Getting a Divorce – Now What

Choosing to dissolve a marriage can be a difficult decision. But once you’ve made that first step, you may find that the entire divorce process is much harder than you originally thought. You will have to make decisions on important issues regarding your finances and properties. If both of you share children, you and your spouse will have to decide on how to split parenting time between your households.

When a couple splits, the primary goals of the divorce process are to establish an equitable distribution of marital assets and debts. Each spouse will need to have an idea of how they will pay and maintain a new residence and maintain the marital residence. You need an experienced Collin County divorce attorney to help you through this process.

In order to get your fair share during divorce settlement negotiations it is imperative that you know what is owned and what is owed. This is a two-step process:

Determine what you own: Some marital assets are clearly shared and can be split equitably. Other assets including artwork, pension plans, inheritances or belongings brought into the marriage may be rightfully yours to take after a divorce.

Determine what you owe: Marital debt will be split based on who is more financially able to pay the debt, not by whose name the debt is in. The easiest way to determine marital debt is to get a copy of your credit report. Any debt you have will be listed on your report.

I can assist you with paperwork, resolve disputes, finding amicable solutions and even protecting your rights in court if necessary. I understand the value of reaching fair and amicable resolutions that preserve harmony in relationships. Call my office and set an appointment 972-369-0577.

How to Navigate Holiday Visitation Schedules

The holidays mean different things to different people. For some, it’s the best time of year. For others, it’s a stressful period full of family drama. Here are a few helpful hints for parents who are going through a divorce, or already divorced.

Stick to the Schedule

If you have a parenting schedule things are easier. You always want to have the parenting schedule in writing and agreed to by both parents in advance of the holidays. This can be done a couple of ways. If the formal divorce process has not yet begun, then you must agree on a parenting plan yourself. If you have a family attorney, they can help with this.

When you create the schedule, take a look at the entire year as a whole to determine a comprehensive visitation plan. Your parenting plan can be as broad or specific as you wish. The point is that both parents must agree, or it won’t be successful.

Christmas doesn’t have to happen on Dec 25

If you find yourself arguing over who gets to spend the day with the children, take a step back and remember it’s not about the calendar date. In other words, you make the day special no matter if it is Dec. 26 or Dec. 30. Whatever day you spend with the kids, you can make that just as special as December 25th. Don’t get too caught up on the actual day.

If you can be flexible with your time, it may not be worth the fight, aggravation and effect on the children.

Communicate with the Other Parent

It may seem impossible for some people to get along with the other parent, especially if you are recently divorced or separated. However, if you have children, you must do your best to communicate effectively.

Good communication (or at least some communication) is key to ensuring you will minimize the amount of time you spend fretting over where your “littles” will be eating turkey and opening gifts.

Remember to think of this holiday season as an opportunity to create new traditions and to create great new memories with your children. Wishing you a wonderful holiday and Happy New Year!

Good Advice From a Divorce Lawyer

Going through a divorce is a stressful time. Divorce attorneys work hard to achieve favorable and fair results for their clients. Here are a few tips you’re better off knowing that will influence your relationship with your lawyer and the value they provide to you.

1. The court system is much different than what you see on TV
Court TV has most people convinced legal proceedings are interesting and short-lived. The cold, hard truth is that some divorces can last months or even a year. How quickly you get divorced in Texas depends on you and your spouse being able to cooperate and reach agreements.

2. Be Honest with your attorney
You need to provide your attorney with all key facts so they can analyze your case properly and give you appropriate advice. Even if you hide something from your attorney, the facts may very well come out anyway. Your failure to be up front may harm your case and your ability to obtain a good result.

3. Clients pay for an attorney’s time
Most attorneys charge on an hourly basis, which is stated in your retainer agreement. Your attorney will contact you when they need something from you. There are periods in every case where nothing is going on and there is down time. Your attorney should give you periodic updates on the status of things and it’s ok to check in yourself, but daily calls are unnecessary and only run up your bill.

Contact my office if you are planning to file for divorce and we will discuss your individual case. I work to ensure every client has the information and family law resources they need to understand the divorce process and know what to expect. Ryan Kreck Criminal and Family Law Attorney 972-369- 0577.

Divorce and Mediation

A growing majority of family law cases whether they are divorce, child custody cases, or even cases involving Child Protective Services are being resolved outside of Court. Mediation is more and more prevalent and effective at resolving these types of cases.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a confidential process where the mediator attempts to guide, not dictate, settlement discussions of the parties involved in the case. When I say mediation is confidential, it is different than attorney-client confidentiality. What is said in mediation stays at mediation. The mediator cannot be a witness and neither side can say “well at mediation you agreed to….”

Mediation has a lot of benefits compared to going to Court to seek an order from a Judge. In mediation, the parties agree to anything they want including ways to split property and time with the children. The Judge in your case has only certain options under the law to dispose of property in a divorce, or ways in which decisions are made about any child issues.

One example is in mediation, the spouses in a divorce can agree to an alimony settlement. Under Texas Law, no Court can award alimony to any party in a divorce. The law requires that any settlement reached in mediation has to be signed by the Court in the final order which contains the terms of the mediated settlement agreement.

It is Extremely Important to Have a Lawyer with You at Mediation

First, the mediator, while nearly all of mediators in Texas are lawyers or former judges; they are NOT your lawyer. Each mediator will make this disclaimer at the beginning of mediation. Second, it is important to have an opinion from your own lawyer about what you may or may not get from the Judge handling your case. One way to assess whether or not the mediation offer of settlement is good is to compare it to what you may receive in Court. Most importantly for family law cases, if you do not have a lawyer at mediation, you may inadvertently agree to mediation agreement, which may not be enforceable in Court.

The Court has certain restrictions about how it can enforce an order from mediation. Any agreement or Court Order, which is not enforceable, is ultimately no good if there is no way to make sure the other side sticks to their agreement.

If you are thinking about going back to Court on a child custody issue or preparing for a divorce, please contact my office to discuss what I can do to help you and prepare to resolve your case in the most efficient and effective way possible.