“Best practices” is a concept that is utilized pretty frequently
in the business world. This concept refers to mimicking the operations
and processes utilized by other people and companies that have proven
themselves over time to be successful. Everyone would like to be able
to conduct themselves in the most efficient and effective manner possible,
and when a business identifies a practice that allows them to do so in
the best possible manner it is borrowed and implemented.
I like to think of attorneys as being in the business of helping clients
to implement best practices into their lives as well. Instead of teaching
how to operate a business we teach how to operate within whatever legal
matter you find yourself involved in.
divorce cases the best practices that I can conceive of in regard to property
issues were relayed to you all in yesterday’s blog post. In today’s
blog post we will shift gears and approach this topic from the standpoint
of what NOT to do with your property during a divorce. Do not let your
emotions get in the way of handling your business well in an important
time of your life. We hope this information will help you find some balance
in handling issues related to your children as well as your property.
Save important decisions until after your divorce is complete
In the aftermath of losing a loved one, it is good advice to not make any
life altering decisions until well after the passing of your relative.
The reason for this is that in the time period immediately after their
passing your mental state is clouded by grief and any other emotion that
you may be experiencing. As a result, it makes sense that you may not
be able to make the soundest of judgments on any issue that is affecting
The same can be said in a divorce. While your spouse is not passing away,
in many regards a divorce is putting you in a situation that is not far
removed from a death in the family. Your stability, life partner and peace
of mind may be greatly diminished with the serving of divorce papers either
on your or your spouse. Even if you were the spouse who pushed for and
initiated the divorce, that does not mean that you will be immune from
Our piece of advice that we would like to share today is to understand
that you are going through a really difficult set of circumstances in
regard to your divorce and to therefore put all important and potentially
life altering decisions on the side until your divorce is final. I’m
not telling you to delay these decisions forever but I am saying that
you will be better off waiting until your divorce concludes before making them.
If you want to quit your job and go into a different line of work that’s
your right to do so. However, while your divorce is ongoing you ought
to stick it out at your current position if for no other reason than you
need stability in your life during a divorce. Once the emotions and stresses
of the divorce have faded away you can approach the decision to change
lines of work again. It could be that you still want to make the change.
Or, you may find that you only wanted a change because the rest of your
life was stressful and led you to make that decision out of emotion rather
than out of a good reason to do so.
Finally, do not make big purchases during a divorce. If you know that you
and your spouse are going to sell your house in your divorce settlement
it is fine to move out and rent an apartment. However, do not go out and
buy a new house before your divorce has concluded. The reasons are many
but I will discuss two with you. First of all, you do not want to introduce
another issue into your divorce that is unnecessary. It is difficult enough
as it is to settle a divorce case. The last thing you need is to throw
up another hurdle to settlement by getting your money involved in huge
transaction that likely does nothing to help you accomplish your goals.
The second point I wanted to make is again to affirm that you are not in
the best mindset to make important decisions during a divorce. Do you
know if you want to remarry? Do you know what your job is going to be
in one, three or five years? If you don’t have children you may
not even be tied to the area that you are currently living in. Why not
give yourself at least a few months post-divorce to figure out what it
is you want out of your new life and what it is you want in a new home?
Do not hide assets under any circumstances
The thing about a divorce is that you and your spouse should both be operating
under the same set of circumstances as far as access to important information.
Now, that doesn’t mean that your conclusions that you reach will
be the same. Nor does it mean that one side or the other may obtain more
information than the other due to differences in communication and lawyering
skills. However, a divorce cannot yield an equitable result when onside
is “hiding the ball” on particular issues.
If you are aware of assets that need to be discussed in the context of
your divorce you need to disclose those. Hiding assets (bank accounts,
investments, real estate) and keeping that information from your spouse
does not do anyone any favors. If your spouse were to learn of the property
during the divorce you will have made it impossible for him or her to
trust you. This renders negotiation impossible. Secondly, if your spouse
finds out about it quickly after your divorce a motion for new trial may
be filed and will likely be granted. You will then find yourself in a
situation where your ex-spouse and the judge know you to be dishonest.
That is a tough path to trod as far as re-litigating your divorce.
Keep property matters in perspective
Ultimately there are some hills that you should be willing to die on, and
some you should not. What I mean by this is that there are some subjects
that are absolutely integral to your divorce that you should feel justified
in fighting until the bitter end for. Your children are example of this
type of subject. Another may be your business that you helped build from
the ground up.
Personal property with little or no sentimental value are not the sort
of metaphorical hills that you should feel justified in dying for and
on. I have seen people in divorces get wrapped up in arguments in mediation
regarding video game console controllers and similarly silly pieces of
personal property. Once you get to the point where you are dividing up
the knives and spoons it may be time to let discretion be the better part
of valor and cede some items to your spouse. That’s not to say that
you should completely bow down to him or her. But it is to say that unless
an object has a great deal of personal significance to it that you should
not approach these negotiations with a kill or be killed attitude. Money
is money. But your time and peace of mind cannot be replaced.
Best practices in regard to child custody- tomorrow’s blog post subject
For most parents involved in divorce cases, their children represent the
most important portions of their case. With that said, we will discuss
this subject in tomorrow’s blog post and hopefully provide some
practical advice that you can apply to your own life.
In the meantime, if you have any questions in regard to your divorce or
family law case please do not hesitate to
contact the attorneys with the
Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. We offer free of charge consultations with our licensed family law attorneys
six days a week. Thank you for the opportunity to share this information
with you and we hope that you will return to our blog tomorrow to read
more about the law and how our office may be able to assist you in your
family law matter.
Bryan Fagan, a native of Atascocita, Texas, is a dedicated family law attorney inspired by John Grisham’s “The Pelican Brief.” He is the first lawyer in his family, which includes two adopted brothers. Bryan’s commitment to family is personal and professional; he cared for his grandmother with Alzheimer’s while completing his degree and attended the South Texas College of Law at night.
Married with three children, Bryan’s personal experiences enrich his understanding of family dynamics, which is central to his legal practice. He specializes in family law, offering innovative and efficient legal services. A certified member of the College of the State Bar of Texas, Bryan is part of an elite group of legal professionals committed to ongoing education and high-level expertise.
His legal practice covers divorce, custody disputes, property disputes, adoption, paternity, and mediation. Bryan is also experienced in drafting marital property agreements. He leads a team dedicated to complex family law cases and protecting families from false CPS allegations.
Based in Houston, Bryan is active in the Houston Family Law Sector of the Houston Bar Association and various family law groups in Texas. His deep understanding of family values and his professional dedication make him a compassionate advocate for families navigating Texas family law.