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What to Do Your Spouse wants a divorce but you don’t

Heading toward a divorce that you do not want? Seeing that your marriage is going over a cliff is not a fun position to be in. It is a helpless feeling to not know what to do to save your marriage and family life. Having this many questions means that you need answers. Taking concrete steps towards a resolution of these problems is hard to accomplish. Lacking the information, you need to get ahead is a major obstacle to this goal, especially in a challenging divorce case.

Working with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan puts you in a position where gaining knowledge and perspective comes easily. Our experienced family law attorneys serve Texans in a variety of legal matters. Walking with families throughout their legal issues means tapping into not only our experiences but also our teaching ability. We show clients every day how to manage their lives more effectively when it comes to family law cases. 

Assessing your marriage for issues

Married people sometimes fall asleep at the wheel, so to speak. We are so involved in our day-to-day lives that our marriage becomes just a part of the events in which we partake. This is a difficult position for you and your spouse. Relationships are living, breathing things. They are either getting better or getting worse. Relationships do not stay the same. You and your spouse are either working on your relationship or you are allowing the relationship to deteriorate. 

This is an issue that is common in marriages- even marriages where divorce is not present as an option. A good marriage is like a muscle- to get stronger it needs to be exercised. Take off your marriage as you would your physical body. Without that care, it is not hard to find yourself in a position where divorce appears as a viable option. 

When was the last time that you seriously assessed your marriage? Take the time to look at the relationship for what it is- not what it was or what you hope it could be. The odds are good that the marriage you see is the marriage that your spouse sees. That he or she wants a divorce gives you plenty of reasons to examine the relationship further.

Strengths of your marriage

Looking on the positive side, every marriage has its strengths.  This is true even in marriages where divorce presents itself as a viable option. What are the strengths of your marriage? If you don’t know this is the time to begin your search towards an answer to this question. Expecting to convince your spouse to pull back on their objective of a divorce cannot happen without knowledge of why your marriage is worth saving.

Listing communication as a strength of your marriage is the best sign for you at this point. Communication means two things: listening and talking. Being able to talk through the challenges in your relationship is crucial to avoiding a divorce. Divorcing is not a sure thing just because your spouse brings it up to you. Entering a divorce proceeding depends upon your willingness to try and talk through these issues.

Falling back on old habits will not make it any easier to salvage your marriage. One day you are ready to put in all the effort needed and the next you want a break. Whatever you decide as far as working on your marriage, consistency is key. Waffling back and forth on where to go and what to do makes no sense. Rather, take the time to plan out what you do. Talk with your spouse.

Conversing with your spouse

Trying to talk with your spouse about the problems in your marriage is a good place to begin. Many times, we believe that we are developing a good relationship with our spouse simply because we are around him or her. This was especially true during the pandemic. People spend a lot of time at home, and we’re lulled into a false sense of security in the well-being of their relationship. 

However, sitting on the same couch as your spouse does not mean that you are bettering the relationship. On the contrary, unless you take the time and develop better communication skills marriage may be over before you know it. This is where being diligent about communication and attempting to work out the issues of your marriage with your spouse makes a huge difference. By working with your spouse daily you improve the quality of your marriage.

Setting the stage for discussions like this involves turning off electronics and putting away your phones. It seems that we are all connected to our phones more so than ever before. Connectivity to our work and leisure activities makes our phones essential for daily life. However, instead of focusing on your phone why not focus on your spouse when you are at home? Trying to be diligent about communication means putting forth the effort and blocking out distractions.

Being honest with yourself about your communication skills

very few of us are born effective communicators. Rather, this skill is one we learn over time. Usually, the skill is learned as a result of failed attempts to communicate in various settings. Both at work and home, all of us should take the time to be able to learn better how to communicate with others. Certainly, the Law Office of Bryan Fagan understands the importance of communication and good communication skills.

This ties directly into problems that you are experiencing in your marriage. By working with your spouse on communication you are acknowledging that work must be done in your home. This is an important realization. Coming to a realization late means your midge may be destined for a divorce. This is an especially challenging position to be in when it is your spouse who is pushing for a divorce. At that point, there is only so much you can do to try to salvage the relationship.

Determining that you need help with your communication skills means one of two things. You can work to improve those communication skills together with your spouse at home. Or you need to seek outside help and assistance in allowing you to improve those communication skills. Assisting families with improving their communication skills is exactly what a marriage and family therapist does for a living.

Attending marriage and family therapy with your spouse 

Consider the opportunities available to you when it comes to attending marriage and family therapy. Many people in your position would not even consider attending marriage and family therapy. There are so many negative stigmas associated with marriage and family therapy that simply beginning the process speaks volumes of your willingness to try something new.

Contrary to popular belief, a marriage and family therapist does not solely attempt to play referee for your marital fight. Rather, the marriage and family therapist is most skilled at helping couples in difficult circumstances learn better communication skills. Remember that communication is a two-way street. Showing a willingness to communicate with your spouse is a good sign for the future of your marriage.

