What do I need to do 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. I don't remember you planning for the day you would be facing a divorce.
Now that the day you never planned for has come, you must think carefully and deliberately about:
- What is important to you regarding your divorce
- Who you need to help you achieve that critical 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 divorce.
It is essential to think about this as early as possible, ideally before you begin any divorce proceedings. You should be realistic but 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.
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 use this to help improve your negotiating position. It would help if you considered 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 essential 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 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 is often confusing.
You should seek advice on spousal support based on your circumstances so that you can start planning for your future.
It would help if you discussed 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 essential 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 intelligent 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 treats feet typically to handle your brain surgery, you do not want a lawyer who doesn’t usually 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.
Schedule an Initial Consultation
You are welcome to schedule a consultation with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. At the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, we offer a FREE initial consultation six days 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 will 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!”
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