When it comes to your divorce case the goals that you have about that case may be unique to you and your circumstances. That is the difficulty of trying to write a blog post like this one where we talk about financial mistakes that you should seek to avoid in your case. I don't know you nor the specific circumstances that you were facing in your own life. However, I do think that no matter what position you find yourself in that there are certain common elements to divorce cases across the board that we can talk about here in this blog post.
One of the most important lessons, financial or otherwise, about a divorce, is that no matter what happens in your case you do not have to be defined by what takes place over the next few months in courtrooms or at the negotiating table. What transpires about your divorce does not need to define you now or in the future. Sure enough, there are people who you will find talking about their divorce from a decade or more ago. However, you do not have to be that person. You can decide to let the divorce case end the moment that the judge signs the paperwork. After that, the rest of your life is in front of you.
Whether you are a man or a woman, old or young, wealthy, or less wealthy or somewhere in between you should know that taking steps to protect your financial future after a divorce is never a bad idea. It can be difficult to focus on so many different areas of the case when if you have children and finances to concern yourself with. however, you can indeed multitask better when you have an experienced family law attorney to guide you. This is one of the main benefits of having an experienced family law attorney: that you can pay attention better to the areas that are the most important to you.
One of the pieces of a divorce case that is not often discussed is that the rest of your life will continue to go on no matter what happens in your divorce. Your family life, work, extracurricular activities, and anything else that is important to you will not necessarily slow down at all just because you are going through a divorce. You can do something to slow down the pace of your life while you wait for a divorce to come and go but for the most part your boss, for example, won't care too much that you are going through a divorce. He or she will still expect you to complete your work tasks and fulfill any other duties that you have about your job.
With that said, if you choose to hire an attorney with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan then you could know full well that we will help you be able to manage your expectations as well as the important parts of your case. An attorney will not make decisions for you in the case but will help you to make well-informed decisions by providing you with perspective and information that you otherwise would not ordinarily have a period for a free-of-charge consultation with one of our experienced family law attorneys please do not hesitate to reach out to the Law Office of Bryan Fagan today.
With that said, I would like to share with you some financial mistakes that I have seen people make repeatedly that have gone through divorce cases in Texas. These are not mistakes limited to any one group of people or another period rather, these are mistakes that everyone can make across the board in a divorce case. Rather than wonder about what you can do to avoid divorce mistakes why not spend some time with us today to learn about simple mistakes that you can avoid to better position yourself and your family now and in the future.
Short term thinking
One of the major mistakes that I see people make in divorce cases time and time again is thinking only in the short term. This is a big mistake to make but is completely understandable in many regards. The fact is that no one wants to go through a divorce, and everyone looks forward to their divorce case being over with period as a result, you may find yourself in a position where you want to do everything possible to simply avoid the unpleasant nature of your divorce. You may avoid difficult conversations or steps in the case if only to avoid conflict or having to expose yourself to litigation or difficult negotiation with your spouse.
Avoiding conflict to shorten your divorce is not a good trade-off. This type of short-term thinking should be something that you seek to avoid at all costs in your divorce. What is preferable would be for you to think about what your life looks like now and where you want it to be over the next decade. It doesn't matter if you are in your golden years, middle-aged or young. We can all think about the next five or ten years of our lives and where we want to go based on our current situation. Focusing on maintaining a lifestyle versus securitizing ING your future is another example of short-term versus long-term thinking.
Probably the most common mistake that people in your position make regarding short-term thinking is about the family house. It is understandable to want to keep the family house especially if you have children at home. Many parents approach this subject as being one where it is important to provide the children with consistency and stability by allowing them to remain in the family house no matter the upfront costs. Many times, a parent will choose to forego other assets that will be more advantageous on a long-term basis to keep the house in their name.
Unfortunately, this can be a major mistake to make regarding divorce and can oftentimes lead to several issues both in the short and long term from a negative perspective. In the short term, there are costs associated with maintaining a house on a year-to-year basis that you may not be able to handle on your own. For this reason, the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan will work with you to project out into the near-term future what it means to own a home in terms of the yearly costs and maintenance. These may be small details in the overall scheme of things, but they can have a major impact on your case.
Additionally, there are long-term consequences to keeping a house after a divorce. For example, while the stability and consistency for your children may be a selling point to you keeping the house the reality is that you may not need to keep this house to provide your children with consistency and stability. On a single person's income, stretching your dollar to pay a mortgage may not be the wisest decision in the world. Even if you can refinance the mortgage into your name you may need to add some years onto the life of that mortgage to make the monthly payment. Whereas your initial mortgage on the home may have been a 15-year mortgage the next mortgage may need to be stretched out into 30 to give you a smaller monthly payment. This will put you in debt for a much longer period unless you can make additional payments each month on the principal portion of the loan.
