How does Divorce Mediation Work?

There was a time not that long ago when the parties to a divorce were all but inevitably destined to spend a significant amount of money on lawyers if they wanted a reasonable outcome to their marital dissolution. Now, however, an experienced Dallas divorce attorney can offer an alternative that for many has the potential for an acceptable resolution for both parties at a fraction of the cost.

Mediation Overview

Unlike the judge in a court case or the arbitrator conducting an arbitration, a mediator does not make a ruling in the matter at hand. It is more appropriate to consider the mediator as a facilitator. They will lead the discussion, point out any subjects that should be addressed and provide a framework whereby the respective parties can have their say, express their concerns and ultimately work towards an agreement.

Divorce Mediation

Mediation has gained an increasing popularity as an effective settlement tool in Texas Family Courts. Although mandated in some counties, the court on its own motion can order a couple to seek mediation as an initial step in their divorce. The very same issues the court will ultimately rule on in a divorce are addressed in mediation – property settlement, child custody and support, and spousal support where appropriate. For a list of court approved mediators in Dallas County, click here.

The Value of Mediation

Other than the very real expectation that on average a mediated divorce is far less costly than a litigated divorce, other benefits include:

A high success rate, especially if the two parties are open to discussion and realize that compromise is not optional.
Greater satisfaction with the result as compared to a court settlement, perhaps due to their input and involvement in the process.
Confidential as opposed to a courtroom proceeding, which is public.
Often establishes the lines of communication between the divorcing spouses, which can be an asset in providing long term satisfaction and cooperation.

The Role of an Attorney in Divorce Mediation

Many times an attorney can act as a mediator. Obviously not providing advocacy to either party, an attorney trained as a mediator can offer insight into the legal issues as well as provide perspective in what is likely to happen if the case ends up before a judge. Often, despite opting for mediation, the parties elect to have their attorneys present at the mediation to offer advice and counsel along the way. At the very least, it is wise to have your attorney review any agreement made in mediation before it is finalized.

Contact an Dallas Divorce Attorney for Legal Advice

Divorce involves important rights and responsibilities. Make sure you are protected as you move forward to the next chapter of your life. Contact Robert Thornton at Thornton Law, PLLC to answer your questions. You can start by scheduling a initial consultation.

For more information on our Dallas Divorce Mediation Attorney please visit our site.

What Are Temporary Orders In Divorce?

A divorce action in Dallas, Texas starts with the filing of a petition. Often there are issues that need to be resolved pending a final hearing or order. These matters can either be handled by mutual agreement between the parties or by a hearing in front of a judge. In either event, the resolution involves the entry of a temporary order. If you are considering filing for divorce in Dallas, the Thornton Law Firm is available to handle your legal needs. They can file the petition, enter temporary orders, and proceed to the final order.

One example of a temporary order is possession of a marital home. If neither party is willing to move out of the home, then a temporary order needs to be entered. It would be very difficult for both parties to continue to reside in the same home pending a final hearing. Often this matter is resolved by a mutual agreement that most likely involves the parties agreeing on other issues. The party who agrees to move out normally receives some benefit in return.

Another type of temporary order in divorce is a temporary restraining order, known as a TRO. It is usually entered right away and is done so without a hearing. It is valid for 14 days during which time a hearing is scheduled. The purpose of the TRO is to keep everything in place until a hearing takes place. It is normally filed when one party is afraid the other party is going to take some action which will be detrimental. An example would be withdrawing all the money from a savings account or selling an asset and keeping the money. A TRO stops a party from taking those actions. The Thornton Law Firm can file a TRO if it is appropriate. They know when a judge will enter a TRO and when it is better dealt with as a normal temporary order.

There are many types of temporary orders. Some involve support while the action is pending. Others might deal with child custody. A temporary order can cover any matter that needs to be resolved on a temporary basis pending the entry of a final order. Many temporary orders are entered by consent of both parties. Robert Thornton knows the law and the court. He knows what is likely to happen at a hearing. He can give advice as to when it is beneficial to enter a temporary order by consent, and when it is time to have a hearing.

Anyone in Dallas Texas who needs advice about divorce and temporary orders, or is ready to start a legal action, needs to contact Robert Thornton at the Thornton Law Firm. He will answer your questions and prepare the necessary documents to begin the process if you decide that is the way to proceed. He will protect your rights. Do not hesitate to call and schedule a consultation.

For more information on our Dallas Divorce Attorney please visit our site.

Can I request a modification in the amount I pay for Child Support?

