Stop for a moment and consider what a divorce truly is. Beyond the anger, hostility, jealousy, false promises, bad decisions and harsh words. What do you think a divorce really is? Is it purely an emotional matter where you and your spouse are going to air all your petty grievances against the other in a public setting? If you've been waiting years to tell the world about his having cheated on you after your first child was born a divorce is a pretty opportune time to do so. Or is he angling to get out of your marriage so quickly because you haven't shown him any attention in a decade? The stories behind every divorce vary, typically based on which spouse you are talking to.
Divorce can and often is all these things. At its core, however, a divorce is a family lawsuit. What's that? You've never really considered that a divorce is a real, live lawsuit? Like the ones you read about in the news or see on television, a lawsuit is a serious matter that involves the legal system, a judge and two parties that have often times have widely divergent views on any number of topics. Is it weird for you to think about suing your spouse?
The fact is that you cannot achieve whatever goals you have for yourself and for your family without filing a lawsuit against him or her. Your name will be at the top of a lawsuit and the letter "v" will follow (as in, versus) with your spouse's name beneath that. Like the Super Bowl or the World Series, it is team "you" versus team "them". The stakes are high and the emotions likely are as well.
However, this does not mean that this has to be a battle royal where two participants enter and only one comes out alive. You and your spouse can take many different routes to achieve a successful result in your divorce. I’ve seen so many different married couples go about their divorces in so many different ways that it could make your head spin. The end result is always that a divorce occurs and two people that were married leave the divorce no longer being so. The only question is, and what separates each couple, is how they went about achieving that end.
Today’s blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan will walk you through a number of our tips and tricks to get you through your divorce with your sanity and goals intact. Like I just said a moment ago, there are a number of ways for you to divorce your spouse but those ways are not created equal. Our sincere hope is that by reading our blog today you will set yourself apart from anyone else going through a divorce- most notably from your spouse.
Act the part- act like a good student
If Hollywood had their way, every person in America would think that a divorce was the sort of knock down, drag out fight that I was talking about in the opening section of today’s blog post. This is understandable, after all. Drama brings people to movie theaters. People acting like grown-ups and resolving their issues outside of court is not exactly exciting for anyone to watch.
With that said, I would tell any client of ours to do the basics of orderly behavior. For instance, if you have a meeting with your attorney, a mediation date, a hearing date or a trial date you ought to show up early for that appearance. We all have smartphones nowadays. Whip that baby out and play a game or read the news or do whatever it is that you do on your cell phone. It is better to be early and bored than late and angry at yourself.
The other thing that you can do is to keep track of things that happen in your case. Do not rely on your attorney to keep track of names, dates, appointments, bad/good behavior on the part of your spouse. You can track that sort of information on your phone, in an old-fashioned notebook or in a word document on your laptop. Either way, if you are a good note taker that skill will serve you well in your divorce.
Speaking of skills, look at the underlying skills that I have asked you to take advantage of: be on time and take notes? That should remind you of your days in school. Very basic things that your mom harped on you about growing up. Hopefully, those lessons sunk in back in those days because if not you are going to have to learn them now. These are not difficult things for you to do and they can pay off in big ways.
For instance, what if your spouse alleges that you mismanaged a pickup/drop off for your child on a random weekend? With as much as you have to go on in your life, it would be easy for you to lose track of what weekend it was and what exactly happened. Issues in family law cases are often "he said, she said" debates where the person with the more specific information often times wins out. You can be in the right and have nothing to hide but if your spouse can spout off with some specific issues and all you have are general denials then your spouse stands to win out on this one.
Instead, wouldn’t it be great if all you had to do was show your attorney your journal entry for that weekend? What if, as it turns out, your spouse was actually the one who arrived at the pickup/drop off point two hours late because she had overslept her alarm? If you can recall this information with specificity it is probably going to be enough to get your spouse to back off and drop the whole issue. If you can’t counter her arguments with this degree of specificity it’s likely that an enforcement lawsuit is going to be headed your way.
What not to do when it comes to acting like a grown up
On the other hand, lots of people going through divorce suddenly forget how to act like an adult. Either that or they never really knew and now that their life is under a microscope it is becoming obvious to everyone involved that this so-called "adult" is really just a child dressed in grown-up clothing. Here is some advice that I can provide on how to actually act your age while in a divorce.
