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Getting a Divorce Should Not Define Who You Are (No Matter What Anyone Else Says)

In the blog for the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, I have the privilege to discuss vital topics that resonate with individuals like you and me. Family law matters deeply influence the lives of those around us. Whether acknowledged or not, our neighbors, colleagues, and even strangers dining nearby have likely experienced or are experiencing family law-related events, such as getting a divorce. The decision to end a marriage is profound and can have far-reaching effects on one’s emotional, financial, and social well-being. It’s a process that challenges individuals to redefine themselves and navigate new territories of life, often amidst uncertainty and emotional turmoil.

There are certain events that leave a mark on a person’s life that cannot be removed. The first time you met your spouse. The first time you laid eyes on your baby girl or boy. The time that you received a promotion at work or when a loved one passed away. These are memories and experiences that can be negative or positive, but they are important either way. A family law case could certainly fall within that category of events that are impactful to that extent.

Navigating life after a family law case

If you have never gone through a family law case before you would not know to the extent that people will go through really tough times in order to do something that they consider to be worthwhile for themselves and their children. Divorces and child custody cases are among the most emotionally laden and stressful legal cases that I can think of. People like you go through those cases not because they are enjoyable or easy, but because they are heart wrenching and difficult. Despite the challenges they present, some tasks are unavoidable and must be addressed.

At the conclusion of a family case, regardless of the outcome, it’s essential to engage in self-reflection. What I mean by this is that you now need to take a good, long look at yourself and determine how you are going to approach the rest of your life. Your own sense of self-worth may have taken a beating in your family law case. Or, your sense of self-worth may have become strengthened because of a successful result that reinforces the way that you had previously considered yourself.

Either way, I would like to talk to you all today about how you can best approach the subject of self-esteem and self-preservation after a family law case. Your own sense of right and wrong up and down may temporarily be askew as a result of the stresses related to your family case. My goal in writing you this blog today is to inform you of a couple of key factors that relate to how you can maintain (or develop) a healthy sense of self after a family law case ends.

You are not admitting defeat to anyone if you get a divorce

Your marriage may end as a result of your divorce but that does not mean that your life is ending or that you have failed in some regard. Yes, the goal of a marriage is to only allow death to cause a parting of you and your spouse. That is unavoidably true. However, there are circumstances that are often beyond your direct or indirect control that can lead to a divorce becoming necessary.

We may know our spouses very well throughout dating that person and up until the time of our marriage’s infancy. However, people change with time and we are not always able to accurately predict how our spouses and even ourselves will adapt to the changes that come with the passing of time. Your spouse may have lived by a certain model of behavior as a younger individual but has now changed how they behave for any number of reasons.

It is especially true if you have children, but is nonetheless true even if you don’t, that a divorce acts as the birth of a new phase in your life. You can approach that new phase with vigor and optimism, or you can choose to let self-doubt and the opinions of others sink you before you get a chance to swim on your own.

Whatever issues you may be struggling with as a newly single person, you should know that you have what it takes to overcome them. For instance- you may have thought that your divorce was never going to end. Or that you didn’t have what it took to get through such a hard time in your life. Well, the fact that you are standing on the other side of a divorce is a testament to hard work.

Take a good, long look at yourself before moving on with your life

A child custody or divorce case offers you a great opportunity to do some serious self-reflection. Who are you and what do you want to be doing with the rest of your life is a good place to start that reflecting. What kind of parent do you want to be? If you don’t have kids, what kind of relationships do you want to expose yourself to in the future? While your family law case may have changed your perspective on life, it does not have to sink your own self-image or self-worth.

You may be thinking- we haven’t even talked about filing a lawsuit, why do we need to talk about the steps after a divorce? I’m sharing this information with you now because I want to ensure you’re not caught off guard by how a family law case can impact your life, for better or worse. Some serious self-reflection can show you just how resilient you are.

The ins and outs of filing a family law case in Texas

Next up, we need to consider what to do when it comes to actually file a family lawsuit in Texas. You need to consider all of the information that we have shared over the past few days before taking the plunge into filing a family law case. Remember- these are deeply personal and typically very emotional issues that are related to family law cases. In many areas of the law, you can file a lawsuit and then “nonsuit” the case to make it so the case never happened. Once you file for divorce prematurely and your wife is served with the paperwork, there’s likely no turning back.

In any divorce case, the first document filed is the Original Petition for Divorce. Similarly, in a child custody case, the first document filed is the Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship. These documents introduce the court to you, your child’s other parent and your children (if you have any in relation to a divorce). You will list the requests you are making to the court in the case, and then either sign your name or have your attorney sign as your representative.

