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Having a Midlife Crisis within your Divorce?

A midlife crisis is a period in a person’s life during which they confront different issues. These issues may relate to the person’s career, family life, and relationships. Does this sound familiar to you? Many people deal with issues related to midlife crises. Although they are called midlife crises these events may arise at different points. Coupling a midlife crisis with a divorce is a troubling combination. The events which lead to a divorce oftentimes coincide with a midlife crisis.

You would not be the first person to suffer A midlife crisis because of a divorce. There is something about a divorce that causes the person to identify problem areas in their life. What you may have previously been able to overlook is now becoming a sore spot. When you have troublesome areas of your life plus divorce stress you have the potential for problems. Learning how to deal with a midlife crisis alongside a divorce takes time. It also requires a plan.

In today’s blog posts from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, we are going to focus on how you can handle issues in your life related to a midlife crisis. Identifying the potential sources for a midlife crisis as well as the methods for solving the root issues that caused the crisis. Have questions about a divorce during the middle years of your life? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan for a free-of-charge consultation.

Discontent as a prime motivator for divorce

Consider your situation at work and home. Are you happy with your career? By the time you reach your 50s and 60s, many people hope to have a plan in place for achieving certain goals alongside a career. A particular job title or set of responsibilities at work may have been a long-term goal for you. Are you at that stage of your career right now? Are those goals within your reach, if not? These are circumstances which could very well lead to a midlife crisis.

Now think about where you are in your home life. Are you in a stable marriage? Do you and your spouse talk about the issues you are facing in your relationship and with your children? Where are your finances as far as retirement is concerned? Again, many of us have plans for our lives that center around the financial strength of our families. Not being in a strong position financially impacts our relationships and how satisfied we are with them.

The trouble with both of these areas of our lives is that we may be rolling along and then all of a sudden encounter problems. When we encounter problems, we tend to take stock of our lives and assess our level of contentment at home and work. All these realities could hit us at the same time and cause us to reexamine our happiness in multiple areas. With that said, and midlife crisis may be the result of prolonged unhappiness. This is true whether we know it or not.

Does the reason for your divorce impact the case?

Suppose that you are a successful businessman. You have worked your entire life to build not only a successful business but a family. You have three small children, and a beautiful wife in a business that is the envy of every entrepreneur in town. In short, you are at the top of your game. All of this had played out exactly the way that you wanted it to when you were younger. In theory, you should be as happy as can be.

However, that is not exactly how it’s turned out. While you have achieved financial and family success it has left you unhappy. Whether that discontentment is a permanent feature of your life or temporary you are now thinking about your options. In a way, that is what you have worked so hard for to have options. You never thought that divorce would be a true option for you but now it is staring you in the face. Could a divorce be what you need to reinvigorate your life?

After all, you are in your 40s now. You are not the young man that you used to be. You still have goals for yourself and want to be able to achieve as much as possible before your golden years. Being an achiever in some ways makes family life difficult. Those precious moments at home with your children mean having to slow your life down to a certain extent. For many people, these moments are the best parts of their life. For you, slowing down enough to appreciate them has proven more difficult than you would have believed.

Focusing on your reasons for divorce

As you begin to think more seriously about a divorce all the different elements of your life come into focus. While family life may be frustrating it is still the central focus of why you get up in the morning. You want to be able to serve your family well even if you think a divorce is for the best. However, you also want to make sure that your business ventures are not damaged because of the case.

You have heard horror stories from friends in their divorce cases about losing control over their business. What took years to build could be destroyed in a matter of weeks. This is not the feature that you want. So, you begin to think more about finding the best help possible in your divorce case. Where can you turn in a situation like this? How can you begin to develop goals for your case that align with your stage in life?

The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan are equipped to help you during these days of your life. We know how to help and guide a person facing your challenges. One of the first steps an attorney with our office would take with you is to begin developing a strategy for your case. Namely, that involves finding out why you want to divorce. Specifically, do you have any fault grounds to allege in your original petition for divorce?

Fault grounds for divorce

Texas is a no-fault divorce state. That means that in Texas you do not need to specify any reason for filing the divorce. In short, you may file for divorce based on whatever motivation you have period that motivation may be serious as in cases where abandonment or abuse occur. Likewise, spouses will file for divorce based on any number of reasons or nothing particular at all.

Again, this gives you options to pursue. Specifying a fault ground in your petition for divorce allows you to potentially receive a greater share of your community estate and preferable visitation arrangements with your children. Working with an experienced family law attorney is the best way to work through circumstances involving fault grounds for divorce. You need to be able to not only list a fault ground but also prove that fault ground with evidence. 

With that said, in a situation involving a midlife crisis that would not be a fault ground for divorce. Rather, you would be seeking a no-fault divorce. This means that there is no root cause of the divorce other than an inability to sustain the marriage. This is the most common justification listed for divorce in Texas. However, that does not mean that no planning is necessary for your divorce. Here are some elements to consider as you think about your divorce circumstances.