Overall, it is commendable for you to have a concern associated with the house and your children that you do. However, there are ways to put your family in a consistent and stable position to achieve success moving forward. Another bit of reality for you to chew on as you consider your options in a divorce is that stability and consistency to the degree that you would like maybe unachievable in your case. Stability and consistency are great goals to have but they may be out of your grasp at this moment. It doesn't matter what sort of steps you take to keep a house or anything else in your divorce. Making bad financial decisions for short-term gain that may not even exist is a financial mistake that you should seek to avoid.
Failing to ask questions about things that you do not understand
This may be the most important mistake or a bit of information that I can share with you about your divorce case. Overall, without a doubt, you need to ask questions about things that you do not understand in your life, finances, and specifically in a divorce. Nobody would expect you to know everything there is to know about getting a divorce. This is probably your first divorce and even if it is not a divorce case can be complex and complicated, to say the least. Having questions is completely normal and should not be something that you are in the least bit ashamed of.
However, you may be surprised to learn that many people hold off on asking questions about their case either until it is too late or until the person has worked themselves up into a lather of anger. The more questions you ask throughout your case the more knowledge you will gain. Knowledge allows you to avoid fear and anxiety about a process that is complicated to manage even in the best of circumstances. Not asking questions allows fear and doubt to creep into your mind which can impact how you negotiate and even how you approach issues related to your family during the case.
That brings us to financial questions in issues that can potentially make a divorce case a difficult one for you and your attorney to manage. An attorney with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan will have the heart of a teacher. This means that your attorney is not out to make money word 2 argue with you or the opposing lawyer. Rather, one of our attorneys is skilled at approaching the case from the perspective of needing to teach you as much as possible about the divorce process so that you can make well-informed decisions for yourself and your family.
Our lawyers take the time to explain concepts that are difficult or foreign to most people in order so that you can make decisions that are well suited for the success of your family. The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan also understand that we are not well suited to give you advice and information about every subject under the sun when it comes to your divorce finances. You may have financial planning, investment, and tax questions that are not well suited to ask an attorney who practices family law. While our attorneys would be able to give you information about these subjects you should not take that information as advice necessarily.
Rather, when you have specific questions about various financial-related matters and an attorney with our office will point you towards asking those questions, I've experienced financial professional who can better guide you and serve you. The last thing one of our attorneys would want to do is to step outside our area of expertise and give you information or advice that is incorrect or not the best for your situation. For that reason, we believe that asking questions of your attorney as well as finding experienced financial professionals in areas like retirement savings, investing and tax assistance can be a way for you to avoid a situation where a lack of information forces you to make bad decisions.
Being unprepared when it comes to negotiating for child support or spousal maintenance
This is a mistake that relates to matters both short-term and long-term in nature. Let's assume for a moment that you are a mother who is reading this blog post. You have two children, a house, some debt, and have not worked outside the home since your children were born. You're not having an income has never been a problem for your family but as you face a divorce filed against you by your husband you’re not working outside the home for many years is suddenly becoming a more important subject for you to consider.
You have considered filing for divorce yourself over the past few years, but I've held back because of money concerns. Specifically, you have a concern validly that your filing for divorce means you will be cut off from your spouse’s income and unable to provide for yourself or your family moving forward. This concern is hindered your ability to move forward with your life and even go back and look for employment as a single person.
When you find yourself in a situation like this then you very much need to get a few things in order, rather quickly, when it comes to positioning yourself well for child support and spousal maintenance or contractual alimony. The name of the game regarding both of these subjects is his preparedness. Let's talk about child support and post-divorce spousal support separately as we close out today's blog post.
When it comes to child support you need to understand that there are guideline levels of support as contained in the Texas family code. For many families, these guideline levels of support work quite well. Your spouse’s net monthly income will be calculated and then a percentage would be applied against that net monthly income to determine how much child support you receive each month however if your child has a special need or other costs associated with raising him or her that need to be considered you should come to negotiations and mediations prepared with that information. While your spouse may agree that your child has special costs associated with raising him or her you may disagree on the extent to which those costs need to be borne out in child support. Helping a mediator and even your spouse’s attorney understand what those costs are could more readily win you additional sums of child support each month.
Finally, when negotiating for spousal support after a divorce you must have a strong understanding not only of what your current circumstances are financially but what those of your spouse are. Even if you have a proven need to receive spousal support after the divorce the reality is that you will not be able to win this right to receive money unless it can be shown that your spouse can pay. The more precise you can be with your request for spousal maintenance and the better you can prove that your spouse can pay increases your chances of being awarded this type of long-term financial benefit as a result of your divorce.
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 posts, 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.