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Divorce mediation, while a highly under-utilized, often boring, and emotionally draining tool, can provide tremendous assistance in a Dallas divorce, and often eliminates the need for extensive court proceedings. Because of this, our divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Clark always recommend divorce mediation to our clients, especially if they are looking to save time and money in the process. If you and your spouse are interested in divorce mediation, contact the Dallas divorce attorneys at our family law firm to learn more about what the process entails and how our legal representatives are here to help you.

What is Divorce Mediation?

Divorce mediation is the process of sitting down with a neutral third party and negotiating a divorce settlement that is in the best interests of you, your former spouse, and most importantly, your children. The neutral third party is there to help you work through and resolve your issues so that you can dissolve your marriage in as amicable and cost-effective way as possible. Typically, a divorce mediator will assist you in resolving issues such as:

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It happens all the time: The divorce court hands down a final judgment and one or both parties are unhappy with the outcome. If you are dissatisfied with the final judgment in your divorce case, whether it is because you wanted sole custody instead of shared parenting or because you wanted your former spouse to be responsible for all of the marriage's debt instead of part of it, you have the option to appeal the family court's decision. At the Clark Law Group, our Dallas divorce modification attorney specializes in post divorce modifications and can help you appeal the court's initial judgment.

How Does an Appeal Work?

In family law, an appeal works in much the same way that an appeal would work in any other area of law - by appealing to a higher court to review the lower court's decision. However, just as with criminal or civil cases, in order to appeal a decision, you must have reasonable grounds for doing so. For instance, you cannot appeal the court's decision for shared custody if the only grounds for appeal that you can bring are, 'I do not like my former spouse and so do not want him or her apart of my child's life.' Without reasonable grounds for appeal, the higher courts may dismiss your case in the best case scenario; in the worst case scenario, they will reopen your case and grant more custody to your former spouse on the grounds that you are trying to interfere with the parent-child relationship.

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Posted on in Divorce

Entering into a prenuptial agreement is almost as big of a decision as opting to spend the rest of your life with another individual. Because of this, our Dallas divorce attorneys ask clients to give the same kind of care and consideration to what they include in their prenup as they would to their decision to get married. Furthermore, we ask clients to consider whether or not a prenuptial agreement is really right for them.

While we are huge advocates of prenuptial agreements, we understand that they are not for everyone. Our Dallas divorce attorney can help you decide if a prenuptial agreement would be beneficial to your upcoming union, and if so, help you prepare a contract that would benefit both you and your future spouse.

Pros of a Texas Premarital Contract

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Marriage and divorce change everything, including your tax situation. Whether you recently got married and changed your name or you recently went through a divorce and took back your maiden name, you should make sure that the name on your tax return matches the name registered with the Social Security Administration. If you fail to match your name with both the IRS and SSA, it may cause problems with the processing of your tax return. In some instances, it may delay your refund, which could be substantially larger depending on your new relationship and filing status.

To make things easier on you, our Dallas, Texas family law attorney has included four tips from the IRS for recently married or divorced taxpayers who have undergone a name change:

  • If you took your spouse's last name and do not notify the SSA, you may run into trouble filing your tax return, whether you file jointly or as a single individual. Additionally, even if you hyphenate your name (meaning, you took your spouse's but also kept your own), the IRS still will not be able to create a match. To make sure that your name matches that with your Social Security Number, notify the SSA of your name change.
  • The same goes if you were recently divorced and took back your maiden name: You must notify the necessary administrations to ensure your tax return matches up with your SSN.
  • It is easy to inform the SSA of a name change. Simply fill out and file a Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card, at your local SSA office. You will need to provide a recently issued document as proof of your legal name change. Visit the SSA's website, or call 800-772-1213, to inform them of your name change. You Social Security Number will remain the same; the name on the card will just be different.
  • If your spouse has children from a previous marriage and you adopt them, make sure that they have their Social Security Numbers on hand. If you are going to be helping support them, or if you will be claiming head of household, you can claim them as dependents on your tax return. If the children do not have SSNs, you can apply for an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number - or ATIN - which is a temporary number used in place of an SSN on a tax return.

Consult a Dallas, TX Family Law Attorney

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