First off, lay low when it comes to text messages and emails that could be considered threatening, aggressive, foul-mouthed or generally inappropriate. I see people come into our office all the time with a stack of papers a mile high that are just nasty text messages that their spouse has sent to them over the past few years. The thing about arguing over text messages is that those arguments are memorialized for the world to see long after the argument is over with. If you asked me what my wife and I argued about last week I probably couldn't tell you- that's how marital arguments typically work. Compare this to arguments that you and your spouse have over text message and everything- the bad language, nasty attitudes, and unflattering remarks- are always going to be there.
Next, you should refrain from locking your spouse out of any of your bank accounts or other important online accounts. If you are the spouse who handles the financial matters for your family then it is probably tempting to take advantage of that fact during your divorce. It would be easy for you to swoop in, change a few passwords and then do with your money whatever you would like without having to first consult with your spouse. However, this is a big no-no in the eyes of the law and your judge will be quick to point that out and punish you for doing so. At the least, it will anger your spouse and cause there to be yet another issue that will be fought over the divorce.
A side point to this issue is that it is never a good idea to withdraw a bunch of money at the start of your divorce and either hold onto it or deposit it in another bank account. The reason being is that if your spouse finds out about it and you fail to disclose that money to the court it could set you up for a big-time punishment. You could be made to return that money and then be fined for misleading the court. If you want to avoid paying your spouse’s attorney’s fees then it is wise, to be honest about the money that you and your spouse have.
Work with your attorney and remember they’re on your side
Anyone who’s played a moment of pick up basketball has seen the scene I’m about to describe unfold. Two of your teammates jump up in the air to rebound a missed shot by the opposing team. In doing so, their hands and arms knock into one another and what should have been an easy rebound had only one of them attempted to gather the ball ends up being a ball that goes out of bounds and goes right back to the team that just shot the ball.
This is called an unforced error. Two people that were trying to achieve the same goal ended up hurting one another's the pursuit of that goal. Surprisingly enough I have seen this happen in divorce cases as well. In the midst of an emotional case, sometimes a client will forget that it is not he or she against the world. As a client, you have an advocate on your side in the form of your lawyer. Here is what you can do to help your lawyer fight the good fight alongside you.
For starters, you should always be truthful with your attorney. I think I could end this section right now and you will have received a great deal of benefit without having heard anything additional. I cannot emphasize how important it is, to tell the truth to your attorney. Embarrassing facts, facts that you believe are irrelevant or things that you just plain don't want to tell your lawyer all need to be told. In fact, our office has a section of our paperwork for brand new clients where we will ask you to divulge information that could be considered to be skeletons in your closet.
The reason being is that we want to know what you have had going on in your life that could be relevant to your case. When you provide your attorney with information early on we have plenty of time to come up with how to minimize the negative effects of that information on your case. If it is sprung on us in the last minute before a hearing, or worse yet is told to us via your spouse while he or she is on the witness stand, there is little we can do to help you. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to come clean and tell your lawyer anything that may be relevant to your case- whether it makes you look good or not.
More to come in tomorrow’s blog post on how to proceed into your divorce case
We haven't even scratched the surface as far as helpful tidbits of knowledge that you can use in your divorce case. In tomorrow's blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, we will continue to share with you the do's and don'ts of divorce. Specifically, we will pick up with more hints about how to handle your relationship with your attorney.
In the meantime, if you have any questions for our office please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. We offer free of charge consultations six days a week with one of our licensed family law attorneys. It is an honor to meet with the people in our community and look forward to the opportunity to serve you.
the animal can be almost more than some people are able to tolerate. There are ways to assist in ensuring that stability associated with the pet is maintained even after a divorce occurs. The Houston divorce lawyers with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC understand the attachment that clients have to their pets and are able to assist and advocate for our clients’ rights to their four legged friends.
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”
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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Kingwood Divorce Lawyer
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 ar Kingwood, TX Divorce Lawyer right away to protect your rights.
A divorce lawyer in Kingwood TX is 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 Spring, Texas, Cypress, Spring, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, 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.