Recovering from divorce in Texas during COVID-19?

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our lies have seen changes that we would have never thought possible in prior years. Even if you don’t know anyone who has contracted the virus or lost a job due to the shutdown all of us have had some portion of our lives impacted by the changes that we have seen since mid-March. I never thought that I would see a time that there would be no toilet paper on the shelves at the grocery store but for months and months that was certainly the case where I live. While toilet paper and paper towels may be available once again there are still areas of our lives which are changing as a result of the virus. 

If you are close to completing a divorce or have recently completed your divorce in Texas, then you have an entirely different set of circumstances to add on top of the life changes that we all are experiencing related to the coronavirus. There are emotional and financial aspects of divorce that most every person who goes through that process must deal with in order to get past this time period. 

The question that you need to ask yourself right now is how best you can recover from a divorce despite the stresses and baggage that comes along with not only your case but with the pandemic that is impacting our world. In today’s blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan I would like to share with you some tips and tricks on how to best recover from a divorce even during a global pandemic. 

If there are specific questions that you have in relation to this subject that we did not get around to discussing in this blog post, please consider contacting the Law Office of Bryan Fagan today. While there is a pandemic ongoing our office has responsibly opened up operations to be able to facilitate in-person, over the phone, and video consultations with potential new clients such as yourself. This is the best way for you to obtain sound, sensible advice from an experienced family law attorney. 

How to plan a recovery from your divorce if your case is still ongoing 

just when you thought that you are divorce was close to completion pandemonium hits the shores of the United States and your case is put on ice for an extended period of time. This is exactly what happened to many people as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. It would be completely understandable for you to feel stressed out and frustrated to the max. You’ve likely worked very hard with your attorney to achieve a fair and just result in your divorce only to see the end result delayed due to the virus. However, this does not mean that you will have to stay in this limbo state for an eternity. 

For one, in Harris County there are three family law courts which are still holding in-person hearings. If the need exists for you and your spouse to attend an in person hearing regarding a particular aspect of your divorce case that can still happen. In particular, if you are facing a situation involving domestic violence or family violence then you can request a court hearing and obtain a date as soon as the court is available. Keep in mind that all the family law courts are sharing access to these three chosen courts right now so delays in obtaining a hearing will be greater now than in prior months. 

On the other hand, if you do not need to see a judge for a hearing, you can still go about completing your divorce in the same way that you would have prior to the pandemic. As more businesses open back up mediation dates are becoming more readily available for persons who are interested in completing their divorce cases. You can work directly with your spouse to obtain a mediation date Them to mediate your case in order to reach a settlement on the issues that impact you and your spouse. This way you can spend more time on your post-divorce life and less time haggling over issues within the divorce that are relatively unimportant. 

You can start to think about your life after the divorce with much more detail once you have mediated your case. After mediation you will have a much better idea of the financial, child custody, child support, and Visitation issues that will be included in your final decree of divorce. Sometimes just knowing what your life is going to look like can provide you with a great deal of solace. It is the fear of the unknown that often keeps us awake at night. Knowing to a large extent what your life will look like once your divorce is complete can at least help you to sleep better. 

You may also be in a position where you are in line to receive child support and/or spousal maintenance payments upon the completion of your divorce. Once again, this is important not only for a Peace of Mind perspective but from a financial perspective as well. One important thing that I will recommend to clients upon the closing of their divorce is to start to work on a budget for themselves and their family. Your household income is going to change as a result of your losing your ex-spouses’ money, your return to the workforce in the possible receipt of child support and spousal maintenance each month. 

If you walk into post-divorce life without a budget, you may find yourself biting off more than you can chew financially speaking. For instance, you will likely find that you are not able to spend money in live a lifestyle that is exactly the same as you’ve become accustomed to. This is especially true if you are just now returning to the workforce due to the divorce. Rather than finding this out the hard way after incurring bills and expenses it is a wise decision to plan out a budget in advance of your case’s completion. 

