As we approach the midpoint of 2019, we all know that summer will be over before we know it. Next come the holiday season and then New Year’s. Many Americans plan ahead for what resolutions they would like to make and take into the following year with them. If you are one of the people that takes your resolutions seriously then a little preparation could go a long way towards actually following through with your goals. Very few people are ever successful in doing anything when they wake up one morning and think to themselves: “Maybe I should go ahead and go back to school and finish my degree. Ill head down to the college right this second to start that.”
Finishing your college degree is a great goal and a great New Year’s Resolution but like any goal it is difficult to achieve if you do not plan on how to attack that goal. Thinking of a goal and the planning out a clear path that can lead to that goal being accomplished is really what separates the dreamers from the achievers.
If you have been considering a divorce for some time and have just been stuck in the mud as far as getting that idea off the ground then now is a great time to begin to prepare for making it a New Year’s Resolution that is worth following through with. In today’s blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC we will discuss this topic in greater detail in order to hopefully provide you with a better understanding of how a simple resolution can impact your life for years to come.
January is a busy month for family law attorneys
January happens to be a busy month for family law attorneys whose practice centers around divorce cases. This probably has something to do with folks like yourself that make resolutions, absolutely. If you’ve put the divorce off for months or even years there is no time like the present to rip the band-aid off and actually start on your divorce journey. The new year offers new possibilities and the feeling of a clean slate to operate off of. This is one reason why family law attorneys end up busier in January than almost any other month.
The other reason, from my experience, is based on something that I mentioned earlier in this blog post. January is the month that immediately follows November and December. If you don’t believe me on that go ahead and take out your calendar and look it over. You’ll see that at the conclusion of every year is November and December. The following year starts with January. Now that I’m a totally credible attorney let’s move on.
If you’ve ever been upset, frustrated or angry with someone I can think of no more inhospitable time to spend with him or her than the holidays. I don’t mean that it isn’t good to spend time with people you are upset with. Quite the contrary- if you can spend quality time with that person in order to sort through issues in your relationship that is an ideal situation to be in. However, the holidays usually involve you, your spouse and your children visiting with relatives and friends for much of the time. There are certainly stressors involved with these interactions even in the best of times. Throw in an angry spouse, no opportunities for one on one time and these stressors and you will find yourself in a combustible situation.
The end result is that divorces are often times filed as soon as the craziness of the holidays subsides in January. It is not a bad idea to seek counseling or marriage therapy in January but for some people that is not an option. If you decide to make a New Year’s Resolution to finally file for divorce from your spouse, let’s examine what you may encounter as you attempt to undertake the process at the start of the new year.
Know what you’re signing up for when you file for a divorce
Divorce is not for the faint of heart or for the impatient. The fact is that divorces in Texas must last for at least sixty days from the date your divorce petition is filed. Most last longer due to the necessity to either settle all disputes with your spouse in mediation or to take your case to trial to have a judge decide on an outcome. Either way, you should be prepared for some degree of negotiation between yourself and your spouse.
If you have children, then the need for thorough planning is even greater. You should spend some time this summer and into the Holidays thinking about what sort of visitation structure you want for yourself and your spouse with your children. If you are going to the be parent who lives with your children on a primary basis then what sort of visitation would you like your spouse to have with your children? What are your work schedules like? If you are thinking of proposing a schedule that is atypical then your spouse and your schedules better allow for that.
As far as property is concerned, you can spend the next few months preparing an inventory ahead of time. Once you file for divorce your attorney will ask you to document all the items in your home that will need to be divided between you and your spouse. You can get a jump start on this and also begin to appraise the items, especially those that you believe are valuable.
In the same vein as inventorying and appraising items, you can begin to collect documents that show the value of real estate, investments and retirement accounts. These documents will also be necessary for your divorce to proceed and eventually to conclude. If you can get a decent idea about what you and your spouse’s personal finances look like then you can begin to prepare settlement offers. Nothing firm needs to be thought up yet, but having a good idea of what your finances look like now will better prepare for you for your divorce in a few months.
Prepare for life after your divorce
Do you expect that you will be the spouse who is asked to leave your home? If so then you can begin to look for a place to live temporarily that is close by. This is especially important if you have children. What about your savings? Will you have enough to make a graceful exit from your home to find a new place to stay or will money hold you back? I should note that if you have any intention of becoming the primary conservator for your children or of remaining in your home after your divorce concludes you really should consider staying in your home as long as you are able to.
Are you currently a stay at home parent or stay at home spouse? If you will be returning to the workforce there is no better time than now to update your resume and begin to network in the area of the workforce that you anticipate joining. You may not have time to go back and take any classes to finish a degree or earn a certification but you can learn more about your desired area of the workforce through videos and articles posted online. Why not join professional associations or begin to network in your spare time as well? These steps can’t hurt and may help you transition into the workforce that much easier once your divorce is complete
Questions about divorce or family law in general? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC have the experience, tenacity and knowledge of the law that you need to be successful in your family law case. We pride ourselves on providing incomparable levels of service and professionalism to our clients. To learn more about your case and our office please do not hesitate to contact us today. We offer free of charge consultations six days a week with one of our licensed family law attorneys. You can discuss your case, ask questions and have any of your concerns addressed directly with us in a comfortable and pressure free environment.