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Litigation can be time-consuming and expensive. And when it comes to divorce, those are two things you probably want to avoid. So how can divorcing couples avoid the lengthy court calendar and extensive filing fees?

One option is divorce mediation, where both parties sit down with an independent mediator in a less formal setting, as opposed to appearing before a judge in a courtroom. But even if you determine that mediation is right for you (and your spouse agrees), how do you figure out which mediator is right for your divorce? Here are a few tips:

Many parents think that child support ends when a child turns 18 or graduates high school. And most of those parents would be right. But a few of them may be shocked to learn that they are also on the hook for post-secondary child support, also known as "college tuition."

Certain states allow courts to award post-secondary or post-minority support beyond the age of majority (18 in most states). So how are these awards determined?

Should I Hire a Forensic Accountant for My Divorce?

If you're involved in high asset divorce, you may have a hard time understanding exactly what's at stake, financially speaking. That's why you may need to hire someone qualified in this exact area. Even if you already have an experienced divorce attorney, you may consider hiring a forensic accountant to make sure your assets are accounted for and protected.

Forensic accountants who are experienced in divorce proceedings are typically hired either directly by a party to the divorce, or by an attorney representing one spouse. An accountant provides a financial analysis to assist with the divorce process, particularly in marriages where one or both spouses hold significant assets. They are typically a Certified Public Accountant, with specialized skill sets unique to the profession, including conducting investigations that extend beyond the typical alimony and child support calculations that are conducted by a divorce attorney.

It's been over two years since the Supreme Court recognized the right of same-sex couples to marry, yet some state officials have been dragging their feet recognizing the inherent rights that follow the right to marry. Former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore famously ordered state probate judges to cease issuing marriage certificates for same-sex couples. (Moore was suspended from the court and ultimately resigned.) Other states were slow to recognize child custody and visitation rights of same-sex parents.

In Arkansas, birth certificates have become an issue for children of same-sex couples. Here's a look at what this issue is all about.

A spouse's emotional abuse can be psychologically and physically damaging, and may be the reason you're seeking a divorce. But will a judge look less favorably on your abuser if your divorce goes to court?

Perhaps not when deciding how to split the marital assets. Thanks to the concept of "no-fault" divorce, now available in all 50 states, that allows either spouse to pursue a divorce for any reason, it doesn't much matter who's at fault in the split.

But some states still allow you to file a "fault" divorce, in which emotional abuse may play a role. And evidence of emotional abuse can have an effect on child custody decisions. Here's how emotional abuse can factor into your divorce case:

The holidays are generally a time when families come together. But for separated or divorced parents, the holidays can make it feel like everything is falling apart. Child custody issues can arise at any time, but with travel and other family members involved, the holidays can make those issues even more difficult to deal with.

So here are five legal tips for dealing with child custody issues during the holidays, from our archives:

We often look to our parents as our models for child rearing. When we have children of our own, we look back on our own upbringing and often think, "Well I turned out alright -- my parents did a good job." So we take parenting advice from our parents.

The only problem with that is that times change, as do laws. Back in the day, parents often used a little whiskey or rum to quiet their crying babies, car seats for children were optional, and even doctors didn't seem to mind if pregnant women smoked. Most of that wouldn't fly these days, but some other advice we got from our parents might be downright illegal now. Here's a look:

Child custody disputes can be some of the most hard-fought legal battles in the courts. And in the fog of war, a lot of misconceptions can spread. To be fair, the one constant throughout all child custody determinations is that courts or arbitrators will make their decisions based on the child's best interests. After that, custody will depend on a variety of factors, each of which may be unique to your case.

Even with all the misinformation out there, some child custody myths are more common than others, so here's an effort to clear those up:

Given the glut of lawyer jokes out there, and the common impression of lawyers (even the pejoratives attorneys seem to happily embrace), the thought of lawyers requiring niceties or, no kidding, a whole day dedicated to being nice to them, seems laughable. Lawyers want our money, not our compliments, right?

But behind that professional veneer, lawyers are people, too, and like the rest of us they have relationships they enjoy and those they don't. So can that enjoyment affect the quality of their work? The Huffington Post thinks so, positing that the relationship you have with your lawyer can affect your divorce case, which might be a really good reason to be nice to your divorce lawyer.

Call it a popular tax break you didn't know you might lose, or a divorce penalty, but the new tax bill could include some bad news for those paying alimony. The GOP plan released last week contains a slew of changes to the tax code, many that might not make the headlines, but that still make a big difference to a lot of people's finances.

One of those proposed changes would be removing spousal support or alimony as a deductible expense. What does that mean for divorced couples? Here's a look.