When people talk about recovery after a divorce many people think about therapy or counseling. This is a valid thing to pursue for many people. It may be very helpful for you in particular. However, I cannot know what you need from a psychological perspective once your divorce is finalized. However, I can almost assuredly tell you that your life will benefit if you sit down each month and create a budget for yourself in your household. Coming to terms with the new normal in your financial life is not only smart from a financial perspective but can be extremely gratifying. You are now in control of your finances and of the direction your household goes in. 

How to plan a recovery from your divorce if your case is complete

On the other hand, if your divorce is now complete then you can Pat yourself on the back. You have just undertaken one of the most complex and difficult processes of person can manage in today’s day and age. It is likely that you will never have to go through anything as difficult as your divorce in all the years you have left to live. While this is a significant accomplishment for you it can also be extremely taxing from a mental perspective. I have talked to many people who have gone through divorces who tell me that the experience is this difficult from an emotional perspective as it is from a physical or mental perspective. 

What’s your divorce is over with I would not slouch into the couch and spend too much time reflecting on all the things that you’ve had to go through. I’m not telling you to never do something like this. However, what I am telling you is that it is sometimes better to have some emotional distance from the actual events that you are reflecting upon in order to gain proper perspective from them. Right now, in the immediate aftermath of a divorce it can be beneficial to engage in activity rather than contemplation. 

If you have not yet done so I would recommend that you begin to organize anything in your possession that needs to go to your ex-spouse as far as property is concerned. This is especially true if you are still residing in your marital home. You should do your best to go through the list of items that your spouse is to receive in the divorce and Make sure that they are available. Many times people will feel better after arranging a set time and date for their ex-spouse to come by and collect their belongings. The closure that is a part of this process can be extremely beneficial for a person who is recovering from a divorce. 

Next, I would recommend that you work with your attorney to make sure that your final bill is paid or a payment plan is worked out to ensure that your attorney’s fees are paid in full in a timely manner. I do not give you this advice just because I am an attorney. I am also a consumer who has bills and has paid for services of many sorts in the past. I know what it is like to have a bill hanging over your head for many months and it is not pleasant. I believe that having a bill like this constantly impacting you could impede upon your ability to recover from a difficult divorce. 

In the divorce you may have been awarded the family home, a portion of your spouse’s retirement account, or other financial assets. You do not need to make decisions about how to handle these assets immediately. Again, giving yourself some distance from these events may allow you to gain a better perspective as to how to proceed. That does not give you an excuse to not deal with aspects of these assets that can be done quickly. 

For instance, if you need to refinance your mortgage as a condition of your final decree of divorce then you should do so. Updating the title to your vehicle or rolling over a portion of your spouse’s 401K into a separate individual retirement account will allow you to have some more time to make a decision on how to best invest that money. You do not need to have particular stocks or mutual funds in mind at this stage, but it is better to have a place to park the money rather than to just let it sit.

One of the things that I see couples after a divorce have to deal with is the sale of a residence. It can be extremely emotional to have to hire A realtor and put up for sale house that you and your spouse have lived in for years. It can be even more difficult if you have children. However, you do not want to put yourself in a position where you are not following the terms of your final decree of divorce. You may also find that the money an equity that can be pulled out of the sale of the home can benefit you and your family a great deal.  

One additional aspect to know in relation to the family home is that if you are awarded the house in the divorce and you come to find out that you cannot afford the mortgage payment there is no sense in me remaining in the home. While stability for yourself and your children is something to be sought after you do not want to do so at the risk of harming yourself financially. Instead, consider selling the home and using the equity that you get from the sale to pay off any debts, attorneys fees or as a down payment for a more modest home that is in your price range. All of these steps may not be formal therapy but can certainly help you recover after a divorce.

Questions about how to recover after a difficult divorce in Texas? 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 are available six days a week to answer your questions and free of charge consultations. These consultations can now be done in person at our office, over the phone or via video. We are here to serve you and would be honored to have the opportunity to represent you in your family in a family law related matter. 

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