Nowadays, most Texas counties mandate electronic filing for this document. Although Harris County does not follow this requirement, many counties in our area enforce Standing Orders, attached to the petition after filing, which restrict behavior detrimental to the opposing party. These orders prohibit actions such as physical harm, unenrolling children from school, property destruction, or large fund withdrawals. Clients often inquire about the duration for serving the petition or SAPCR, typically taking a few days to weeks, contingent on the court clerk’s document preparation, locating the opposing party for service, and other variables.

You’ve been served!

You can file your Original Petition for Divorce with the court, but the lawsuit does not officially go into effect until you provide notice of it to the opposing party in your case. That notice is provided through something called service of process, or “service” for short. The other party will then have an opportunity to respond to the lawsuit with something called an “Answer”. From that point forward, your lawsuit will have two parties and is a go for launch, so to speak.

Service of process can be performed by either a constable or by a private process server. Most family law attorneys (including our office) use private process servers to complete this requirement. A majority of the time we and our clients want to keep this process relatively quiet, so we work with clients and process servers to find out when the opposing party will be at home and not with other people. Serving your spouse with divorce papers at work can be extremely embarrassing needless to say.

Many times you may not know where your opposing party lives or works. Clients have served their spouse at the park, at a restaurant they frequent, or at a doctor’s office. Sometimes our attorneys will have to perform detailed internet searches on a person to determine where he or she lives in order to perfect service. If you do not know where or how to find your spouse then do not worry. Our office will work with you to locate him or her so that your divorce can begin.

What if your spouse tries to avoid service?

A question that I receive with some regularity involves the possibility of your spouse trying to purposefully avoid service. Many times you and your spouse may both know that the divorce is coming, it is only a matter of which one of you is going to file and which one of you will respond to that filing. In this case, there is very little reason to purposefully avoid service.

On the other hand, in some divorce situations, you may not want to tell your spouse that you are filing for divorce because you have concerns about your well-being. In these types of cases, your spouse may actively avoid being served. He or she may go to live with a friend for a period of time, may not come into work in order to avoid service and may even have other people lie for them about their actual whereabouts.

Don’t worry if your spouse or opposing party attempts to avoid service. Their avoiding service may delay your case to a degree, but it cannot stop your divorce. You can seek alternative methods to serve him or her if it becomes clear that personal service will not be possible. Your attorney will need to request a hearing with the judge to inform them about the methods used to serve your opposing party and the reasons for the unsuccessful attempts. Posting the petition on a door, serving a relative or other person who lives in the house, and serving the opposing party at places other than their house or business are just a few examples of alternative methods of service that are legal in Texas.

Conclusion

Delving into family law matters, particularly the process of getting a divorce, unveils the intricate web of emotions and challenges that individuals face. As neighbors, colleagues, and acquaintances navigate through these turbulent waters, it’s essential to recognize the profound impact such decisions have on their lives. The journey of divorce is not merely a legal process but a deeply personal and transformative experience that demands resilience, self-reflection, and support. By shedding light on these realities, we can foster understanding, empathy, and guidance for those embarking on this journey, ensuring they navigate it with clarity, strength, and hope for a brighter tomorrow.

More on the initial stages of a divorce or child custody case in Texas

We are just beginning to scratch the surface of the initial stages of a family law case in Texas. If you have questions on anything that we have discussed today or are seeking more information on legal representation, please contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultations six days a week. These consultations are a great opportunity to have your questions answered and issues addressed directly by an experienced family law attorney.

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  1. Five most common myths about Divorce in Texas
  2. Does it Matter Who Files First in a Texas Divorce?
  3. Understanding Texas Divorce
  4. I Want a Texas Divorce but My Husband Doesn’t: What can I do?
  5. Am I Married? – Marital Status in Texas
  6. Can I sue my spouse’s mistress in Texas?
  7. 6 Tips – On How to prepare for a Texas Divorce
  8. Roadmap of Basic Divorce Procedure in Texas
  9. Child Custody Basics in Texas
  10. 6 Mistakes that can Destroy Your Texas Divorce Case
  11. 10 Quick Tips About Parental Visitation
  12. Does it Matter who Files First in a Texas Divorce?

Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Spring, Texas 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 one of our Spring, TX Divorce Lawyer right away to protect your rights.

Our divorce lawyer in Spring 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, 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, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, 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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