If you are an adult and if you have friends, a family or co-worker then you have heard other people talk to you about their divorce. When people tell stories about themselves the person will rarely make the effort if there is nothing interesting to tell. So if we remove all the instances where a divorce was relatively quick and painless then we are left with the somewhat “juicy” stories that involve people in your life and their ex spouses duking it out for the children or property.
Both are important subjects, with the children obviously being more important by a factor of about a million. What is scary to hear from your friends, family and co-workers are instances where he or she tell you that all they came out of the divorce with was the clothes on their back. Something happened during the divorce that led to their not doing as well as they would have hoped in terms of retaining the property that both spouses shared during the marriage.
This may leave you feeling a bit uneasy now that you are considering a divorce and looking for a Texas divorce attorney to hire. What’s the likelihood that you come out of your own divorce with nothing and a long road towards having a normal life again? Let’s walk through this issue in order to examine it with more detail.
Goals in property negotiations: Gimme, Gimme, Gimme
I will go out on a limb and assume that if you had your choice you would like to be awarded as much as you can be (within reason) in terms of property from your divorce. I’m not saying that you are going to fight your spouse for every last piece of silverware. All things being equal though, you would prefer to come out with more and give to your spouse less as far as property is concerned. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course. Whether you end up with the items that you want depends on how you and your attorney prepare when nobody else is watching.
How can you best ensure that you have the opportunity to be awarded specific items or pieces of property? Communicating with your attorney is a good start
Talk with your lawyer about your goals
Before filing for divorce I would advise you to take inventory of your home, storage unit, beach house, lake house, etc. in order to start organizing the property that comprises your and your spouse’s life together. A “theirs”, “mine” and “ours” type layout typically works best. If you can begin to establish where each piece of property falls that will be helpful because your spouse will most likely be doing the same exact thing. If you both agree for the most part on how to characterize particular pieces of property then you may not be in for the property battle that you had been dreading.
Once you have your list made up give your lawyer’s office a call and set up a time to go and meet with him or her. This is your goal setting session and should be treated with a great deal of importance by both you and your lawyer. You should be specific in your goals as far as specific pieces of property that you would like to keep and in your reasoning as to how you intend to prove that a particular item should be awarded to you and not your spouse.
This strategy session is important for your attorney as well because he or she needs to know what you are thinking in terms of what you aim to accomplish in this divorce. I have personally seen past clients run the gamut from believing that they are going to walk out of the divorce with everything in the home to those clients who were extremely pessimistic at their chances to keep anything. As with most things in life, the truth lies somewhere in the middle most of the time.
Your divorce lawyer will talk to you about what realistic goals are and what you should realistically expect to be awarded if a judge has to play tie breaker for you and your spouse. So much of the divorce process is simply making offers and counter offers to your spouse and their attorney that your lawyer can almost immediately begin to open up some dialogue with your spouse’s lawyer on these subjects. I have seen items ranging from vacation homes to plastic rings from a flea market be negotiated upon successfully by myself and the opposing attorney.
Finally, think about your spouse and what he or she is likely to go after in terms of a property negotiation. What he or she wants, what he or she is likely to get and how he or she will likely support themselves after the divorce are important to think about. Your attorney does not know your spouse at all. What may be obvious to you is most likely not so obvious to your attorney. Your lawyer does know strategy, however, and can negotiate better knowing what your spouse likely wants or does not want.
An analogy I tell clients all the time that they should picture their divorce as a table with all of their worldly possessions in the middle of the table. Our job as attorneys is to help both parties divide up those possessions in a way that (in a perfect world) is beneficial, fair and leaves each client feeling like they are satisfied. The alternative is talking to the judge- a situation that I can tell you from experience rarely results in either side feeling all that happy.
Questions about dividing up property in your divorce? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
A free of charge consultation with one of our licensed family law attorneys is only a phone call away. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC represents clients across southeast Texas and we would be honored to listen to your questions, answer what we can and discuss your case in greater detail.
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- 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
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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 Child Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our Divorce lawyers in Spring 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.