The process of getting a divorce during the COVID-19 pandemic has not changed since the beginning of this year. That may surprise you, seeing as how seemingly everything else in our lives has changed in that time. When we consider all of the significant changes that we have had to undergo in response to the virus, it is surprising that the one area that is not changed is how to divorce your spouse. The laws associated with divorce have not changed one bit in the past four months, but the timeline for your case in the field of divorce likely has changed to an extent.
For one, I think it's safe to say that this field is a little bit less secure a little bit more uneasy about life in general right now. Yes, we can look at our front door and see that the world looks pretty much exactly as it did four or five months ago. However, all we need to do is turn on the news or walk to the grocery store to see that life is different. Nobody knows when the pandemic will end or to what extent our lives will be changed in the future. What we do know is that our lives have changed for now, and we will have to do our best to respond to those changes in a positive way.
There is very little about positive divorce. We can tell ourselves that divorce offers us a fresh start and that our children may stand to benefit from the divorce in the long run. For many families, and perhaps yours, this may be true. However, in the short run, a divorce is difficult. I'm in no position to tell you otherwise and to try to sugarcoat this process. Having an experienced family law attorney such as those with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan can significantly ease the burdens of a case and help you create an outcome for you and your family that, in some ways, may be beneficial to your family. However, that does not take away from the overall degree of difficulty that you will face with a divorce.
Divorces, even when you are ready to file your case, are emotionally challenging as well. You may be the most objective and rational person that she knows, but when it comes to divorce you are very likely to be overwhelmed from time to time due to the emotional components of the case. From my experience, the emotional aspects of a divorce are lessened when you don't have children. The divorce that deals just in dividing up property can be more uncomplicated for someone to process emotionally.
On the other hand, if you have children under the age of 18 and you are negotiating with your spouse on dividing up parenting time, determining which of you is going to be the primary conservator of the kids and any other details associated with parenting your children, then you are likely to face some emotional hurdles related to the divorce. This is true even if, in your heart of hearts, you believe that the divorce is necessary for your family and in the best interests of you and your children.
You should never enter into a divorce without seriously contemplating the impacts of this case on your life now and in the future. I have encountered folks and my years of the family law attorney who seemingly give more consideration to what they're going to order for dinner at a restaurant than they do approaching the topic of divorce. Just because the subject is unpleasant does not mean that you shouldn't dig down and ask yourself some difficult questions about whether or not now is the best time to file this case.
In today's blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, I would like to share four key questions that she needs to ask herself before beginning a divorce during the COVID-19 pandemic. You should always ask yourself many of these questions, No matter what time you are considering a divorce. However, their importance increases just a little bit given the extraordinary circumstances we all find ourselves in. Without asking yourself these types of questions, you may enter into a divorce that you are not prepared for.
Question number one: have you tried every other option to save your marriage?
This is a big question that I think many people do not ask themselves prior to a divorce. Many times, it seems to me that people get emotionally exhausted from a marriage relationship. Instead of asking how they or their spouse can improve the marriage, they looked to divorce as an easy way out. Simply filing for divorce and not tackling the emotional issues in your wedding may cause you to prematurely end the marriage before you had a chance to resolve any of those issues. The divorce is final, and that is something that you need to understand. Yes, you can always remarry your spouse in the future, but that happens very rarely. It will be much better to explore every Avenue of reconciliation before filing for divorce.
For instance, have you tried counseling either through your church or with a therapist of another variety? Often, your spouse will be willing to attend these therapy sessions with you, and if not, you can attempt to seek therapy on your own. It is best if both spouses either see the same therapist or have a therapist that they see independently of their spouse. The main thing is that both of you should attempt to work through your issues with a professional if doing so together has not worked out. Sometimes, when you have tried to talk through your problems yourself and cannot resolve significant problems, you may need to seek outside counsel.
Again, a divorce puts you into the whirlwind of a legal case where there is minimal opportunity to talk about your feelings and the state of your relationship. Once the divorce is filed, it becomes more of a business transaction than it does an emotional or therapeutic experience. Far from it, your attorney will work with you to do everything you can to help your side of the case to the detriment of your spouse and many times. That is just how these cases work. Your attorney will not be heartless or uncaring about your circumstances, but he or she will also not spend much time with you to see if there's anything that can be done to save your marriage. If you want to keep your wedding, it is up to you to do so, and you should pursue those options before filing for divorce.
Question number 2: what do you know about hiring a divorce attorney?
Before you begin your divorce, you need to figure out what path you want to go down as far as representation. There is no legal necessity for you to hire a divorce attorney to walk you through the process and advocate for your rights. You are reading this blog post on a family law attorney's website, so you must have some inkling that hiring a divorce attorney may be vital if you plan to file a case. I will not disagree with you on that. The difference in outcome for you depending on whether or not you hire a family law attorney to represent you can be dramatic. Especially if you have children involved in your divorce, you should have an attorney to assist you.
The real question that you have to answer is what experience do you have with hiring an attorney? It is not as simple as driving up and down the closest road to where you live and looking for any old attorney to represent you. Again, if you had to see a doctor, you wouldn't just pick the first doctor you came upon to treat whatever condition you have. You would do some research, ask friends and look on the Internet for resources available to you to help you select the best doctor. It would help if you did the same with an attorney.
You should ask yourself what you are willing and able to pay for an attorney and what money you have available to pay for that attorney. If money is an issue, you may need to save up some before hiring a lawyer. Many family law attorneys have flexible payment plans and structures that allow you to hire a lawyer even on a tight budget. You should ask yourself if you've explored all these options and looked into whether or not the attorneys you are interested in hiring offer plans like this. Going into the hiring process without considering all your options as far as representation is a good idea.
What outcomes do you want to see occur as a result of your divorce?
Finally, we arrive at a question that relates to the meat and potatoes of a divorce. Ultimately, what you are trying to accomplish in a divorce is a division of your Community property with your spouse and arriving at rights and duties associated with your children if you have any. Before you file for divorce, you need to engage in a brainstorming session as far as these topics are concerned. If you wait until your divorce is filed to have this conversation with an attorney, you will have wasted time potentially stretching your case out longer than it needs to last.
Have you begun to organize property and consider what property your separate property owned before their marriage, your spouse's individual property, and what property came into being during your marriage? These are the fundamental aspects of Community property and will be critical to determining how property is divided in your divorce case. You do not need to possess a lawyer's grasp of this subject matter. Still, you should start asking yourself questions about what property is essential for you to walk away from the divorce and what property you are willing to be more flexible.
Concerning your children, have you thought about dividing up responsibilities for raising the kids after the divorce? Which parent is better suited to become the children's primary conservative and be in charge of caring for them daily? In your heart of hearts, you may believe that you are in the best position to raise the kids primarily. Still, if your job or other considerations make it impractical for you to fulfill this role, then your spouse may be better off as the primary conservator.
How do you want to divide up rights and duties associated with decision-making for the kids? Things like medical, educational, and things of that nature are all spelled out in a parenting plan after your divorce. You should ask yourself how you and your spouse can work together to raise your kids successfully after the divorce. Going into the divorce without a plan and dividing up time and decision-making abilities with your spouse means that you will be forced to do so when you are more stressed, and time is more of a factor. I recommend asking yourself these kinds of difficult questions before the divorce starts when there is less pressure on you to make decisions.
Questions about getting divorced during the COVID-19 pandemic? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
if you have any questions about the material contained in today's blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultations six days a week in our office, over the phone, and via video. The talk is a great opportunity for you to ask questions and learn more about Texas family law. We thank you for choosing to spend a great party day with us here on our blog, and we hope you will return tomorrow for more original content.