Factors to consider in a divorce involving a midlife crisis

A midlife crisis requires that you be in a middle stage of your life. Many people in their 40s or 50s have different circumstances in a divorce than people in their 20s, for example. Being able to identify the most important factors in your life is crucial to your success in a divorce. Likewise, anticipating issues that your spouse will present is also important.

Many people focus so intently on their goals in the divorce that they fail to view the case from the perspective of their spouse. This is a tremendous mistake. By anticipating the issues raised by your spouse you can better prepare your case. Looking at your case from the perspective of your spouse also means being more realistic about the goals you have. Finding out that there is more middle ground on a particular issue than you would have thought opens the door to negotiation.

Starting with your children, you want to be able to provide for them as best you can. A reality for your family is that your wife has always been the primary caretaker of the kids. This does not mean that you have never been there or taken care of your kids. However, it does mean that your spouse has always been the one to care for them on a primary basis. How will this affect your divorce moving forward?

Child custody for the small business owner

As an entrepreneur, you know that your time is incredibly valuable. You want to be able to spend valuable time with your children. Balancing these circumstances is challenging. You know that both your business activities and your parenting life require sacrifices at various times. You are not able to continuously focus on your business if you are a parent. Likewise, you are not able to focus 100% of your energy on your children when you own multiple small businesses. 

Being able to thread the needle and divide your time efficiently between both endeavors is a worthy goal. Admittedly, finding that sweet spot has never been something you have been good at. Throughout your life as a parent, you always feel like either your business or your children are suffering. As a result, one of your main goals in this divorce is to develop a strategy that allows you to focus your time and energy as a parent and as a business owner.

How are you going to achieve the balance you seek when it comes to your parenting life? First, being realistic about your circumstances is a key part of this endeavor. Specifically, understanding that you may not be able to act as your child’s primary caretaker is a reasonable position to take.

The best interests of your child

Additionally, given that the best interests of your child are truly what matters in this situation that is something to think about too. Wanting to spend as much time with your kids as possible isn’t understandable a motion. However, whether that’s in the best interest of your child is another matter altogether.

The best interests of the child standard is one that guides Texas family law courts in all matters involving minor children. This standard attempts to take into consideration several different factors related to your children. Their physical well-being, emotional strength, and the skills of you as a parent are all considered when making decisions in a family law case. 

The law presumes that you and your spouse make decisions that are in the best interest of your children. However, you and your spouse are going to be the primary negotiators in your divorce. It is only when the two of you are unable to find a solution to your problems in your negotiation that it becomes necessary to go to court. As a result, any effort you can make towards negotiating with your spouse is important. Do not assume that these subjects will be decided by a judge.

Community property division

Dividing community property is another important part of your divorce. Several factors come into play in the division of community property. Your age, educational background, income history, separate property status, and health for all factors. Additionally, your role in the breakup of the marriage is a critical factor, as well. Consider that financial or relational infidelity may cause you to lose out on community property that might otherwise be yours.

This is because judges award community property disproportionately in situations where one spouse plays an active role in destroying the bonds of marriage. In other words, if you have harmed the marital relationship to such an extent that a divorce is necessary do not expect to receive an equal share of your community estate. If anything, you should expect that a significantly smaller amount of community property will be received by you in a situation like this.

For a small business owner, many topics become relevant in the case. Determining what portion of your small business is community property, if any, is step number one. From there, appraising the business and valuing it allows you to figure out how any portion should be divided. It is not a given that a community property share of your small business will go to your spouse. She may not want any portion of the business. Additionally, she may be ill-equipped to handle anything having to do with the business.

Small business considerations and community property

Even if your spouse does not receive anything as far as community property from your business that does not mean the discussion stops there. When you retain a portion of your business it likely means that a portion of your community property estate elsewhere needs to be divided in favor of your spouse. Having a firm understanding of what your community property estate looks like is the key to this discussion. Negotiating and moving around assets for division is what this process involves. The more you understand your community property the more efficiently you will be able to maneuver through negotiations.

Performing a basic inventory and appraisement of your property once you know the divorce is upcoming saves a great deal of time. The more you can do on your own before your divorce begins, the better. If not, you create a circumstance where you and your attorney need to do so during the case. This costs you time and money. Once you get into the divorce itself you may need to enlist the assistance of a business appraiser or other expert witness.

Other topics such as spousal maintenance, contractual alimony, and child support are also relevant as far as divorce finances are concerned. There are many moving pieces at play when it comes to your divorce. Balancing these topics within the divorce is not easy. However, working with an experienced family law attorney provides you with a tremendous advantage at various stages of your case. Thank you for spending part of your day with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Please contact us with any questions you may have about the material contained in this blog. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan is on your side.

Considering a divorce? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan today

The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan 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. Before signing a document or negotiating on a subject you do not know well, contact our office. We look forward to the opportunity of serving you during an important part of your life.

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At the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, the firm wants to get to know your case before they commit to work with you. They offer all potential clients a no-obligation, free consultation where you can discuss your case under the client-attorney privilege. This means that everything you say will be kept private and the firm will respectfully advise you at no charge. You can learn more about Texas divorce law and get a good idea of how you want to proceed with your case.

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