Divorce and firefighters

Being a firefighter means that you have many admirable qualities. Bravery, loyalty, tenacity, and diligence are just a few of those qualities. When it comes to working hard and doing your job nobody does it better than firefighters. The community that you support and work for appreciates your efforts more than you could ever know. The risk that you take each day and put your life on the line in the service of other people is truly admirable. Without a doubt, firefighters make a tremendous difference in our world.

However, part of the reality of working as a firefighter is that the job puts a great deal of stress on families. While this may not be something that you like to talk about or preferred to leave unsaid, it goes that saying that fighting fires for a living put a certain amount of pressure and stress on a family. Whether it is due to the stress of the job itself, the hours worked or that I’m away from family there is a great deal that goes into being a firefighter that makes the job difficult on family relationships and marriages. How you manage the stress and difficulties of being a firefighter will ultimately tell you how successful you can be in your life outside of the Firehouse.

Whether you are a firefighter, EMT, or another first responder then we at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan want you to know that we understand the sacrifices you make on behalf of your community and behalf of your fellow Emergency responders. Balancing the stresses of family life with the stresses of work-life can be a difficult tightrope for anyone to walk. With that said, Today’s blog post is going to focus on divorce alongside fulfilling the obligations and duties of being a firefighter. As a firefighter, we think it is important for you to understand that you are not alone in this process, and while it is easy to feel like you are drowning in the responsibilities of working family life there are advocates in our world who stand by you and your family during the tough times.

Considering a divorce? What should you be planning for?

Many people who ultimately never get a divorce have thought about doing so, however. Having the thought cross your mind is not uncommon. sometimes the stress is associated with marriage and family life can be a lot to handle. At times it can feel like you are better off getting a divorce rather than putting yourself and your family through difficult times in terms of your relationship. You can go to school or spend years perfecting and improving your ability to perform a certain job but unfortunately, there is no school you can go to when it comes to being married. For that, you would simply have to work through the problems of your marriage with your spouse. However, if you get to the point where your spouse is not willing to work with you or you are not willing to work with your spouse then you have reached a point where a divorce may be more likely than not.

What does it mean to get divorced? Divorce is legally ending a marriage. There are no two ways about this. By filing for divorce and following the process until the end of your case you will be divorced and will no longer be married. In Texas, there is no period of legal separation. You will be married to your spouse for the duration of your divorce and then in the end he will suddenly no longer be married. This can be jarring for many people especially if you have been married for years and years to your spouse. Suddenly being single and facing the prospect of raising children as a single parent can be a significant shock to their system.

In Texas, there is a 60-day waiting period to get divorced. This means that you can get divorced at the earliest 60 days after you or your spouse file for divorce. The purpose of this waiting period is to allow you and your spouse some time to determine whether you want to get divorced? During these 60 days, you can attempt to reconcile, attend counseling, and generally think about whether the divorce is what you want. While I can’t tell you that many people reconsider the divorce after filing, there are enough people that I have worked with who have ended the divorce and stayed married that give me a reason to mention it as a possibility. The best way to deal with a divorce is not to get one in the first place. This means that if you can work through the problems in your marriage together with your spouse then you can avoid the heartache and hardships associated with going through a divorce case. What are some of the ways that you can do this?

The most direct and efficient way to resolve problems in your marriage is to discuss them directly with your spouse. Working with your spouse directly means being able to communicate effectively with him or her. This begins and ends with having your spouse’s undivided attention. In our daily lives, it is so easy to become caught up in what is going on around us. To have a fruitful conversation with your spouse about saving your marriage I recommend eliminating distractions period this means getting the kids to bed or off to school, putting your phones away, and turning off the television. Modern life is full of distractions for both you and your spouse. It doesn’t help that you have a job that can pull you away from home at a moment’s notice.

When you have an opportunity to walk with your spouse through some of the problems that you’re experiencing in your marriage then I would recommend that you do so. You may be at a loss for words or just feel like you are struggling to say the right thing to your spouse. He or she likely feels the same way. With that said, you need to at least try to communicate with him or her if you want to save your marriage period, I have never seen any persons that I have worked with solve problems in their marriage without communication. If it becomes apparent that you and your spouse are not up to the challenge of facilitating communication together directly then there are other options for you all to choose from.

One of those options is to attend therapy. For many people, therapy has a bad reputation and represents failing at some .4 the two people involved. Therapists, counselors, and psychiatrists are not highly thought of in some circles interviewed negatively by others. What this means is that you and your spouse may need to cut overcome preconceived notions about what it means to receive counseling as well as what the actual problems are in your relationship. If your spouse will not agree to attend counseling, then you may choose to do so without him or her. However, attending counseling candy something fruitful when both you and your spouse are involved.

