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Getting a divorce in Texas: What to Expect and How to Begin

Have you ever spoken to a friend or family member’s experiences in completing a task and wondered to yourself: “How did he go about doing that?” Detailed and complex processes can be glossed over when discussing them with other people when generalities are more helpful or appropriate. Those general statements don’t help you when you are in a situation where you are either needing to file for divorce or have found yourself on the receiving end of a divorce petition filed by your spouse? Without knowledge of the process and procedures of divorce in Texas how can you be expected to begin the process confidently?

Unfortunately there is no “how to” presentation that is attached to every Original Petition for Divorce. Whether you are wanting to file for divorce or need to file an Answer to your spouse’s already having done so, it is easy to feel lost. A divorce is a big deal (obviously) and you don’t want to go about it with incomplete or incorrect information. Deciding how to proceed initially is one of the most important steps to the divorce. Mistakes can be corrected, don’t get me wrong, but as it is in many areas of life those corrections can take time, money and effort that should not necessarily have to be expended.

The other part of a discussion about divorces that must be disclosed is that there is no perfect how-to guide for divorces. Your divorce will be different from your neighbor’s and vice versa. Every relationship is different and every family is different. With that said, if your situation has complex or unique factors weighing on it I would suggest that you seek additional advice beyond what you read in this blog post. After all- this is a guide to informing you of what to expect in your divorce. What you read today will be as straightforward as possible and will apply to as many readers as I can write it for.

If you do have specific questions about what you read or if your situation differs from the “norm” to a great extend I recommend that you contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. Our licensed family law attorneys are eager to meet with you to answer questions and to discuss the ways that our office can assist you and your family in a divorce. Our consultations are free of charge and are available six days a week.

Trust, but verify

To begin, if you have any feels of unease or anxiety surrounding a divorce that is normal. After all- you’ve likely never been through a divorce before and any knowledge you have about divorce is very general. Now that you are staring a divorce square in the face you need to know the specifics that can help your case to be a success. In order to reach levels of success, however, you are going to have to place your trust in an attorney who isn’t a stranger but isn’t far off.

For starters, you should learn as much as you can about divorce. Reading this blog post is a good start but it shouldn’t be all that you do. Read up on the subject just like you would anything else that you are trying to master. Consult with multiple attorneys to get their perspective and do the leg-work you need to in order to best ensure that you will be properly and fully represented in this divorce. While you cannot do a divorce alone it is not necessary to blindly trust those who you have hired to represent you.

Keep in mind that if you decide to hire an attorney you are still the person getting the divorce and you are still responsible for making the decisions that come with every divorce. Your attorney is there to educate you as much as possible on the consequences (good and bad) of those decisions but he or she cannot make the decisions for you. Your job is to take the information you are presented with, utilize the counsel of your attorney and to then make a decision on what direction you would like to go. While your attorney will be teaching you as much as possible, it is unlikely that he or she can teach you every single fact, figure or strategy available in the family law world. That gap in knowledge should be filled by you doing outside study on your own about divorce in Texas. The difference between a so-so result and a good result or a good result with a great result is often the knowledge and commitment of the client. Be the client who trusts your attorney- but make sure your knowledge base is sufficient to be able to verify what is being told to you.

Learn from the outside and then focus on the details

From my experience, clients want to learn everything they can about divorce in a single afternoon. That, of course, is not possible. It is understandable, however. We live in a microwave culture where we want everything done today, if not yesterday. Patience is not something that we have in abundance. Divorce is more like a crock-pot. You have to be patient. As such you should first focus on learning the general processes that you are sure to encounter in your divorce. Next, take that general knowledge and begin to apply specific factors that could be relevant in your case. Doing so will take you a little while but the end result is a more thorough understanding of what is a very complicated topic.

Temporary Issues that need to be resolved at the outset of your divorce

Whether you are the spouse who has filed for divorce or your spouse has taken that first step, there are a few issues that will need to be handled right off the bat. Those are: how you will let your children know the divorce has been filed and how you and your spouse will live during the divorce. Namely- will one of you be moving out of the home or will you both remain for the duration of the divorce?

First of all, you should speak to an attorney before deciding whether to remain in the home or leave. I can tell you that once you leave the home it is more difficult to get back in than had you never left in the first place. This is especially true if you leave the home without your children. A judge will not be all that willing to change up the kids’ lifestyle once it has become fairly well established. Your spouse’s attorney will be telling their client the same thing. If you want to remain in the home after the divorce and have any aspirations of being named as the parent with the right to determine the children’s primary residence then you should do whatever you can to stay in the house.

Obviously if your home has a spare bedroom or area where you and your spouse can retreat during the divorce then that is for the best. If your situation doesn’t allow this then it may be better to leave temporarily than risk the ire of your spouse in a crowded space. If you and your spouse are not amicable it is likely that you all would agree one of you would have to leave in mediation or a judge would likely order that in a temporary orders hearing.

Learn how to talk to your children about divorce in tomorrow’s blog post

If you are at a loss as to how to talk to your child about your divorce then come on back to our website tomorrow in order to learn more about this subject.

In the meantime please direct any questions that you may have about today’s blog post to the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. We offer free of charge consultations six days a week with our team of licensed family law attorneys. It would be an honor to meet with you and answer your questions at no cost to you.


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