If you found this page, then you are probably going through a very difficult time and contemplating divorce from your spouse. This article is designed to provide some basic information that you should consider when making the most difficult decision of your life.
Be Sure Before You File For Divorce
Divorce is a big decision. When you decide to file for divorce, you are leaving someone behind who has a been a big part of your life emotionally, physically, and financially. You are changing your children’s lives forever. It is impossible to underestimate that impact.
So make sure you are ready to proceed with a divorce before you file. You cannot unring that bell.
Have you tried counseling? Have you spoken with your pastor? Are you sure there are no more chances?
Be Involved In Your Divorce
Don’t wait for your attorney to call and ask you for information or update you on the case – be involved. Make sure you get organized for your divorce. Make sure you prepare yourself for your divorce.
Get educated. Make sure your attorney educates you on all of the issues affecting your divorce case.
Understand that you will know the facts of your case better than your attorney ever will. Be proactive in sharing and gathering information for your attorney.
Be honest with your attorney so that he or she can give you good advice.
Organize documents and information before bringing them to your attorney to save time and fees.
Divorce Is A Business Transaction
Leave your emotions out of your decision making. I know that is hard. You are going to have bad days and that is completely understandable. Just avoid major decisions on those days.
Resist the urge to get even for every wrong your spouse committed during your marriage.
Resist the urge to punish your spouse.
Resist the urge to use your children as leverage.
Resist the urge to nickel and dime your spouse over every little piece of property.
You will get the best results in your divorce if you recognize that this is a business transaction between two people – and neither one of you will walk away with everything you want.
Hire good advisers – a CPA, financial adviser, and attorney. Let them give you advice apart from your emotions then listen to them.
The More You and Your Spouse Cooperate – The Less Expensive Your Divorce Will Be
I know its hard to work with someone that has wronged you to the point that you decided to file for divorce. Or perhaps you feel betrayed because your spouse filed for divorce and find it hard to trust anything they say anymore.
But the more you and your spouse can cooperate during your divorce (and after) the less expensive the divorce process will be.
If you and your spouse cannot cooperate, then you will pay your attorney to go to court for a temporary orders hearing.
If you and your spouse still have trouble cooperating, then you will pay your attorney to go back to court to enforce or modify those orders.
And you will end up paying your attorney to litigate all of those issues again at a final hearing.
If you can find a way to cooperate with your spouse, then do it.
Especially parents – remember, you and your spouse will still be involved in parenting your children even after your divorce is complete.
Set Reasonable Expectations
Your attorney should educate you on what a reasonable range of outcomes is for every issue in your divorce case. Listen to him or her.
Do not hold out for a result that is your best possible day in court. That is not reasonable.
Do not agree to a result that is your worst possible day in court. That is not reasonable either.
Find something in between. Something that you can live with.
But do not be a pushover just to avoid the costs of your attorney.
Understand that even though attorney fees might seem expensive in the short term, agreeing to a bad result in your case to avoid those fees now will cost you much more in the long run.
4 General Issues In Divorce
In Texas, there are 4 general issues that may arise in divorce. Not all of them will apply to every case. Obviously, the fewer issues that you need to address in your case makes for a simpler and less expensive divorce.
Property division is the first issue that arises in every divorce case because Texas is a community property state.
Child custody, which includes issues of decision-making for the children as well as possession and access to the children, arises is any case involving children.
Child support is the third issue and it too arises in any divorce involving children.
The last issue is spousal maintenance. This is uncommon but possible in some Texas divorces with a lengthy marriage or where a spouse or child suffers from some disability.