Counselors and therapists can be located online, through your health insurance provider, or even through your church. There may even be resources provided for you through the fire department where you work if you need counseling or therapy. My point is that you will not suffer from a lack of resources when it comes to being able to find help in your marriage. The most difficult part of this entire process is oftentimes admitting that you need some help and then seeking out that help from other people. you may even want to talk to fellow firefighters about their experiences in therapy. It may surprise you to learn that your friends and colleagues have received therapy for problems in their marriages. Hopefully, this will encourage you to seek out opportunities to talk to someone about the problems in your marriage.

Moving forward with the divorce

If it becomes apparent to you and your spouse that no degree of counseling or therapy will be able to help you in your marriage, then a divorce is probably what is next for the two of you. For starters, I would certainly recommend that you hire an experienced family law attorney to represent you. The reality of a firefighter divorce is that while the process is the same for you as it is for anyone else going through a divorce there are specific circumstances in your life that are best viewed through the experienced eyes of a family law attorney. Let’s walk through some of the specific circumstances that firefighters encounter in divorce cases where are you could benefit from having an experienced attorney by your side.

Being able to ensure that you have a child custody arrangement that is workable considering your responsibilities as a firefighter is very important. The hours that you work as a firefighter are different than what most people do in a typical nine to five job. As such, your ability to pick up and drop off your children at designated times throughout the day probably differs from many people and may even Change on a month or even week to week basis. When it comes to being able to manage your work schedule and your family life the key is Attempting to find a schedule that allows for predictability for your children. Even if your schedule changes or you cannot always determine your work schedule it is important for your children to be able to know when they are going to be able to spend time with you.

In a typical divorce scenario, a possession schedule where you and your children see each other on the first, 3rd, and 5th weekends of every month is common. This is known in Texas as a standard possession order. The standard possession order is outlined in the Texas family code and is considered by most judges to be the fallback possession order for parents to have if they cannot settle upon a visitation schedule in mediation. The reason it is favored by so many judges is that it offers a predictable schedule and equitable periods of possession when compared to one another period for example, even though you wouldn’t have possession of your children as much as your spouse a standard possession order offers a non-primary parent a great deal of time to be able to spend with their children.

However, a standard possession order probably does not work for you as a firefighter. Depending upon your role or responsibilities with your fire department it may be the case that you work weekends. Working weekends would mean that a position schedule that revolved around weekend visitation with your children would not be ideal. For that reason, it may make more sense for you to have a possession schedule that allows for you to spend time with your children during the week rather than on the weekends. For that reason, you should come to mediation prepared with your work schedule as far in advance as possible. This will allow your attorney, your spouse, and the mediator to review the work schedule and for you all to negotiate an alternative arrangement that would allow you to see your children and respond properly to your work responsibilities. Every person going through a divorce has different work-related responsibilities. That doesn’t mean that you can necessarily assume there is no good solution to your problems. Rather, being prepared and flexible in mediation will allow you to work up a possession

Otherwise, much of your divorce will be spent dividing this Community property between yourselves. It makes a great deal of sense to inventory and ultimately appraise the property happy initial stages of your divorce. When you are a firefighter and don’t have a lot of time to do things like this, I would recommend that you take the opportunity when you have a free moment or time in the day to do this. It does not have to take long and does not have to be precise. Simply giving your attorney a better idea of what you own can be important.

When you have an opportunity, it is recommended that you begin to inventory your property. This means taking photographs of every room, closet, dresser drawer, and other areas in your home to make sure that you have an idea of the property owned by you and your spouse. Texas is a community property state. This means that the presumption is any property owned at the time of your divorce is a community in nature and thus could be divided up by a family court. Property acquired by you and your spouse before your marriage is separate property and cannot be divided by a judge. However, you would need to have proof that this property is separately owned if your spouse would challenge that designation.

I would also recommend that you request a copy of your credit report from one of the major credit bureaus. As much as we talk about the property when it comes to dividing up your community it states the reality is that debt will also be a part of your case. Most of us have some degree of debt to our names. This could be in the form of a mortgage, credit card, student loans for financing on a vehicle, or another household item. Being able to know what debts you have to your name and whether they are community or separate in nature is an important part of your divorce. I would take the time to understand what debts are out there not only for your divorce before your life after divorce.

One of the unfortunate parts of a divorce is that you may learn your spouse has racked up an exceptional amount of debt on a credit card that you did know about or even has taken out lines of credit or credit card debt in your name that you were unaware of. Being so devoted to your job as a firefighter may have put you in a position where your spouse was able to take advantage of your schedule in a way that harms you financially. You do not want to be in a position where your divorce comes to an end and then you learn about a credit card that was opened in your name by your spouse without your knowledge or permission.

Finally, I cannot stress how important it is to have an attorney by your side if you want an efficient divorce. An attorney knows the process of filing for, negotiating, and obtaining a divorce. Think of it like you would in your job. Would you trust a person who has never gone through a smoke-filled house to help you exit a home alive? I don’t think that you would. Rather, you would want someone by your side who has done this difficult task and could help you avoid problems that could cost you a great deal. A family law attorney is this person for you.

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. These consultations 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 the divorce or child custody case.

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