Want to Resolve Your Texas Family Law Case Outside of Court? Remember These Rules of Engagement

Want to Resolve Your Texas Family Law Case Outside of Court? Remember These Rules of Engagement

Facing a family law case in Texas? You might be considering an out-of-court resolution. Before you proceed, it’s crucial to understand the essential rules of engagement that govern these cases. In this concise guide, we’ll highlight the key strategies and legal nuances to help you navigate your family law matter effectively and amicably, outside the courtroom.

Understanding the Realities of Family Court: Why Settling Out of Court Could Be Your Best Strategy

Navigating family law cases in court can be a daunting and often unglamorous process. Contrary to any dramatic expectations, the reality usually involves a neutral judge and contentious exchanges with an ex-spouse. The courtroom is not a place for grand revelations or poetic justice. It’s more likely you’ll face a dispassionate judge and confrontational opposition, where the truth can be twisted, and personal attacks may fly.

Understanding this, it’s wise to consider resolving your case outside of court. Mediation emerges as a practical solution, offering a platform for negotiation and compromise. It’s often a required step before trial, and it presents a real opportunity to avoid the drama of court proceedings.

The journey from the start of your case to mediation is critical. In high-conflict situations, especially in co-parenting, finding common ground may seem impossible. Yet, the decisions made during this period can significantly influence the outcome of your case.

In today’s post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, we delve into strategies for effective co-parenting and conflict resolution outside the courtroom. Building on our previous discussion, we provide insights into navigating these challenges, aiming to prevent disputes and foster a more constructive resolution to your family law case.

Be Accountable to Your Co-parent

Whether you were married to your child’s other parent or not, you now have a sizeable amount of history with that person. You should feel some degree of responsibility to be held to your word. Basically, you should do the things that you say that you’re going to do. Just as importantly, you should avoid doing the things that you have said that you will not do. That shows that you take seriously the responsibility you have in raising a child with this person.

Even if you couldn’t care less how your child’s other parent views you, remember that everything you do in this case should be done to benefit the life of your child. Do not put your child in a bad position because you cannot be trusted or because you think it’s unimportant to be held to account for your actions. Taking the easy way out may seem better at the time (especially if doing so could harm your ex-spouse) but remember that in a co-parenting relationship you will often find yourself facing similar circumstances down the road.

Although you cannot control what your child’s other parent will do in response to your actions in the future, you have complete control over how you act at the moment. If you say that you are going to do something- do it. It’s as simple as that. Even if it means going out of your way or doing something that doesn’t seem like much fun if you said something your actions need to back those words up.

Keep a Journal of Interactions With Your Ex-spouse

Want to Resolve Your Texas Family Law Case Outside of Court? Remember These Rules of Engagement

If you are not a big fan of organization you may want to pay particular attention to this section of our blog post. Keeping notes of what you say and what your ex-spouse says in relation to your child is an important trait to pick up. For one, it will help you to remember better what was said so that you do not operate under mistaken assumptions and memories of things that did not occur. We’ve all been there- absolutely sure something happened, but as it turns out nothing close to that having occurred.

Before you consider filing a family lawsuit- whether that is a modification or enforcement lawsuit– I would recommend that you review those notes to determine how your memories line up with the reality of the situation. You may find that your emotions are not justified by past events as they actually occurred. It is a good practice to be able to check yourself by keeping notes of your meetings, interactions, phone calls, etc. Better to know exactly what took place than to run off to an attorney for no good reason.

Mediate, and Meditate Again (If Necessary)

In family law, mediation often becomes the deciding factor, not courtroom drama. Judges typically require mediation before a court appearance. It’s a vital step, especially when you and your ex-spouse face insurmountable issues. Proactively pursuing mediation, even with a pre-existing agreement, is a smart move.

Why Mediate Even with an Agreement?

Let’s say you’ve mutually decided on divorce terms at your kitchen table. While it feels like a solid plan, remember, until it’s legally binding, either party can change their mind. This uncertainty can extend from the agreement stage until the judge signs off, which takes weeks.

Here’s where mediation offers a solution. It not only solidifies your agreement through a Mediated Settlement Agreement (MSA) but also covers all necessary legal aspects. Once signed, the MSA is irrevocable – no second thoughts can overturn it. Additionally, the involvement of attorneys and a mediator ensures a comprehensive settlement, addressing all critical divorce aspects.

What Happens if You Cannot Agree on Compromises After an Order Is Established?

Once all parties and the judge sign off on an order, it becomes permanent. If disagreements arise between you and your ex-spouse in the future, you can refer to the order for guidance on your responsibilities. Having this guidepost is reassuring, but it can be frustrating if your family’s needs evolve beyond the order’s scope.

In the future, you and your ex-spouse have the freedom to resolve issues independently, without filing a lawsuit. Judges typically expect you to collaborate and solve problems without much difficulty. By avoiding legal action, you save money and time, and often, you can create solutions more suitable for your family than any a family court judge might propose.

However, if you encounter a problem that negotiation and compromise can’t resolve, the order becomes the governing document. Think of the order as your fallback option. If you can’t agree, the order dictates the next steps. As long as you both agree to a solution, you can follow it. But, if either of you decides not to honor the compromise, the order’s terms must prevail.

Understanding this is crucial, as you cannot always guarantee an on-the-spot resolution for every issue.

So, what you should take away from this discussion is that your orders had better be workable for your family- both now and in the future.

Questions about visitation problems? Come back to our blog tomorrow to find out more

Want to Resolve Your Texas Family Law Case Outside of Court? Remember These Rules of Engagement

As children age, and as your own circumstances evolve it may become apparent to you and your child’s other parent that your visitation orders need to be re-worked. What can you do in situations like this? If you find yourself in this sort of position, I would recommend that you return to our blog tomorrow. We will spend some time discussing this subject and how you can work around problems like this.

In the meantime, if you have any questions about today’s blog post or anything another subject in family law please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys can schedule you for a free of charge consultation six days a week. These consultations are a great opportunity to ask questions of our experienced attorneys and to receive direct feedback about your particular circumstances.


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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it’s important to speak with one of our Houston, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.

Our divorce lawyers in Houston TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handles Divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.

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At the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, the firm wants to get to know your case before they commit to work with you. They offer all potential clients a no-obligation, free consultation where you can discuss your case under the client-attorney privilege. This means that everything you say will be kept private and the firm will respectfully advise you at no charge. You can learn more about Texas divorce law and get a good idea of how you want to proceed with your case.

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