Marriage and family therapy appointments are available in your area. The key is figuring out where to find a therapist. Contacting your health insurance company is a good place to start. Reaching out to friends and family for recommendations is a second place to look. Finally, being comfortable with talking to a therapist through your church is another option for you.

One of the questions that the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan receive regularly is whether the state of Texas has legal separations. Texas does not have legal separation as a part of the Texas Family Code. You can physically separate yourself from your spouse. However, there are no specific legal protections that go into place when you attempt to legally separate yourself from your spouse. 

With that said, there are some things for you to keep in mind as you prepare for a separation. First, the actions of your spouse while away from you still impact your life. For instance, moving out of the family house puts you in a position where you rely upon your spouse to pay the mortgage. When a payment is missed while you are out of the house the mortgage company does not care if you are physically separated. This will still hurt your credit score.

At the same time, your spouse can use the time wisely while you are gone to begin to prepare for a divorce. This involves issues like preparing an inventory and appraisement of the property in your home. He or she has an advantage over you given the time it takes preparing an inventory and appraisement.

Laying down some ground rules on behavior during a separation is wise. This ensures that both you and your spouse take seriously the separation and focus on the issues that matter most to both of you. Again, this is where communication is especially important. Being able to work through conflicts in your marriage matters much more when the two of you can agree on the most important issues of your case.

Taking steps toward a divorce

When it finally becomes time to start considering what a divorce will look like for your family you do not have a moment to spare. Thinking critically about how best to proceed matters in a situation like this. Beginning a divorce with the assistance of an experienced family law attorney is a tremendous advantage. Instead of focusing on logistical issues and other topics like this, you can focus your attention on goal setting and working through the issues that are most important to your marriage.

Talking with an experienced family law attorney with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan helps you figure out where you are in the case process. Instead of wondering about where to go from here, an attorney with our office helps you to place yourself in the beginning stages of a divorce. What goals are reasonable for your case? Who can you contact if you need help? What sort of goals can you set for your children?

Needing assistance at the beginning of a divorce is nothing uncommon. Finding an attorney who can show you how to better yourself and your family at this time is crucial. Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan to learn more about the divorce process in Texas. We offer free-of-charge consultations six days a week in person, over the phone and via video.

Proceeding in a divorce that you do not want 

Texas is a no-fault divorce state. This means that if your spouse wants to divorce you then he or she can do so even if you do not agree. One of the mistakes that people make at the beginning of a divorce that their spouse filed is to try and ignore the paperwork in hopes that the case will blow over or go away on its own. This is not a reasonable position to take. Your spouse can obtain a divorce from you without your participation.

Rather than attempting to ignore a divorce that is thrust upon you, it is better to work through these issues together in negotiation. This is after attempting to reconcile with your spouse if possible. Not every marriage is salvageable. Part of knowing how to proceed in a divorce is understanding when you have exhausted all attempts to reconcile.

The bottom line is that you should expect the divorce to occur no matter if you want to or not. It only takes one spouse to get a divorce off the ground. When attempts to save your marriage have failed you need to shift gears and work towards resolving the divorce as amicably as possible.

Methods of obtaining an amicable divorce resolution

Mediation is the foremost method of obtaining an amicable divorce resolution in Texas. Mediation involves working with an experienced family law mediator to help sort out the issues in your case and work towards a binding resolution. The family law mediator is either going to be a former judge or a currently practicing attorney in family law. This gives you the unique opportunity to ask questions and obtain information from a neutral, third-party source.

After mediation, a mediated settlement agreement is drafted containing the totality of the negotiated settlements between you and your spouse. These settlement agreements are binding on both of you and cannot be overturned in most circumstances. As a result, engaging in proper planning during mediation is critical to entering a favorable settlement arrangement. 

Mediation allows you and your spouse to work through topics as far-ranging as property division and child custody settlements. The more diligent you are in preparing your settlement the better your life will be and that of your children after the divorce. Again, working with experienced counsel in mediation makes a world of difference. The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan understand how to craft a mediated settlement agreement that is fair and forward-thinking. 

Final thoughts on Going through a divorce that you do not want

Without a doubt, going through a divorce that you do not want is not an easy situation to be in. There are so many circumstances that are in play that you need to be mindful of. At the same time, you may have children whom you are looking out for Having a plan is of critical importance.

Understanding that your marriage has ended is difficult for many people. Avoiding this realization not only is unhelpful in a divorce but also harms your case in the long run. Once your divorce becomes a reality, move forward with the plan and act intentionally to achieve your goals. Having questions about where to go from here is completely normal. Every divorce is different. Even if you have been through a divorce before having experienced representation matters. 

Thank you for choosing to spend part of your day with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our experienced family law attorneys take pride in serving our community and our clients. To learn more about us or to obtain a free-of-charge consultation, please reach out to us today. We understand that you do not find yourself in ideal circumstances presently. You feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. We are here to help.

Making your way through a divorce is not impossible. However, when your spouse pushes for divorce that you do not want the decision is taken out of your hands. Again, thank you for your time and we hope to hear from you with any questions you may have.

Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan    

If you have any questions about your divorce case after reading 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. Interested in learning more about how your family is impacted by the material in this blog post? Contact us today.

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