are facing family legal issues, you will want to work with an experienced lawyer that is familiar with handling issues including child custody and visitation, divorce, child support, property division, and more. Attorney Dawn Renken has years of experience representing clients from all different backgrounds in order to help them find resolution with their family issues. If you are looking to find a family law attorney in the Houston area, reach out to our law firm today.

 

When Should I Hire A Family Lawyer?

Here are some instances where you should hire a family attorney:

  1. Family Issues

This is a wide area with different categories that will need the expertise of an attorney to help resolve issues if the need arises. These categories can include the following:

  • Divorce: This is the most common issue you would need a family lawyer for. After a disagreement leading to separation, the need for an attorney is a must to solve issues that come afterwards. These issues can include child custody, child support and visitation, and division of property. To ensure a divorce process goes smoothly, it’s imperative to hire a lawyer that’s well-versed in contested divorce matters. Their experience will be vitally important if the case cannot be settled prior to trial.
  • Guardianship: A family attorney is needed in the event a parent or parents cannot offer their children with the adequate care. Here, a guardian can come in to help make adult decisions concerning the child.
  • Domestic Abuse: When you feel you have been mistreated by your partner, you can have an attorney help you observe the precautions you need to follow to keep you and your children safe.
  • Child Adoption: Adoption is a great act of humanity, but you need to do it legally. When deciding to adopt, you will need an attorney to make sure the adoption process runs smoothly and lawfully.

A family law firm may also help with other incidences that can add up to this list as they can provide a full range of services relating to every aspect of family law.

  1. Filing Important Documents

Family attorneys can help in keeping important family documents. These documents can be presented as proof in case of any issues.

The Power of Attorney (POA) is a document giving another person permission to act on behalf of yourself. You can give someone permission to take care of your children or the family business when you are unable to due to sickness or old age.

Having an attorney present will ensure the deal is signed and the person given the responsibilities follows all the rules that have been laid down. An attorney can also give advice on the best person who can be responsible for such tasks.

  1. Writing Estate Plans And Wills

As mentioned, family lawyers manage legal issues within the family. When drafting estate plans and wills, it’s important to have an attorney present to keep the records of the will. When passing over your property to other family members after retirement or death, the family attorney can make sure the will is followed just as the owner wrote it to prevent any conflicts from arising. The attorney can also provide some legal advice and act as a mediator in case conflicts happen.

  1. Forming Civil Unions And Domestic Partnerships

A civil union is a legal relationship between two people who enjoy marriage rights, although it’s not a marriage. In other words, a domestic partnership is an interpersonal relationship between people who share a common life but are not married.

Unfortunately, these unions and partnerships are not considered legal in all countries and states. Before deciding to form one, you need to consult a family lawyer if it’s legal in your location or not.

These unions and partnerships are common in pairs who want their rights protected in a similar way like marriage rights. If you’ve followed this route, you must have a lawyer who will guide you through the process and make sure it’s legal.

 

Affordable Divorce Mediation Lawyer

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
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What Can I Expect From a Divorce Mediator

What Can I Expect From a Divorce Mediator

These days many couples going through the divorce process are choosing mediation. If you are interested in learning more about how our divorce attorneys can help you with an alternative dispute resolution read below about divorce mediation.

 

What Is Divorce Mediation?

In divorce mediation, you and your spouse meet with a trained, neutral mediator to discuss and resolve the issues in your divorce. Mediation sessions often take place in an informal office setting, but you might also be able to go through your mediation online.

A mediator can help you reach agreement on the issues you and your spouse need to resolve in order to finalize your divorce, such as child custody, child support, and property division. Mediators don’t make decisions or offer legal advice, but rather serve as facilitators to help spouses figure out what’s best for their situation.

When spouses reach agreement through mediation, most mediators will draft (and possibly file with the court) a divorce settlement agreement.

 

Why Choose to Mediate Your Divorce?

Although judges often order divorcing couples to participate in mediation before going to trial, you have the option of mediating on your own—either before you file for divorce or at any time after. Mediating your divorce has a lot of advantages over litigating it (fighting it out in court).

  • Cost. Mediation is much less expensive than a trial.
  • Settling the case. Most mediations end in settlement of all of the issues in the divorce.
  • Confidentiality. Mediation is confidential, with no public record of what goes on in your sessions.
  • Freedom. Mediation allows you to arrive at a resolution based on your own ideas of what is fair in your situation, rather than having a solution imposed upon you based on rigid and impersonal legal principles.
  • Advice still available. You can go to mediation and still choose to have a lawyer give you legal advice.
  • Control. You and your spouse—not the court—control the process.
  • Communication. The mediation process encourages communication between you and your spouse, helping you avoid future conflicts.

Successful mediation makes the rest of your divorce easier: Because you’ve done all the hard work of hammering out the details in the mediation, you can file an “uncontested” divorce. Uncontested divorces are usually less expensive and faster than litigated divorces (divorces where the couple battles in court).

With an uncontested divorce, you’ll save money on attorneys’ fees and the costs of going to trial. Also, many courts fast-track uncontested cases because everything has been worked out in advance, meaning that a judge will be able to finalize your divorce faster than if you’d gone to trial.

