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Flexibility in divorce

Divorce affects many families in Texas and throughout the United States. The rate of divorce is still about 50 percent, and the process can be very draining both emotionally and financially. Thankfully, there are options.

When a couple is considering getting divorced, they can choose among litigation, mediation, collaborative divorce, and uncontested divorce. In litigation, one person files the divorce petition, and both parties will usually have attorneys to represent them. The attorneys strive to get their clients the best possible resolution to matters such as alimony, custody and child support.

Mediation involves a neutral third party, who may or may not be an attorney, attempting to get the couple to come to an agreement on issues that they have been unable to resolve on their own. Each spouse is entitled to have separate legal representation, and the process can be useful when there are child custody and visitation disputes.

In an uncontested divorce, both spouses agree to dissolve their marriage. A written settlement agreement is prepared and submitted to the court for its approval. In collaborative divorce proceedings, each spouse has an attorney as part of a team that could include a financial adviser and a mental health professional. If the matter cannot be resolved and the case heads to trial, the attorneys are precluded from providing their clients with representation in court.

It is nice to have some flexibility during such a difficult time. In many cases, the estranged spouses and their respective attorneys are able to negotiate a comprehensive settlement agreement that covers property division and other applicable divorce legal issues.

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