In a Texas divorce, you get two options:
- You and your spouse may agree to a settlement between yourselves or
- You can file the case in court and leave it to the judge to determine the outcome.
People assume divorce cases always end up in court but the reality is, most divorce cases in Texas settle during negotiations long before a trial is ever necessary. So even if you and your spouse disagree on things, have complex financial situations or child custody issues, a negotiated divorce is still a viable option for achieving a constructive out-of-court resolution.
Here’s the breakdown of negotiating settlements in Texas divorce cases
In Texas, for a a divorce settlement agreement to work, you and your spouse need to agree on several issues during the divorce process.
These standard issues include:
- Alimony (spousal support)
- Property division
- Child custody and visitation
- Child support
If you and your spouse can agree on these matters, the case transitions into an uncontested divorce. The state, through the court, will only be concerned with just a few things. The best strategies in a successful divorce negation out of court is to have a skilled Texas family law attorney on your side who understands your situation, your spouse, and your desired outcome.
What happens if your divorce is left up to the courts? Simply put, you take your chances. It’s like a roll of the dice; the judge will decide the case based on the information presented to him or her. When the judge decides on your divorce case, there’s a chance that things won’t go your way. But when you negotiate an agreement with your spouse, you can give your input and work out things your way.
Alimony in Texas
Also referred to as spousal support, alimony is a gender-neutral obligation. Did you know the wife can be obliged to give alimony to the husband; that is if the circumstances so warrant?
The spouses, however, can address this issue and negotiate accordingly without the court’s intervention except when seeking an order for its approval on the agreement.
One of the most important things to know when entering into alimony negotiations is what it actually costs for you to live, what you can get by on, what you can’t live without, and the number you have in mind. By knowing that range, you can negotiate from a better place of understanding in terms of what you might be accepting or even giving up.
Property Division in Texas
Property division in Texas often looks different for each divorcing couple. If you and your spouse are on good terms and can work together to reach an agreement, you may be able to simply discuss the terms of property division and determine who will keep what assets.
If an agreement cannot be reached through negotiation, the case may advance to litigation. However, there is still an opportunity for a settlement to be achieved even moments before the trial.
Trying to divide assets during such an emotional time is difficult. When going through divorce you should consult an experienced attorney who can objectively assess the situation, advise you of your options
Custody and Visitation in Texas
Unless work or distance is an issue, most parents want to spend as much time with their children as possible, and tend to fight for primary custody, which can lead to disagreements. While it might take some negotiation to find a common ground, reaching a settlement agreement out of court can be highly beneficial.
If you can’t compromise on arrangements a judge will decide for you and it might not be ideal for either parent.
Main things parents need to agree on when negotiating child custody in Texas:
- Where is the primary residence of the child
- Who will ensure that the children are provided with their basic needs like food, clothing, etc.
- Who will make the important decisions that affect the children’s welfare and development
Child Support in Texas
Negotiating and agreeing to a child support settlement is easier than having to consent to the one imposed by the court. Consider the needs of your kid, prioritize them, and figure out which ones can be funded.
Issues involving child support include:
When determining child support, sit with your spouse or attorney and list all aspects of your child’s life. In addition to your and your ex’s gross income, it is important to consider the following factors when calculating child support:
- All healthcare costs associated with raising the child and medical, dental, and vision insurance
- Education costs
- Extracurricular/after-school activity costs
- The overall cost of living and childcare expenses
- The time each parent spends with the child
- Potential tax consequences
- Expenses stemming from managing specially-abled children
Contact an experienced divorce lawyer in Bryan Texas
Negotiating settlements in divorce cases can be complex. So, it’s highly recommended that you retain a family law attorney to protect your interests. If you want an experienced family law attorney on your side, use our contact form to send us a message or give us a call at 979-846-4090.