The advice that I give to potential clients of the Law Office of Bryan Fagan that I consider to be the most important has to do with the emotional aspects of a family law case. Many people have been to court before in a car accident case or because a contractor you hired took some of your money and ran off to Florida. Whether it’s an insurance company or a shady business-person who’s on the other side of the table from you at the end of the day it is money that you are most concerned with. Family law cases are different animals altogether.
Why are family law cases different from other kinds of legal cases?
Family law cases (obviously) involve families. The good things, the bad things, and everything in between will come out in your divorce or child custody case. How you deal with the stress of having your and your children’s lives thrown into a tizzy will determine the quality of your post-lawsuit life. It is not uncommon to receive reports from your kids that their other parent and his or her family are talking about you negatively to the children. Hearing this can drive you bananas with frustration. It is wise to keep your emotions in check as you begin to hire an attorney and map out your goals for the case.
This is exactly why family law cases are so different than any other legal case. In no other setting are your reputation, your finances, your children and your relationship with your children all wrapped up into one big proceeding. This tends to bring out the worst in us as human beings from the standpoint that you are so emotionally invested in the case that things that you normally would never say or do tend to happen in a family law case. If you are normally a level headed, rational decision maker be prepared to be tested throughout your family law case. There is so much riding on the case that sometimes clients can lose control and act in ways that is not advisable.
Spouse vs. Spouse leads to undesirable results
The best situation for any family law case is for the two parties to come together and work towards an agreement without involving the court or delaying the finalization of the case. This is not always possible but it can always be attempted. Many people who come into our office for a free consultation arrive with the thought that their spouse or ex-spouse is so difficult to deal with that a settlement would be impossible. I am here to tell you that most cases do, however, settle out of court. It’s often that the parties to a family law case never even see the inside of a courtroom.
All it takes, though, is one party to upset this sort of case-trajectory to end up in a multiple month-long back and forth that ends with nobody getting what they want and the lawyers having to bill more for representation fees that should have been needed if the parties had worked together at the beginning of a case.
Being able to focus on your own case and not on the person you are divorcing or having a child custody dispute with can go a long ways towards keeping case costs low and spirits high. The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan would like to discuss some advice we have to share in the area of managing emotions and not letting the actions of others affect your views and goals towards your family law case.
Set your moral compass early in your family law case
By this I mean: whatever your upbringing, whatever your political beliefs, I can say pretty safely that just about every person reading this blog post has the same ideas about what is right and what is wrong. We generally know how to treat others and how to not treat others. We especially know what can and will cause a great deal of anger in a spouse or ex spouse. Pressing the other party’s buttons is a frequently engaged in activity for parties to a family law case.
At the beginning of your family law case take some time to not only evaluate your goals for the end of a case but also for how you conduct yourself during the case. How do you want to be treated by the opposing party? How do you want to treat the opposing party? How do you want your children to view you after the case is over and how do you want them to view you in a decade? You have the power to decide this for yourself. It may be the only item in your whole case that you alone can decide without the help or permission of another person. If you can control your emotions you can control yourself. A case is a lot more manageable when you can do this.
Do your best to understand the case from the opposing party’s perspective
Clearly outline your goals and communicate those goals to your attorney at the beginning of the case. That way your attorney can advise you as to what can be achieved but will need to be worked on and how to best get there. What is important for keeping your sanity during a family law case is to attempt to see the case from the other party’s perspective.
This is the same advice your parents gave you growing up: walk a mile in their shoes, etc. It sounds simple and it is- frustratingly so. You want what you want and come hell or high water you are going to get it. Not so fast. Did the other side say something in court or make an unreasonable request? At first blush it is easy to take a comment and read too much into it and see it as something that is supposed to antagonize you and nothing more. The quick and easy response is to do something similar right back. This may be satisfying at first but it is rarely smart and rarely warranted.
Do your best to think through the case and see if from all perspectives. Sometimes there are cases where one side or the other really is operating in a way that is designed to anger their opponent. Your case will probably not be one of those cases. Your opponent is out to better themselve- not to destroy you and the things you hold most dear.
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan: Counselors and attorneys at Law
If you are interested in learning more about the Law Office of Bryan Fagan and the services we offer to families across southeast Texas please do not hesitate to contact us today. A consultation with our office is free of charge and are available six days a week. A family law case is not like any other legal proceeding you’ve ever been involved with and having a representative on your side who is experienced and understanding of the issues is critical.
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Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with one of our Houston, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our divorce lawyers in Houston TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles Divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.