The Best Resolution to Division of Property – Austin Divorce Mediation

Divorce mediation employs a cooperative approach to finding a resolution for the division of property between divorcing spouses.  Texas is an equitable distribution state, not a community property state.  This means that courts in Texas are free to divide property in a manner deemed to be equitable, or fair.  Mediation encourages divorcing couples to view the division of assets and debts as a set of problems to be resolved.  A professionally trained divorce mediators lawyer can help you decide on the fair valuation of your assets and debts and come up with a plan for the fair division of both.

Arranging Appropriate Division of Property and Assets Through Divorce Mediation

Our highly trained divorce mediators/lawyers will meet with experts such as CPAs and/or appraisers so that they can offer advice on how best to calculate asset valuation, taxes, etc. By opting for mediation to handle equitable distribution, Austin families will avoid costly attorney fees and resolve disputes in a safe, positive environment. Our divorce mediators/lawyers will meet with you and your spouse as many times as necessary until you arrive at a fair settlement based on your property and assets.

Arranging Appropriate Division of Property and Assets Through Divorce Mediation

Divorce mediators are well versed in the division of assets and debts.   We will effectively offer advice on how to best value your assets and liabilities and how to divide them in a manner that is fair to both you and your spouse.  As experienced divorce attorneys, we understand the legal and tax consequences of the division of property and debts and will guide you towards solutions that will have the greatest benefit to all.

Considering Tax Consequence of Property Distribution

The division of property and debts, as well as your newly divorced status, can have significant tax consequences.  Experienced attorneys have the knowledge and expertise required to help you make the most financially sound property distribution decisions, taking into account the tax consequences involved.  We will guide you and utilize the assistance of expert accountants and appraisers when necessaryto ensure that your decisions make sense from both a property and tax perspective.

Divide Your Property Without Costly and Time-Consuming Litigation

Our philosophy is centered on helping spouses redefine their relationships in a positive way through divorce mediation.   We are committed to helping families establish better communication so that they can resolve their issues and arrive at an agreement without the need for lengthy, costly, bitterly contested court proceedings.   Through our experience and knowledge of the court system, we view equitable distribution as an opportunity for spouses to divide their assets and liabilities in a manner that makes sense to them in a safe, amicable environment.

Through our approach, divorcing couples are able to keep these major financial decisions in the hands of the people who care most about the outcome, rather than surrendering their financial fate to the hands of a judge.    They are committed to using their indispensable knowledge and experience to help guide you through the complicated issue of equitable distribution.

Child Support Arrangement Through Divorce Mediation

When parents decide to separate, the law requires that the financial needs of the children be met.  For couples choosing divorce mediation over traditional costly and time-consuming divorce litigation, child support must be established as part of the overall divorce agreement.  In Texas Family Code Section 154.001. Child Support Guidelines establish the guidelines for the calculation of child support to ensure that the financial needs of the children are met following divorce.

In Texas, who pays child support?

Child support can be paid by either parent in Texas. However, in the majority of cases, the noncustodial parent will pay the child support to the custodial parent.

The person who has primary physical custody of the children is known as the custodial parent. Noncustodial parents spend the shortest amount of time with their child or children.

The reason for this is that the law presumes that the custodial parent will pay for the child's day-to-day expenses while the child is in their care. The idea is that the noncustodial parent does not cover all of the child's expenses, but rather contributes and pays a reasonable amount.

Determining Appropriate Child Support Arrangements Through Divorce Mediation

The professionally trained and experienced divorce mediators/lawyers at Triad Divorce Mediation are knowledgeable about the complexities and ever-changing provisions of Texas' child support laws.  We can help residents of Austin understand the laws surrounding child support in Texas and will help you and your spouse arrive at a child support arrangement that is mutually agreeable to you and beneficial to your children.   We will draft a legally binding divorce agreement that will ensure that your child support arrangement complies with Texas law and satisfies your particular needs and concerns.

Establishing Custodial Arrangements and the Effect on Child Support

How a Compassionate, Experienced Divorce Mediator/Lawyer Can Help

Impartial divorce mediators/lawyers can help you determine the best custodial arrangement for your children.  We understand that following divorce, one spouse or both may be experiencing certain financial difficulties or concerns.  We will help you calculate the appropriate amount of child support based on your particular circumstances and help you find a child support solution that suits your particular concerns and needs.

We will answer any questions you may have and address your particular concerns so that you can both move forward knowing that your children’s financial needs are being satisfied. It is our primary objective to help parents move through the divorce process without damaging their relationships with their children.

Establishing a support structure that is acceptable to both parents and that addresses everyone’s concerns is an essential step in this process.  Divorce mediators/lawyers have the know-how to compassionately and effectively guide divorcing couples in Austin and around Central Texas through the complexities of child support and help you arrive at a mutually agreeable resolution to this important issue.

When Does Child Support Payments in Texas End?

Child support payments usually end when the child reaches the age of eighteen or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later. They will also end automatically if a child who was once deemed disabled is no longer considered disabled, if the child marries, or if the child dies.

However, there are some circumstances in which child support can be ordered for an indefinite period. The reason for this is if the court determines that the child is physically or mentally disabled and thus requires long-term care past the age of adulthood.

5 Tips to Prepare for Divorce Mediation

All divorces need not go to court. In most cases the law is very clear and litigation is not necessary. A Divorce Mediation is a less costly alternative that makes the dissolution of marriage less painful in terms of legal, financial and personal matters. You will still experience the mixed emotions that come with a divorce, but you will be able to handle the process with more serenity.

