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Alternative methods to resolving child custody disputes

The issues that divorcing couples in San Antonio may face during their court proceedings may depend largely on where they are in their lives when they separate. A study shared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that of the study group members who married between the ages of 15 and 46, 42 percent of their marriages ended up failing before reaching the latter age. Those who divorce in their middle age years may likely be forced to deal with child custody issues. In such cases, if the parents involved are unable to create an agreed parenting plan, the Texas Family Code has outlined alternative methods through which such issues may be resolved.

If both sides agree, then court may choose to refer a child custody dispute to arbitration. The court will then generally accept the arbiter’s ruling. Yet if one of the parents chooses to challenge that ruling, the court will conduct a hearing to allow him or her to present his or her case. If after such a hearing, the court is persuaded to believe that the arbiter’s ruling is not in the best interests of the children involved, it may choose to reject it.

Another alternative method is to refer a case to mediation. The court may make this decision on its own, or at the request of the parents. In order for a mediated child custody agreement to be binding, it must:

  •          Be signed by each of the parents
  •          Be signed by any attorneys who were witnesses to the agreement.
  •          Not be subject to revocation

Again, the court may choose to ignore a mediated agreement if it believes it not to be in the children’s best interests, or if any parties to the agreement were subjected to family violence that may have influenced their decisions. 

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