Learning about the basics of a military divorce means that you have to be aware of Texas State laws regarding divorce and how the military treats divorce cases. Additionally, depending upon the branch of the army that you or your spouse serve, you may need to be aware of specific attributes about divorce in your particular department. This is a lot to bear in mind and can be a lot to take on for you as an individual. This is one of the two most important reasons for having an attorney to help guide you during this process. Do not underestimate the importance of having a lawyer who is experienced not only in divorces but specifically in military divorces. You can read through our blog here on the website for the Law Office of Bryan Fagan to learn about the experiences we have had serving those just like you who have served our nation.
The benefit of having an attorney was asking that attorney questions and receiving feedback regarding your case specifically. Unfortunately, divorce is all too common in the military. With that said, you have probably heard from fellow military members or their families about how divorce is handled. You may have a somewhat jaded perspective on divorce, given what other people have told you about their experience in their life. For that reason, while that person may have been well-meaning, I have tried to do something good for you. The result may be you become worried or upset about a circumstance or two which is not even relevant to your divorce.
Military members and civilians alike are most concerned about the cost and time to make it necessary for your divorce. Suppose you are in a position where you are not deployed but are still not living in Texas, then you may need to follow through with your divorce remotely from wherever you are located. By the same token, if you are deployed overseas, and your spouse has filed for divorce from you in Texas, your attorney can explain to you the benefits of the civil service members relief act, which bars your spouse from divorcing you while you were on deployment. This is an excellent advantage for you, given that it would be nearly impossible for you to go on with the divorce while on deployment simultaneously.
As far as the costs of a military divorce are concerned, they can vary depending upon the specific circumstances of your case. Generally speaking, the more complicated your divorce and the more contentious it becomes, the more expensive your lawsuit will be. On the other hand, a simple divorce or a divorce where you and your spouse can negotiate through most issues typically means a shorter and less expensive case. Either way, we need to pay a retainer to your attorney, which can be seen as a down payment for their services. After that, a monthly payment will be made to your attorney for the duration of your case. Some circumstances require that you pay a second retainer at the end of your issue if your divorce goes to a trial.
These are just some of the practical advantages of having an attorney representing you in your divorce. This is also not an exhaustive list that contains every gift I can think of that other attorney would provide you with a period; however, in a military divorce where time is money, and you cannot afford to mess around, having an attorney also ensures that you will take advantage of every opportunity presented to you when it comes to resolving the issues of your case fairly and amicably. We can't choose every circumstance in our divorce, but we can decide to work with an experienced family law attorney such as those with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our lawyers are honored to serve alongside you and your family in whatever circumstances you find yourselves in related to a divorce or child custody matter.
What degree of spousal support could you or your spouse be entitled to?
Divorces have both short-term and long-term impacts on families when it comes to their finances. For one, a divorce may thrust you or your spouse back into the workforce for the first time in a long time or possibly even for the first time. Consider what may happen if your spouse has been a stay-at-home mother her entire life but is now being asked to re-enter the workforce due to your divorce. Not only can this be stressful for her, but it may also be stressful for you, considering the extent to which you may be responsible for her immediate needs from a financial perspective. Indeed, you do not want to leave her in the cold and especially do not want to leave your children hanging out to dry period; however, you also have a limited budget and needs of your own. How can the needs of your family be met while simultaneously considering your own needs as an individual?
Every state in the United States, including Texas, has some log on the books regarding spousal maintenance or alimony. Attractive Lee, Texas was the last state in the country to pass laws regarding special care. With that in mind, quarts in Texas are not overly generous or aggressive in handing out spousal maintenance awards after a divorce trial. That doesn't mean that your spouse can't when spousal maintenance in a trial setting, but it is not incredibly likely. This is due in no small part to the fact that most divorces in Texas settle before trial rather than going all the way 2A trial scenario. More than likely, your problem will never come in your case. I will instead settle in mediation.
When we consider the purpose of alimony or spousal maintenance, the reason why courts allow for either type of support is to avoid a situation where either you or your spouse comes out of a divorce with no ability to care for yourselves from a financial perspective. We can look at a divorce as a significant life event in that you or your spouse may find yourself leading many different lives, at least in the short term after the divorce comes to a close. This may be because instead of relying upon two incomes, you may now need to rely upon only one period; additionally, that income may be significantly smaller than what you are accustomed to. As a result, you may be facing a significant lifestyle change in the sense of not being able to afford or live a life that you had become accustomed to previously.
Spousal support and contractual alimony are intended to not only help you live a decent life but to essentially meet your primary and immediate burdens from a financial standpoint. That is the true purpose of spousal maintenance and contractual alimony. Namely, to help you meet your minimal basic needs in terms of day-to-day life. You can forget about the scenes from movies where a spouse is paid excessive support to allow them to live a life that they have become accustomed to as far as luxury and extravagance. Rather, spousal maintenance and contractual alimony are intended only to pay you enough animal needs to examine it. It is only in extreme circumstances involving wealth beyond what most of us can even imagine where courts will get into lifestyle maintenance and things of that nature. For our purposes, we need to consider spousal support to allow you to live life modestly and essentially rather than thinking about it as maintaining a particular lifestyle.
