divorces are exactly similar. In that way, they are like snowflakes. Unpleasant,
frustrating and time consuming snowflakes. Make no mistake, divorces are
difficult for both spouses and if there are children involved the process
becomes even more difficult.
While it is not guaranteed that a
divorce will be a contentious ordeal it is possible. The attorneys with the Law
Office of Bryan Fagan are equipped to handle a divorce case no matter
the facts or circumstances.
The First Mile Stone - Mediation
Often one of the most memorable milestones in a contested
divorce case is
mediation. Mediation is where both parties and their
divorce attorneys visit with an independent attorney (someone who has no relation to either
party) with the intent to negotiate and settle on temporary orders.
Whether or not
mediation is successful depends on the issues that are being discussed as well as
the level of preparation that is undertaken. At the outset of the case,
issues ranging from visitation, possession and access to the kids to who
will be responsible for paying the household bills are fair game for discussion.
An important aspect of mediating a case is for both sides to become comfortable
with taking the middle road rather than being unwilling to accept a result
that is anything less than their ideal result.
The importance of negotiation and approaching a situation from the opposing
party's vantage point is crucial.
Mediation can often result in the parties achieving an outcome that is more agreeable
to both sides than what can be achieved in a courtroom. What's more-
it saves time and money to mediate a case rather than prolong the issues
by going to court.
The Second Mile Stone – Temporary Orders Hearing
Unfortunately, not all meditations are successful and if the parties'
issues cannot be resolved between themselves it can become necessary to
have a judge play tie breaker. A
Temporary Orders hearing is essentially a mini trial where evidence is presented through
testimony and documents.
Time is of the essence in a
temporary orders hearing with both sides typically being limited to less than an hour to
put forth their case. The
divorce attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan would recommend avoiding having to
attend a temporary orders hearing unless the situation absolutely requires it.
For one, a judge is typically not in a position to be able to render a
decision that will be agreeable to both sides. The court will follow the
law in most situations and in so doing the result can be inflexible and
frustrating for the parties involved. Even if a party and their lawyer
believe themselves to have facts that are "good", that doesn't
always amount to a positive outcome from a
temporary orders hearing.
Also, a temporary orders hearing, while relatively short in duration, means
a great deal of preparation time for the
divorce attorney. Preparation time equals money in this instance.
Additionally, a contested divorce means being prepared to interact on a
frequent basis with your attorney. For example, in a
divorce case where the parties own significant property or have financial interests
that are extensive it is likely that discovery will be conducted.
Discovery is a general term given to questions that the opposing party
can ask you as well as documents they can request that you produce. The
purpose is to see what the facts are in the
divorce so as to be able to figure out what a fair breakdown of the community
estate is as well as what sort of liabilities the opponent has.
Attorneys and clients share in the heavy lifting of completing discovery
and clients are often times given "homework" to complete by
a certain date. Parties have thirty days to respond to discovery and get
their answers back to the requesting lawyer.
On top of requests from the opposing party, an attorney will usually have
a plethora of requests of their own client. At the Law Office of Bryan
Fagan we will have our clients fill out some forms that assist our office
with administering your case properly. A document called an Inventory
and Appraisement will consider the financial state of your life in terms
of your assets.
Retirement benefits, bank accounts, investments, homes that you may own
and similar information is sought in order for our office to best advise
clients on how to manage their personal financial lives while the opposing
party is doing all it can to capture and retain whatever interest it is able to.
Another document that simplifies much of the same information contained
in the Inventory and Appraisement is a Financial Information Sheet. This
document is a two page basic statement of your financial life- a snapshot,
if you will. Basically it seeks the money going into your home and the
money going out. Your total income (wages, salaries, retirement, disability
benefits, etc.) and bills (mortgage, groceries, student loans) can show
a Court what your month to month financial health is.
How then can a client manage their expectations and ensure that a
contested divorce, especially one involving children, is not a huge financial and emotional
drain? I would start by advising folks to take a look at their case in
bits and pieces rather than trying to win the case in one day.
A metaphor I heard years ago that I always like to tell clients is that
if you want to eat a Buick crush it up into a itty-bitty pieces and sprinkle
it on your cereal each morning. After an extended period of time, you'll
have eaten that Buick without too much effort.
The point is-
divorce lawyers are paid to advise clients on how to approach their cases in an intelligent
manner that will best insure that their children are taken care of and
their personal financial situations are maintained as well as possible.
While a contested
divorce is far from easy, communicating with clients and being up front with costs
and money are relatively easy ways for an attorney to build a rapport
with their clients. Trust and communication are the two hallmarks of the
relationships the attorneys of the Law Office of Bryan Fagan have with
our clients. Please contact our office today to learn more about how we
can assist you in a
contested divorce scenario.
If you want to know more about what you can do,
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“16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce”
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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
Spring, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
divorce lawyers in Spring 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 Spring, Texas, Cypress, Klein,
The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including
Fort Bend County and