Going through a divorce is a difficult enough process before you consider all the opportunities there are to make mistakes throughout the life of your case. Probably the most efficient and effective way to avoid these problems would be to hire an experienced family law attorney to assist you. However, if you have decided to move forward in your divorce without an attorney then it will be up to you to figure out how to best avoid making mistakes that can cost you a great deal of time and money in your case. Not to mention how these mistakes can also negatively impact how your community property is divided as well as your rights to your children are determined.
If you can understand some of the challenges that will be in front of you in this divorce case ahead of time and you can better avoid the mistakes that often come during a divorce. Make no mistake, many people who go through a divorce do so successfully without the assistance of an attorney. However, it is not uncommon for certain mistakes to derail a case completely. In closing out this guide to do-it-yourself divorce in Texas we would like to discuss with you what some of those mistakes are and how you could work to avoid running into them in the first place.
Do not file for divorce unless it is the only option for you and your family
Avoiding the mistakes of a divorce can be difficult sometimes. However, the best way to avoid those mistakes would be to not get a divorce in the first place. While this may sound easier said than done the reality is that you and your spells should be certain that the divorce is necessary for the betterment of your family. Rather than filing for divorce with no thought to the other options available to you. probably the first option that you should be considering at this stage is whether or not you need a divorce in the first place.
Getting a divorce is not only an extremely complicated process but one that will bring about extreme changes to your life and that of your children. Before you go through with this process and leave yourself susceptible to the mistakes that I’m going to be discussing today you should think long and hard about whether you need to get a divorce in the first place. If you are interested in attempting to reconcile with your spouse, you should pursue that route ideally before the divorce begins. While it is possible to reconcile with your spouse after your divorce is underway it is certainly easier to do so before divorce papers are filed.
Do not file your divorce and then do nothing
One of the most significant mistakes that can be made about divorce would be to file your divorce petition and then do nothing after that. Consider that a divorce does not begin in earnest until your divorce petition is filed and Notice has been served upon your spouse that you have done so. This means that even after you work up the gumption to file your petition with the court there are additional steps that you need to take to ensure that your divorce Proceeds along the divorce timeline.
Remember that the goal of your case should not merely be to File for divorce and then leave it there. Rather, the whole point of getting divorced is to end the marriage that you have with your spouse. To get there, you need to be able to file your case, serve your spouse and then meet the deadlines that follow. If you are unsure how those deadlines are a new awareness of your responsibilities, then you may want to consider hiring an experienced family law attorney to assist you throughout your case.
Do not assume that every divorce case ends up in the courtroom
The vision that many people have of divorce in Texas is that of a judge banging their gavel T recently in response to the ongoing fighting between two parties in the courtroom. It is to be expected that there will be some degree of arguing or fighting regarding a divorce. After all, the subject matter that we will be discussing in your or any divorce just certainly an emotionally volatile period however, to think that your divorce must end up inside of a courtroom would be a major mistake.
The reality is that most divorces in Texas are resolved through mediation rather than in a trial. In a divorce, you will be given ample opportunity to work with your spouse in negotiation on your case. This means that the likelihood that you all will have to resort to solving your case through a trial is relatively low. Instead, you should focus your attention on developing goals and strategies and then work through negotiation with your spouse. If you and your spouse can have an open line of communication between the two of you then you will be able to better approach the issues of your case.
A useful tool may choose to utilize in your divorce would be to think about the issues that are most important to you in your case. On those subjects, you may not be as willing to negotiate as on others. However, the subject matter that you are willing to negotiate through those should be front and center throughout the life of your case. You and your spouse will have ample opportunity to talk to one another about all the issues of your case. Or do you believe there is some middle ground that would seem to be the most logical place to begin negotiation? On subjects that are more difficult to negotiate through you may be more willing to wait until mediation so that an experienced family law mediator can help you too potentially resolve those issues with their assistance.
Do not assume that an attorney will cost too much
One of the major assumptions that I hear people make with regular divorce scenario is that hiring an attorney simply cost too much money. You may have heard from friends, neighbors, or someone else tells you that divorce lawyers cost a lot of money and that you’d be better off not having representation effects paying a lot of money for it. However, I can tell you that this is certainly not the case 100% of the time again hiring an attorney can be a short-term investment into your long-term future.
To begin with, there are different attorneys available for most every budget if you are interested in hiring one. Attorneys charge varying amounts of money depending upon their location in your city or town, their level of experience as well as the types of divorces where they represent clients. Additionally, you may have an attorney who practices exclusively in family law and who will provide you with better service because of their level of experience. You should consider all these factors when you begin to consider whether hiring an attorney is in your best interest.
another part of this discussion is that hiring an attorney can certainly make a difference for your family when it comes to the outcome of your case. If hiring an attorney did not promote the overall well-being of your case, then nobody would hire a lawyer. However, for most people in divorce cases, the effect of hiring an attorney can have a profound difference in your case. Think about how much more confident you may be when it comes to negotiation with your spouse if you had an attorney. This is almost certainly true if your spouse already has a lawyer. Understanding the law, your circumstances, and how the two interact with one another it’s just one of the many advantages you will have if you choose to hire a lawyer.