 

Who Should (and Shouldn’t) Consider Divorce Mediation

Mediation can work for many if not most divorcing couples, even ones who have hard feelings and lots of issues to resolve. While mediation is worth trying for most pairs, not all of them belong in mediation. Mediation might not be for you if:

You have experienced domestic abuse or fear for your or your children’s safety. If you are currently experiencing or recently experienced domestic violence or the threat of violence, mediation isn’t for you—you should seek assistance from a lawyer or other qualified source. If there was abuse in the relationship but it was some time ago, you should weigh the pros and cons of mediating carefully. Depending on the circumstances, some who have been abused might find it empowering to meet on the level playing field of a mediation session. Also, most mediators will take precautions to ensure that mediation occurs in safe conditions (for example, by meeting with the spouses separately). Others who have been abused, however, could reasonably find it traumatic to have to mediate or might feel the power or intimidation dynamics are too great—they might choose to have a lawyer do their negotiating for them. Also, some mediators won’t take cases that involve domestic violence.

Your spouse has a history of being deceitful or untrustworthy. If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets, wasting funds, or lying, mediation probably isn’t worth your time. You won’t be able to successfully negotiate unless both spouses are truthful, make full disclosures, and play by the rules.

You suspect your spouse wants to delay the proceedings. Because the mediator can’t order either of you to do anything, a person who wants to delay the proceedings or avoid paying support can abuse the process by agreeing to mediation and then stalling the process.

One of you is claiming fault or has hired a lawyer. When a spouse is claiming that the other is legally at fault for ending the marriage (a claim you can’t make in all states), a successful mediation is less likely—but not impossible. If your spouse has already hired a lawyer, you should strongly consider hiring one, too. Your lawyer will help you decide if participating in mediation is worth it based on the facts of your situation.

For divorces without those kinds of circumstances, divorce mediation can be a great option. It’s especially effective when both people show up open to compromise.

Don’t reject mediation just because you and your spouse see a particular issue very differently—in other words, don’t give up before you’ve begun. Mediation is a powerful process, and many cases that seem impossible to resolve at the beginning end up in a settlement.

 

Texas Family Law Firm

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
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Divorce Settlement Attorney Houston

Divorce Settlement Attorney Houston

Are you looking for a family law attorney to provide legal representation throughout your divorce process? The legal team at Renken Law Firm in Houston, Texas can help you. We provide legal advice throughout your divorce so you can navigate this difficult time. We work with you to find solutions for spousal support, child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, separate property, and more. Contact us today to learn more about how our team can help you reach a divorce settlement.

 

Do We Need to Enter Into an Agreement Before We Separate?

No. You may enter into a divorce settlement agreement before or after you separate or file for divorce. Or, you may not be able to reach an agreement until the morning of your divorce trial – right “on the courthouse steps,” as the saying goes. However, the sooner you settle your case the better, especially if the goal is to avoid unnecessary turmoil and attorney’s fees.

 

Do I Need an Attorney to Prepare the Divorce Agreement?

It’s highly recommended that you hire a lawyer to prepare your Divorce Agreement. Or, if your spouse’s attorney has already prepared it, you should hire an attorney to review it (on your behalf) and make sure important legal provisions are added, deleted, or corrected in order to protect your rights.

Phrases such as “sole legal custody,” “exclusive possession,” “timely indemnify and hold harmless,” and “relinquish and waive all future claims” actually have very important meanings. You’re not a lawyer, so you may miss serious problems with the proposed agreement, or may not know what specific words must be included to protect your interests. If you fail to catch something, you may end up losing important rights. The smart thing to do is to pay someone in the beginning to make sure you don’t pay even more in the end.

 

What If We Settle Everything Before Going to Court?

If you settle everything before taking your divorce case to court, an attorney or mediator can draw up an agreement. Once signed, the Divorce Agreement becomes a binding contract, which means both spouses are obligated to follow its terms.

Depending on your state’s laws, the agreement may be submitted to a judge that can make sure the terms are fair. It will then be incorporated into your final divorce decree and become a binding court order; if either of you violates the order later on, you could be held in contempt of a court.

If you and your spouse can’t agree, you’ll probably end up in court, where you’ll have to put on your case and ask a judge to decide all issues for you. Because this process is unpredictable, and often very expensive, reaching an agreement outside of court is the preferable way to go.

 

What If I Don’t Like My Spouse’s Proposed Divorce Agreement?

Don’t sign it. Remember, it’s just a proposal – a starting point in the negotiation. Even if your spouse (or your spouse’s attorney) gave you a deadline to respond, you still don’t have to do anything. You can throw the proposal in the trash if you want to. No one can force you to settle until you’re ready.

But there is such a thing as waiting too long. If you refuse to negotiate in good faith, or you won’t sign anything because you want to keep milking your spouse’s generosity for as long as possible, your spouse will become frustrated, and may pull out of the settlement negotiations altogether. If you really want to settle, you need to be willing to move forward and compromise.

As stated above, it’s wise to ask an attorney to review your spouse’s proposed Divorce Agreement. If you don’t like it, an attorney can help you understand how far apart you are, and negotiate a better deal on your behalf.

 

Texas Family Law Firm

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
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