Divorce in Texas for Men: Mistakes to Avoid

Men and women are different from one another. Perhaps no truer statement has ever been uttered or written in the history of humanity. If you are going through a divorce you too would probably agree with this assertion. Divorce in Texas for men certainly has its challenges.

In a recent blog post written by the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, I wrote about how a father can prepare to win primary conservatorship (custody) of his child. At the top of the list was being a good dad (go figure), but there were other tips that we could provide fathers who are entering into a family law case in Texas.

Although the law has largely erased any biases towards mothers, courts still often assume a preference for awarding primary custody and property assets to the wife rather than the husband.

Even if you don’t have children involved with your divorce you may be concerned with how a court views you as compared to your wife. Is her being a woman and you being a man an actual disadvantage?

I would argue that it is not but men do seem to harm themselves with certain behaviors more consistently than do women regarding divorces. What sorts of mistakes are we talking about? Read on to find out more.

Taking advice from the wrong people.

Listening to friends and family causes men to feel more pessimistic about their chances in a courtroom than they ought to. It is normal to look to friends and family for advice when you are facing a divorce.

When you first find out that your wife is divorcing you there are few people that you can probably turn to in order to talk through the issues that you are facing. I would never tell a client to not speak to their family about their case if that makes them feel better and if doing so will not harm their case.

However, the helpful ear and consolation from a friend or family member can be hurtful to your psyche if you allow negative opinions about the legal system, Texas divorce attorneys or your rights as a father if you allow them to be.

This is especially true if your friend or family member has no experience in the legal field and specifically in family law. These folks have supported you for years and will continue to do so after your divorce finalizes.

Of course, you are going to seek out their opinion and counsel. However, it is best to verify that their advice is accurate by speaking with an attorney who is actually knowledgeable about the law in Texas. A support system is great. A qualified and effective attorney is great. If you find a way to combine both you increase the chances that the resolution to your divorce will be great as well.

Not filing an answer within the required time period

Some men refuse initially to participate in the divorce and simply place the Petition for Divorce from their wife on the side to deal with later. Other men don’t see the point in responding, don’t prioritize the case correctly and forget to respond altogether. Others simply don’t know where to start and do nothing as a result.

If you fail to file an answer to your wife’s Original Petition for Divorce, you risk a default judgment against you. In Texas, a person must file an answer by the first Monday after twenty days from the day they receive the divorce papers.

If you fail to meet this deadline your wife and her divorce attorney can draft up their own orders and then go to court a few weeks afterwards without you being present.

If you received proper service, and there’s a record of service on file with the paperwork filed for at least ten days, your wife likely will obtain a signed divorce decree. Without your participation, the court won’t hear your voice, and you won’t be able to argue for or against anything in her version of the decree.

Inaction is not the way to go when it comes to a divorce. Rest assured that your wife is hoping that you don’t respond so she can have her way with the case and get what she wants out of it.

Don’t let her have that satisfaction: go ahead and file an answer as soon as you’re able to. This protects your rights to participate in the legal proceeding and gives you some immediate peace of mind about the divorce process.

Agreeing to items in a divorce negotiation “just to end the divorce”

For some reason, at least in my experience, men bend more in negotiations than do women. I don’t know why this is. It may not be true- after all, I’m just writing about my personal experiences as a southeast Texas family law attorney.

But when men are faced with making offers or counter offers during the negotiation stage of a divorce they will more often than women give in to an unreasonable request by the wife just to end the case and move on with their lives.

While in some ways I can understand this (I am a man, in the interest of full disclosure) but in the long run this is not advisable. Despite rumors from other people who aren’t divorce lawyers, divorces typically do not last a year.

Most divorces resolve themselves within nine months and many finish much sooner. If there is something that you cannot bend on, something that in your mind is so important that you can’t step back from your position then doing so just to finish your divorce is a bad move.

At the very least you can take that issue to a judge and if your spouse gets her way, that’s fine. It’s more likely that the judge would issue a decision that is much more down the middle and suited to please both parties at least to some extent.

Facing a divorce? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC

Whether you are a man or woman, the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC is here to assist you with your legal matter. We represent clients from all backgrounds in counties across southeast Texas and would be eager to do the same for you. Contact us today for a free of charge consultation.


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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Kingwood Divorce Lawyer

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it’s important to speak with ar Kingwood, TX Divorce Lawyer right away to protect your rights.

A divorce lawyer in Kingwood TX is skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handles Divorce cases in Spring, Texas, Cypress, Spring, 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.

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