Another concern that I have seen from families is that spousal maintenance or contractual alimony acts as a deterrent for punishment for you or your spouse who has had an affair. While adultery can play a role in your divorce, you are being awarded or paying spousal maintenance is not a punishment or reward for adultery either way. Instead, spousal maintenance is awarded and ordered by necessity above all else. Do not assume that because your spouse cheated on you that you will automatically receive care. Instead, you should look at the financial circumstances of your case and make intelligent guesses based on those circumstances above all else.
Another factor to consider is that the spousal maintenance you receive they only be temporary. This means that you may receive spousal support only for the duration of your divorce. Or, you may be awarded special maintenance as a result of your divorce, and it may last no more than a few years after the conclusion of your divorce case. Again, spousal maintenance is seen as a bridge for you to re-enter the workforce, complete your education or earn a certification that may allow you to support yourself independently from your spouse. Spousal maintenance in Texas is not seen as a permanent windfall for you to not work unless you or your child have a significant physical or mental impairment.
Do you need an attorney to get a divorce in Texas? This is a pretty common question that we are asked frequently. Going through a divorce is an unpleasant subject, all things being equal. With that said, many people do not want to bother with hiring an attorney to assist them in their divorce case. This could be for several reasons, foremost among them being cost. The thought is that attorneys cost too much money, and they are not worth what you have to pay to hire one. The question remains do you need to hire an attorney while getting a divorce?
The answer to that question is no. There is no requirement in the Texas family code for you to have an attorney. People get divorced without lawyers in Texas every day. However, there are some factors that you need to be aware of before taking the plunge into divorce without a lawyer. Let's walk through these issues to gain a better insight into whether or not having an attorney is worth it for you and your family.
The first factor is one that many people are unaware of as they begin to consider the costs and benefits of having a lawyer. Put, having an attorney can significantly speed up your divorce in terms of the time necessary to complete the case. For one, there are specific processes and procedures that you must follow to get divorced. In this way, a divorce is not dissimilar from anything else we do in life. You follow the rules, contact the divorce by meeting deadlines, filing documents correctly, and generally knowing what you're doing. Having an attorney provides you with someone who has been there before. Ann knows how to while all the rules and meet whatever deadlines you have in your case. Failure to meet various deadlines frequently means that you will have to go back to incorrect mistakes that you made previously. this could end up costing you time and money.
For instance, I have been in courtrooms where parties representing themselves have made it to the end of divorce only to find that a judge will refuse to hear their case for entry up their divorce decree until their paperwork is reviewed by a lawyer first period the court will then point the parties to the county law library where an attorney came to check their paperwork. Or, the court may have attorneys on staff at the courthouse who can perform this action.
Either way, it can be highly frustrating to have followed the same rules as parties with an attorney only to find that a court requires you to perform an extra step of diligence. Judges often run into issues with parties who don't have lawyers making mistakes in drafting paperwork. As a result, it is better to ensure that you don't have to follow this step if you want the simple divorce that almost everyone desires.
The other factor that you need to consider is that all things being equal, an attorney allows you a chance to when a better result in your case than not having an attorney. Attorneys help you to negotiate better and prepare better for trial. Think about hiring an attorney the same way you would in getting your car serviced or getting your teeth cleaned. These are not tasks that you would perform on your own. Almost none of us change our oil anymore or even perform essential maintenance on our vehicles. Instead, we trust a professional in this regard because although it costs money to hire these folks to perform these services, the idea is that the results we can get from a professional in any of these areas are more significant than the results we could get performing the task ourselves. If we apply this logic to something as routine as changing the motor oil on our vehicles, why wouldn't we think about hiring an attorney in the same way?
However, there are circumstances in which not hiring a lawyer for divorce is not the worst thing in the world. However, you need to examine the issues of your case and decide whether or not hiring a lawyer is suitable for you and your family. A divorce where there are no children and a divorce where there is little property to be divided would be about the only type of divorce where I would recommend even considering not hiring a lawyer.
It would even give me the idea to consider not hiring an attorney when you have a divorce that has no children and very little property because less is at stake in the case. Case this means that if you make a mistake and have to repeat steps in your divorce or otherwise are not that committed to the point, then the chances of suffering a great deal of harm both for you and your family is minimal. Contrast this with a divorce that features children in a property where you could suffer a great deal of damage in the event of a mistake being made at some point. Do not underestimate the errors that can be made in a divorce, even if you and your spouse are committed to working through a case amicably.
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 consultation six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are an excellent way for you to learn more about the world of Texas family law and how your family circumstances may be impacted by the filing of a divorce or child custody case.