What do I need to do to before I begin divorcing my spouse? How do I protect:
- My children?
- My privacy?
- My assets?
What first steps should I take in my Texas divorce?
In the early stages of your divorce, your mind may be full of concerns for:
- Your children
- Your life
- Your finances
- What happens next or
- What happens after your divorce.
We understand you are not alone.
We know that the divorce process can be overwhelming it is not user-friendly. We want to help you regain control of your life and begin your divorce with the information you need to make decisions with confidence
Take time to Think before you Act
You may have the impulse to get things moving by going to court as soon as you can and filing for divorce. That will get the divorce process going, won’t it?
Yes, filing for divorce does start the process. However, the actions you take in the early stages of divorce can significantly impact the outcome of your divorce, including the decisions about when to file.
We get it. You never planned for the day you were going to be facing a divorce.
Now that the day you never planned for has come, it is important that you think carefully and deliberately about:
- What is important to you regarding your divorce
- Who you need to help you achieve that important outcome
The following steps will help you achieve a better outcome in your divorce:
Begin Divorce: Your Goals for Your Future
Before you file for divorce, you need to think about what you want your life to look like after you are divorced.
It is important to think about this as early on as you can, ideally before you begin any divorce proceedings. You should be realistic, but do identify what is truly important for you.
For example, if you have children, what sort of relationship and parenting time would you like to have? There are many different child conservatorship (custody) options in Texas, so consider what would work in your life.
Your divorce lawyer will be able to go through the different available options available to you and help you craft a customized custody plan.
What about property and debts? Many people in divorce are convinced that they want to keep the family home. However, it may be that keeping the family home is a bad idea for you for financial or other personal reasons.
Alternatively, you may be able to use this to help improve your negotiating position. You should consider all your financial assets when planning a proposed property division:
- Second homes or vacation homes
- Wine collections
- Comic book collections
- Gun collections
- Stock portfolios
- Any other important asset
Be completely honest with your lawyer about your assets and your desires versus your needs.
The two of you will be working together during your divorce so it’s important to be open from the beginning to develop a strategic plan that can lead to an advantageous settlement.
Texas spousal support is handled on a case by case basis. There is not an automatic rule that entitles a spouse to support.
Judges are given guidelines that allow them to consider awarding support in certain situations. Some questions that you may want to think about may include:
- How much spousal support would be appropriate in your situation?
- What are your financial commitments?
Texas law on alimony has changed significantly in recent years and are often confusing.
You should seek advice on spousal support based on your circumstances so that you can start planning for your future.
You should discuss all of these items, and more, during your initial consultation with a divorce attorney.
Taking these initial steps will allow you to file strategically for divorce when the time is right for you. The next step is to choose your divorce attorney.
Choose the Right Divorce Attorney
Hiring the right divorce lawyer is an important first step in planning your divorce. You should be able to:
- Depend upon your lawyer
- Know your lawyer will answer your questions
- Count on your lawyer to act promptly to protect your interests
You want a lawyer who is smart and strategic. You want a lawyer who is good at negotiating but is not afraid of taking the fight to the courtroom should it be necessary.
Some things for you to consider when choosing your lawyer as you begin divorce include:
- A law firm dedicated to divorce & family law
- Avoid the “Shark” attorney
Find a Law Firm Dedicated to Divorce & Family Law
Hiring the right family law attorney is similar to seeking out the right medical professional to treat a health condition.
Just like you wouldn’t want a doctor who normally treats feet to handle your brain surgery, you do not want a lawyer who doesn’t normally handle divorces to handle your divorce.
A law firm dedicated to family law will understand your divorce or family case and have the experience and knowledge you need for negotiations or court proceedings.
Avoid the Overly Combative Lawyer
A highly aggressive lawyer may make you feel like you are winning, but do not mistake an overly argumentative lawyer with strength.
There is a time to fight and a time to negotiate. A lawyer who thinks taking your case to the courtroom is your first, and the only option may very well increase your divorce costs and the problems between you and your spouse.
The courtroom may be the right option for your case, but generally, that is when someone has taken a completely unreasonable position that can only be resolved by a judge.
The lawyer you choose needs to understand not only how to fight in court but also how to negotiate and when to choose between these legal tools.
Get this FREE download about what you need to know before filing for divorce.
Schedule an Initial Consultation
You are welcome to schedule a consultation with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. At the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, we offer a FREE initial consultation six day a week.
Tell us about your situation; ask all of your burning questions. We are here to help, and we want to know:
- What are your goals?
- How can we best achieve them?
- When is the most strategic time to file in your situation?
- Your lawyer will then work with you to create a strategy for your divorce.
Are you in Texas? Our offices are located in North Houston, and we service Harris County and surrounding counties in Texas
Ready to get answers to your burning questions? Schedule your free consultation: (281) 810-9760 or contact us online.
Start to Gather Documents
You do not need these documents for your initial consultation. However, you will want to start gathering together all of the information you are going to need for your divorce or family law matter.
This will include Financial Information such as:
- Legal agreements
- Insurance information
For post-judgment matters, a good starting point would be to compile your last order such as a Texas divorce decree.
Where alimony and child support are concerned, collect:
- Recent paystubs
- Tax returns, and
- Other financial records
To help get you started, download and print out our multi-purpose, Financial Information Checklist, to help you keep track of:
- Financial records
- And more.
If you want to know more about what you can do, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: “16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce”
If you want to know more about how to prepare, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: “13 Dirty Tricks to Watch Out For in Your Texas Divorce, and How to Counter Them" Today!”
Click HERE to download your free Financial Checklist!
Other Articles you may be interested in:
- 12 Texas Custody & Conservatorship Battle Tips
- 8 Tips for Reducing the Cost of a Divorce in Texas
- 6 Tips for Getting a Free Divorce Consultation
- 6 Tips - On How to prepare for a Texas Divorce
- 3 Tips on Things You Shouldn't Do in a Texas Divorce
- 15 Quick Tips Regarding Filing for Divorce in Texas
- Roadmap of Basic Divorce Procedure in Texas
- Child Custody Basics in Texas
- 6 Mistakes that can Destroy Your Texas Divorce Case
- 10 Quick Tips About Parental Visitation
- Does it Matter who Files First in a Texas Divorce?
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, Houston, 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.