Whenever a potential new client walks into the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC for a free of charge consultation the person will usually approach their family law situation in a straightforward manner. It could be that you and your family are going through a similar situation and the end result looks like a divorce will unfortunately be necessary.
It’s likely that you would have the same sort of no-nonsense, straightforward approach to the process. You want a divorce, you want to see your kids as much as you can after the divorce is finalized and you don’t want to spend a ton of money.
This is completely understandable. Before you begin to consider the end result of a divorce it is important to lay the groundwork first. What follows is some advice from the Houston divorce attorneys at our office on how to get yourself and your family ready for a divorce in Texas.
Set up a bank account that your spouse cannot access
It is no doubt frustrating if you are the spouse in the marriage that has no access to the family bank accounts and handles none of the family finances. Not only does this leave you always having to ask your spouse for money during the marriage, but it puts you at a significant disadvantage if a divorce is on the horizon.
Paying for a divorce attorney or a new place to live is an investment and if you have no money readily available life becomes a little more difficult.
The best move a person can make at the outset of a divorce is to begin to deposit your income into a separate bank account. This allows you to have some money set aside to make the sort of decisions necessary to execute a strong divorce plan.
Continuing to deposit money in a bank account you share with your spouse (even one that you have access to) means your spouse can potentially drain the account to pay for his or her own divorce lawyer or other bills.
You can attempt to get a reimbursement for this during the divorce but it still won’t put money in your pocket when you need it at the beginning of a case. Setting up a separate account for you and your expenses is a good first move to make when preparing for a divorce
Begin to Use a Calendar
One thing you will notice as your divorce unfolds is that you will be answering more questions during the months your divorce last than at any other time in your life. The reason for this is that your life’s information is all of a sudden very relevant to a number of people. With that being said having an accurate timeline of events or even just recalling a date that a specific event occurred can be critically important.
While many people have a strong memory it can still be extremely helpful to write things down in a calendar. This calendar can be provided to your divorce attorney’s office so that they can get a feel chronologically speaking for how events transpired.
Scheduled visits with your children, court dates, and other items you do not want to forget can be logged in a calendar.
The options are virtually limitless when it comes to calendars that can be utilized as well. Most cellular phones come with a calendar application and there are applications that can be downloaded that have more detailed features if you are a tech savvy individual.
See your doctor and get a physical
From my experience, this is one piece of advice that I can say most people entering into a divorce do not typically think about. For most of us, our lives are busy as can be. Finding an hour or two to see your primary care physician (if you even have one) is usually not the top of our priorities list. However, I would suggest that during a divorce your priorities should change. Going to see your doctor for a checkup should be a part of that change.
For starters, divorces are stressful. Getting an assessment at the outset of your divorce in regard to your health can either give you piece of mind that you are ready to go through the process in good health or can help you assess where you need to work on improving your state of health.
Another less frequently seen but altogether relevant consideration is to find out if you have contracted any sort of sexually transmitted disease from your spouse. This is relevant in those instances where you have reason to believe that your spouse has been unfaithful to you.
Finding out before you are divorced that you have an STD that your spouse gave to you can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. If nothing else a court can order that your spouse pay for any medical treatment associated with the disease you contracted.
Collect and organize information
One of the more frustrating things that clients at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC will run into once their divorce has started is that documents they wish they had access to have suddenly gone missing. It’s not that they’ve grown legs and walked away on their own.
Typically, your spouse will, after learning of the divorce, will begin to take documents that are important and either outright hide them from you or take them to a place where it’s less likely you will find them. This serves the dual purpose of helping them maintain access to the information contained in those documents as well as making your life more difficult.
What sort of documents should you be making copies of and holding onto in case they are needed down the line? Here are some examples:
- Credit Card Statements
- Bank Account Statements
- Loan documents
- Paycheck stubs (for both you and your spouse)
- Investment Account Statements
- Retirement Account Statements
- Real Estate Documents
One piece of advice that I can provide in the context of community vs. separate property: if you plan to assert that a piece of property is yours separate from the community estate be prepared to show proof of this assertion to a judge.
This means showing that the chain of ownership never included your spouse, either directly or indirectly through community funds being used to purchase the item or piece of property. Documents such as the ones listed above can be essential to meeting this burden in court.
Fail to Prepare and you should Prepare to Fail
Your divorce is like any other part of your life. If you don’t pay attention and put some effort into the process the end result will most certainly not be what you want it to be. The attorneys at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC take pride in representing people during difficult times.
We view the attorney-client relationship as a partnership. The partnership is one that functions best when both parties are working hard towards the same goal. Stay tuned for part two of this series of articles detailing pieces of advice for soon to be divorcing persons.
If you’ve read anything in this article that has you asking questions, please do not hesitate to contact the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. We can help you schedule a meeting with one of our family law attorneys to discuss your questions- at no charge to you.
If you want to know more about what you can do, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: “16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce”
Other Articles you may be interested in:
- Getting Ready for Divorce in 2017 in Texas: Part Two of a Two Part Series
- Dividing Property in a Texas Divorce - The Just and Right Division
- Why is Separate Property Important and How to Keep it Separate in a Texas Divorce?
- What Wikipedia Can’t Tell you About Texas Divorce and Marital Property Division
- Texas Divorce Property Division Enforcement
- Separate Property in a Texas Divorce?
- Does it Matter Whose Name is on Title or Deed of Property in a Divorce in Texas?
- Is Social Security Considered Separate Property in a Texas Divorce
- Business Owners and Business Assets in a Texas Divorce
- What to do when your divorce decree does not include a marital asset?
Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with one of our Houston, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our divorce lawyers in Houston TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handles Divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.