Many people in Addison ask the question, can I request a modification in the amount that I pay for child support? The answer is yes, but there are some parameters that your request must fall into to have a chance at being approved by the judicial system. A new court order will need to be obtained so it is important to follow the due process of law to have a favorable outcome.

The Guidelines to Become Eligible for a Modification of Child Support Payments in Texas

In Dallas, Texas, an individual must show just cause as to why they need a modification.

Some of these reasons include the following:

The noncustodial parent’s financial circumstances have changed. This would have likely resulted in a job loss or a reduction in the parent’s income;
More than three years have passed since the court order was issued and the support amount awarded would have differed by at least twenty percent or more if calculated by today’s guidelines;
The noncustodial parent’s salary has increased;
The noncustodial parent is now legally and financially responsible for additional children in their household;
The minor child/children’s health insurance coverage has been changed;
The minor child/children’s living arrangements have been adjusted.

Preparing for the Modification Process

You will need to produce information about your personal income and health insurance coverage costs for the minor children to show your justification for the modification. The court wants to ensure that the children involved benefit from the incomes of both parents.

Income information that can be submitted for review include the following:

Copies of paystubs
Tax forms such as W2 and 1099
An offer letter from a prospective employer that lists earnings and has a valid signature for verification.

It is important to know that you should not stop paying your child support payments because you can wind up behind bars for being in contempt of a court order. It can take several weeks for your paperwork to be reviewed. The court typically either conducts a review or holds a hearing. It can be helpful to speak to the other parent involved to try and come up with an amicable agreement regarding support. This can expedite the modification process.

How a Family Lawyer Can Help You with Getting a Child Support Modification

Robert Thornton can be a great advocate for your child support case. Many parents feel overwhelmed by the legal work involved in a child support review. It is better to leave this responsibility to the legal experts so that everything is done correctly and timely.

Robert will sit down with you and get all of the facts straight so that a determination can be made if there is enough cause to pursue a review. A legal consultation is not a commitment and can be in your best interests. It is important to have someone fighting on your side. Consider calling Thornton Law today so that you can get the best legal help available.

For more information on our Dallas Child Support Attorney please visit our site.

What Are The Most Common Family Law Cases?

What are the Most Common Family Law Cases?

Family law is a complex area of the legal system. Generally, it involves a wide variety of issues experienced in a family. Many of these cases are handled in a family court and deal with highly emotional issues. The court’s role is to be fair and make decisions in these matters that can benefit the family unit as a whole. It’s important to know what types of cases are most common in family law.

If you reside in the state of Texas and are dealing with any of these types of cases, you need an experienced family law attorney. Bob Thornton can help you settle your family matters.


Divorce is one of the most common types of cases in family law. They are extremely emotional and often involve other issues in addition to simply ending a marriage. When a couple has decided that their relationship is no longer worth salvaging, they may consider getting a divorce. A family law attorney who specializes in divorce can help with all matters, including alimony, child custody, distribution of marital property and more. In many cases, mediation can help the process not only go faster but smoother, without disputes. This is an attractive option for many couples because it can occur without necessarily having both parties physically present. It is also easier on any children a former couple may have had during the course of their relationship.

Child Custody

Family law also handles child custody cases between parents who have split up, whether they were once married or never married. These are often the most difficult cases emotionally because the law has to do what is in the best interests of the children. Parents may have a hard time coming up with arrangements on custody, visitation and child support. An experienced attorney can prove to be invaluable in such a situation as the court decides the orders on these matters.


Adopting a child is a wonderful and exciting venture for both parents and the child. However, it’s also a complex situation that requires the help of an attorney. In some cases, such as with single people and same-sex couples, it can be difficult or even impossible to adopt based on the laws in the state, which makes it absolutely essential to hire an attorney for assistance and legal guidance.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence cases are also handled in family court, which means anyone who is a victim needs to obtain an order of protection. An order of protection orders that the abusive individual, usually the victim’s spouse or romantic partner, not have any contact with them and to stay away from their home and workplace. In most cases, this is a temporary order that the court issues to a victim, but it’s possible to get a new order of protection, if necessary. A family law attorney can help in this type of case.

Family law cases are both complex and emotional. If you are in the state of Texas, get in touch with Robert Thornton at Thornton Law PLLC at your earliest convenience to discuss your case. He has many years of experience getting his clients an outcome in their favor, and is ready to do the same for you.

For more information on our Dallas Family Lawyer please visit our site.