The bottom line is that while there is no guarantee of success when you hire a lawyer your chances of being able to accomplish goals within your case increase dramatically when you do have representation. You should consider the circumstances of your case, such as the amount of property that you own and whether you have children under the age of 18 when you ultimately decide whether to hire a lawyer. It is critical for the success of your case that your way all your options when it comes to representation. To forego hiring an attorney just because you believe that doing so is unnecessary or too expensive for your case would be a big mistake.
Pay attention to the small stuff
As someone who was currently attempting to proceed in a divorce case without representation, you may have taken the position that you cannot afford to focus on the small things, and instead, you must focus only on the big picture items of your case. While this does make sense in a certain frame of mind, the fact is that you can be greatly hurt by choosing not to focus your attention on the small items as well as the more significant ones. Overlooking small details in your divorce may be a recipe for disaster.
For instance, if your spouse has served you with divorce paperwork but you have not yet filed your answer do you know how many days after service you have until you are in danger of having a default judgment issued against you? The Texas Rules of Civil Procedure are clear about the requirements of filing an answer in a civil case. If you think that the answer is that you have 20 days from the date of service to file your answer, then you may be mistaken.
If taking the time to look up small details like this seems to be beyond your level of concern or preparedness, then you may want to rethink your decision to not hire a lawyer. Hiring a lawyer can be the main difference between you achieving favorable outcomes in your case send it making mistakes that can put your entire case in jeopardy.
Your attorney will allow you to keep your attention on the rest of your life even while a divorce case is ongoing. That is a major reality that you should become familiar with throughout the life of your case. Namely, that the rest of your life will not slow down just because you have a divorce case ongoing. All your other responsibilities including your family and work will not necessarily take a backseat just because a divorce has been filed. an attorney does not make decisions for you but can guide you during the decision-making process.
Do not assume that your case is over after a trial or mediation
Taking your foot off the gas once you’re past your trial or mediation date for final orders is a mistake in one that you should seek to avoid. While it is true that final orders mediation or a trial marks the point where final orders will be determined that does not mean that those final orders are set in stone. Rather, you need to be able to take those orders and put them into writing. The final decree of divorce contains the final orders for your case. If you do not take the time to put those into a format that can be easily followed by you and your spouse after the divorce, then you have done yourself a serious disservice.
Once you have attended a trial or mediation the tone of your case will shift into putting those orders into writing. The mediated settlement agreement from mediation or a judge’s rendition of their orders after a trial is not a final form that can be seen as a court order. Rather, you will need to take that content and put it into a format for your court orders. You should not take a break after you have attended mediation or a trial. At that stage, you should work to complete your court order so that you can complete your case and move forward with your life.
Just because you wandered into a divorce does that mean that you can wander out of one
One of the most significant misnomers about divorce is that you cannot prepare adequately while achieving success in your case. I think that this is I thought they can harm your case tremendously. I understand that some of you have become involved in a divorce case that was not filed by you. While you may have a desire to try and reconcile with your spouse or otherwise stop the divorce your spouse would need to agree with you to do so. If your spouse is unwilling to attempt to reconcile with you would have no choice but to proceed with the divorce.
Not having a plan or establishing any goals for your case can be a major issue. Understanding that there is a range of possible outcomes in your case before the case begins is an important step for you to take. How you prepare and how diligent you are about your divorce can determine what sort of success you have. You should think through all the areas of your case and work to determine goals for each of them. Your children, we are property, and everything in between will be worked out one way or another in your divorce case. How you think through these subjects and how intentional you can be about gold creation will ultimately determine the direction your case goes.
Final thoughts on do-it-yourself divorces in Texas
From the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, we thank you for spending some time with us in this do-it-yourself divorce guide. We understand that you may have some concerns about going through a divorce without an attorney. As a result, you can consider the information in this guidebook as a starting point for you as you work towards deciding about your divorce and the options in front of you for your case.
The decision of whether to hire an attorney for your divorce case will probably be one of the most important that you need to consider at any point from the beginning until the end of your case. Before you take the plunge and represent yourself in your divorce you should think critically about your ability to do so and what the divorce means to you. hiring an attorney for your divorce may be more reasonable than you would expect and can provide you with ongoing benefits throughout the life of your case.
Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact 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. These consultations are a great way for you to learn more about the world of Texas family law as well as about how your family circumstances may be impacted by the filing of a divorce or child custody case. Thank you for your interest in our law office and we hope that you will join us again tomorrow as we continue to share unique and helpful information about Texas family law subject matter.