Coronavirus & Divorce: It’s More Than Just Washing Your Hands

The divorce stigma has evolved significantly over the years, reflecting changing societal norms and attitudes towards marriage dissolution. Contemporary perspectives have shifted regarding divorce, no longer considering it a taboo topic viewed with seriousness and often pursued only after exhausting all alternatives in the past. Today, discussions around divorce are more open, reflecting a broader acceptance of diverse relationship outcomes. Although remnants of the divorce stigma persist, particularly in certain cultural or religious contexts, society’s evolving understanding of marriage and individual autonomy has gradually diminished its impact.

Let’s flash forward to the current day. While some cultures and individuals may still associate stigmas with divorce, I believe a significant portion of society no longer perceives divorce as profoundly life-changing or severe compared to prior generations. We can go through why this is and my personal opinions, but I would like to go in a different direction. In today’s blog post, I want to provide you with some context as to what a divorce is, how to get it, and what it means for you and your family to move forward.

People often enter divorce with preconceived notions about the process and its implications for their future, only to discover surprises once the proceedings commence. While we may form ideas about divorce from the experiences of others or media portrayals, the reality of going through a divorce can present unique challenges and consequences that we hadn’t anticipated. In a time like we’re living through right now, where there is a great deal of uncertainty, we should understand that a divorce is permanent; it is not simple.

What is a divorce?

Put, divorce is a legal process by which you and your spouse utile eyes the courts to legally and your marriage. Even if you never step foot inside a courthouse, divorce is still a legal process that involves filing a lawsuit, which may come as a surprise to many. Contrary to contract disputes or personal injury cases commonly seen in lawsuits, divorce proceedings necessitate judicial intervention, even though some perceive them primarily as family matters. However, divorce is indeed a formal lawsuit, with distinct roles assigned to each spouse. The spouse who initiates the divorce is termed the petitioner, whereas the spouse who responds to the petition is referred to as the respondent. These terms reflect the legal nature of divorce proceedings, where each party plays a defined role akin to that in other types of lawsuits.

Next, a divorce costs money. I’m not even necessarily talking about hiring an attorney in the costs associated with doing so. I’m talking about the costs linked to filing a divorce lawsuit. You can visit the district or county clerk for your home county and check the fee schedule for filing different family law cases if you’re interested. You will then have an idea of what it will cost to file a divorce, request the temporary orders hearing, and have your spouse served with divorce papers. This is In addition to the costs associated with hiring a process server to do the divorce papers and eventually hiring a mediator to help you and your spouse settle your divorce.

Attorney’s fees and the impact of lawyers on a divorce

When assessing the seriousness of a family law case, we must consider the cost of hiring a lawyer. In divorce cases, the seriousness tends to escalate as the final bill increases with more zeroes. You can look at your final divorce bill as combining the costs associated with filing your case, mediating your case, dividing up property and debts as well as hiring an attorney. With all that said, I would encourage most people to hire a divorce attorney before filing for divorce. Here is why.

If you are considering filing for divorce but believe that you do not have the money or need to hire an attorney, I would ask that you reconsider. Yes, you could be right in your case could be the unicorn divorce that does not require an attorney. Typically, divorces with little to no assets or debts and no children are ones that I would consider thinking long and hard about whether or not you need an attorney.

Completing the divorce process requires attention to details, meeting deadlines, and accurately filling out paperwork. Having an attorney’s assistance would streamline these steps, but if you possess these characteristics, you might manage the divorce process independently if you’re inclined not to hire one.

Navigating divorce in the era of COVID-19

We are not living in regular times right now. While family law courts continue to accept and process divorces, the procedures have undergone some changes. However, if issues arise in your divorce case requiring judicial intervention to settle disputes, you may face more challenges than usual in securing a court hearing due to the ongoing demand for court time and reduced court capacity. The coronavirus has led to government responses that encourage social distancing but discourage business as usual from transpiring. You would need to navigate the complex nature of a divorce and the more complex nature of Texas family courts in the coronavirus era.