Here are five tips that can help before you and your spouse sit with a mediator:

  1.    Agree to agree

This first step will determine the efficacy of mediating. It is like pre-mediation, if you will. You both have to agree that mediation is the best choice for both of you. Dragging your spouse to negotiation would defeat the purpose.

You need to take the time to talk about mediation and what it entails, how much time you can commit to it and how you will share the cost.

  1.    Be prepared before a Divorce Mediation

Mediation is effective if you come to the table prepared. You need to know what you have and what you want when it’s over

Make a list of your possessions, assets and investments – shared or personal. Make an inventory of your belongings. Gather all financial documents pertaining to your income and expenses.

Your financial status will be an important part of the discussions, so you want to be as ready and accurate as possible.

  1.    Set goals

The list you made regarding what you have will be of great help in deciding what you want and what you need. You have to consider what is important to you, what you cannot live without. Try and evaluate where you can be flexible so the discussions are less heated when it comes to splitting antique furniture or mementos.

Do not forget to plan ahead. Budgeting your future income and expenses will play a major part in the mediation.

  1.    Include your children

You are going through a difficult time and your children are in for the ride. Your kids need to be reassured that your going from parenting to co-parenting will not affect their life in a damaging way. They will likely have fears and questions about the future and you should answer honestly. Custody, holidays, school and where you all will live are topics likely to come up.

  1.    Choose wisely

The choice of a mediator is as important as agreeing to end your marriage. Your future depends on how professional and qualified that person is. Do not limit your criteria to convenience of location or competitive fees. Take time to interview before hiring: areas of expertise, certification and experience.

The main outcome of mediation is to agree through collaboration. Triad Divorce Mediation offers a unique approach based on expertise and experience. By working with professionals from the financial, legal and coaching disciplines, Triad Divorce Mediation brings both parties to an agreement that works for all involved and allow you to move forward.

Does Divorce Mediation Have a Place in Domestic Violence?

Courts thread with caution in divorce cases where domestic violence has been established. Is mediation appropriate as an alternative to litigation if one spouse is victim of domestic abuse?

Knowing that domestic violence is a reality in about half of heterosexual couples in America, the odds of a mediator encountering a case of domestic abuse are that much higher. In many cases, evidence of domestic violence might be unknown when the mediation process begins, due to the silence the parties keep about it.

If the evidence of domestic violence has been brought to the attention of the mediator, he or she will follow a screening protocol to assess if the couple is a good candidate for mediation. In essence, this process will evaluate the balance of power between the spouses, assess the degree of control of the abuser and determine if there is any threat of physical danger to the parties involved. At all times, the mediator’s main concern is the safety of his clients.

Should the couple proceed with the negotiations with the help of a mediator, policies are set to avoid any risk: separate meetings, exclusive communication, presence of a peace officer for escort if the abused spouse is under considerable fear.

Ground rules can be agreed to, such as precluding topics from the discussions or preventing the parties to communicate so the outcome of mediation is not jeopardized.

For divorce mediation to have a place in a case of domestic violence, the mediators have to be skilled and able to recognize the signs of abuse- when it has not been disclosed- and able to provide a safe environment to their clients. Mediation is collaboration between the parties so the dissolution of marriage is fair to both. However, safety should never be compromised in the process.

Triad Divorce Mediation is a team of highly skilled professionals who provide legal, financial and personal advice to divorcing couples. They work towards a solid agreement for both parties even in high conflict disputes.

Communicating when going through a divorce

How can things get worse after the decision to divorce is made?  Many times, things do worsen between divorcing couples, particularly when children are involved.  Here are some tips on how to manage the chaos and survive the pressure:

  • Minimize phone communications to only emergency situations, like an illness or accident, not if you are running late!  38% of how we communicate is through tone, volume and inflection – be mindful of how you come across to others!
  • Minimize in-person contact.  55% of how we communicate is through our body language…even the sight of our former significant other can trigger us
  • Avoid reading email or any type of interaction with the other party at the beginning of the day, particularly when at work…it can derail a good part of your day
  • Create a rule to send email from the other party directly to a designated file folder so you don’t have to see it until you’re ready
  • Maximum one email per day unless emergency or time sensitive
  • Maximum one topic per email
  • Maximum 40 words per email; ideally less than 20 are preferable
  • Refrain from talking about the past, making accusations or personal attacks, call names or otherwise blame the other – it will get you nowhere fast!
  • Everything written must be child-focused (when children are involved), informative, and polite
  • Acknowledge receipt of an email and identify a timeframe for when you will respond, e.g. “acknowledging receipt of your email; will respond within 24-48 hours”
  • Refrain from immediate responses, particularly less than 3 hours – this definitely reflects an emotional response, not a logical response
  • Make sure you do respond within 24-48 hours, except in cases of emergencies or time-sensitive matters.  Even if you don’t have an answer or are waiting for information, let the other party know that
  • Frame your requests in terms of a “proposal” – consider  your response in terms of “I’ll think about it” before saying “Yes” or “No”
  • If you can’t say “yes” to a request, respond with a counter-proposal.  If agreement can’t be reached within 1-2 proposals and counter-proposals, take it back to counseling and/or mediation for guidance
  • Be mindful of strong words like “I will not” or “I refuse” or “I insist” or “Don’t you…”

Remember, you are communicating with the other person you once loved…the person who helped you bring these wonderful children into the world.  Your children have a right to love that person, even when you don’t, and to love them through their eyes, not yours.

And, even if children aren’t involved, you do yourself harm by harboring resentment and anger.  Learn to breathe deep and reach for a higher place to be…you will feel better for it.