For most everyone else reading this blog post, an attorney would be beneficial and necessary for you in your divorce. The simple truth is that while most of us may possess the required skills to divorce independently, what we lack is the time to do so. This is the component that I think many of us forget and neglect to consider when we take on additional responsibility either at work or at home. While the task itself is not monumental, the time responsibilities associated with the job may be. That is how I feel about divorce. At the same time, you may not speak to you returning every day or even every week of your divorce, no that they are working considerable amounts of time on your case. You need only review your bill at the end of each month from the lawyer to know that I am correct.

Why family law expertise matters in choosing a divorce lawyer

Since I am doing my best to convince you that a divorce is a serious matter, it is not as simple to wash your spouse’s hands and then move on with your life; I would recommend that you hire the right lawyer for you and your family.

While the right lawyer for you and your family may be someone different than the right lawyer for your neighbor and their family, the right lawyer to represent you in a divorce share one characteristic with that of every other reasonable divorce attorney. That being a focus on family law. I would not recommend that you look to a higher, any different type of attorney other than an experienced family law attorney. You may know the most fantastic commercial litigator In Houston, but if he has never tried a divorce case before, then I wouldn’t ask him for advice on your divorce or to have him represent you.

Family law attorneys focused their attention on people going through complicated family-related matters. At the top of the list of complex family law cases is divorce. You want a divorce attorney to represent you in your divorce because they will know what to look out for in negotiations, how to get your family through the divorce process with as little stress as possible, and can help you to preserve as much time with your children and community property as possible. Just like in any other area of the law were in any area business for that matter, family law has specific practices that only an experienced family law practitioner would be aware of. Please do not put yourself in a position where your spouse is an experienced attorney by their side, but you do not.

Time is a factor in a divorce

I want to spend the last section of today’s blog post discussing with you how time factors into a divorce. From the outset of a divorce, time considerations will be necessary to take note of. For instance, you should know that from the moment that a divorce lawsuit is filed until the divorce is made final by a judge can be no less than two months. That means a 60-day divorce is likely to be the minimum amount of time that you can expect to spend in your case. The reason for this is that in the state of Texas, once you genuinely consider whether or not you want to move forward with the divorce, that filing for divorce was not a spur-of-the-moment mistake on your part. So, the idea of an overnight divorce is not the reality for those of us who live in Texas.

As the respondent in a divorce case initiated by your spouse, it’s crucial to understand that you typically have around 20 days to file an answer after being served with divorce papers. This document, aptly named the Answer, is your formal response to the original petition for divorce. Failing to file an answer within this timeframe could allow your spouse to proceed with the divorce unilaterally, potentially resulting in final orders being issued by the judge without your input. This underscores the importance of timely action and legal representation to ensure your rights are protected throughout the divorce process. Treating your divorce with the seriousness it deserves and seeking professional guidance can significantly impact the outcome for you and your family.

Conclusion

As we conclude our exploration of the evolving landscape of divorce stigma, it’s evident that societal attitudes towards marriage dissolution have undergone significant transformations. While remnants of the stigma persist in some quarters, particularly influenced by cultural or religious beliefs, the broader narrative surrounding divorce has shifted towards greater acceptance and understanding.

Our journey through the historical context and contemporary perspectives highlights the nuanced nature of the divorce stigma, underscoring the importance of empathy and support for individuals navigating the complexities of marital separation. As we continue to dismantle outdated stereotypes and foster more inclusive dialogues, may our collective empathy and understanding pave the way for healthier, more compassionate approaches to relationships and family dynamics in the future.

Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan

If you have any questions about the material contained in today’s blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultations six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video; our staff and attorneys take a great deal of pride and being able to serve our community and look forward to discussing with you how our office can best help you and your family.

Other Related Articles:

1. Avoiding Divorce Disasters: Your Guide to Steering Clear of Common Mistakes

2. Court Fees for Divorce in Texas a Comprehensive Legal Guide

3. Diving into the Lone Star Legal Drama: Unraveling Divorce and The Property Division Guide Mystery in Texas!

4. Divorce Notice in Texas: A Comprehensive Guide to Legal Precision

5. Finalized Divorce Papers in Texas: A Comprehensive Legal Guide

6. Beware of Common Tricks and Pitfalls in Texas Divorce Cases

7. The ABCs of Divorce Decrees: A Must-Read Guide

8. Dust Off Your Boots: A Texan’s Guide to Community Property Divorce

9. The Texas Legal Process in a Divorce

10. What Can Be Used Against You in a Divorce in Texas?

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