An ancient proverb goes something like this: a journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step. What he's trying to tell us is that when you look at a long journey the kids seem to be overwhelming if all you are thinking about is the distance between where you are starting and where you need to go. However, the more prudent and effective way to consider a long journey would be to think about it in terms of a step at a time. This way it is much less overwhelming and more within your power to do whatever task you have before you.
One of the Most difficult journeys that any of us can go on is that of a divorce. Nobody wants to engage in a divorce unless they absolutely must do so. With that said, sometimes you get to a point in your marriage where attempts at reconciliation and counseling will do no good. At that point, you must consider whether it is in your best interest to move forward with the divorce. Factors involved in your life like your children, your career, whether domestic violence is playing a role in the marriage and a host of other topics will all factor into your decision as well.
Once you finally get to the point where you have settled upon a divorce as the course of action that you would like to take it is crucial for you to understand how to move forward with the case. That journey of 1000 miles that we just finished discussing a moment ago looks much longer when you don't understand where to even begin. That journey of 1000 miles can feel like 20,000 miles when the first step is of an undetermined length. With that said, you don't have to wonder where to begin. In today's blog post we will provide you with this sort of relevant and practical information that you need to learn what to do when you take your first steps towards divorce.
Do you need a divorce?
Before you start wondering about a divorce, I would consider whether you need a divorce in the first place. Why go for a walk when the destination does not appeal to you in the first place? The best way to begin a divorce is not to need one in the first place. You should seriously consider what your options are and whether you should get divorced. This usually means discussing with your spouse.
This can prove difficult when you and your spouse are not on speaking terms or have a difficult time communicating. I realize that not every person in the world is well suited to be able to communicate about difficult topics like marriage, family, and ultimately divorce. However, even if you are not a great communicator or even if you and your spouse are not on great speaking terms that are not necessarily an excuse to not reach out and at least try to determine whether a reconciliation is possible. You can do yourself a lot of good by at least extending an invitation to your spouse to engage in fruitful dialogue about the problems in your marriage period
Sometimes your spouse will agree that there are problems in the marriage period this is a good sign. Even if he or she cannot communicate with you effectively about these problems you all can find someone to help you talk through these issues. Someone like a marriage counselor or therapist is a great person to lean on during times like this. Your health insurance provider may cover the marriage and family therapy period or, you may be able to seek counseling through a local therapist office or even from your pastor or priest. Either way, if you are serious about trying to talk through the problems in your marriage that therapist or counselor is a good place to start.
On the other hand, your spouse may be unwilling to participate in this type of therapy. You may have talked to him or her on many occasions about the need to attend therapy or at least talk about the problems in your Marriage. If he or she is not willing to work with you on these problems and that is a bad sign for the future of your relationship. You can always try to attend therapy by yourself, but you may find that attending therapy by yourself is only so effective. You can take this as a sign of your spouse's willingness to participate not only in therapy but In a reunification and reconciliation of your marriage as a whole.
What this also can mean is that you and your spouse may have problems that go beyond what simple counseling can solve. From my experience, a marriage and family counselor can typically tell you with a specific degree of certainty mother or not therapy is going to be able to help solve the issues in your relationship. much of the time You will find that all your efforts were for not and that your marriage I was heading towards a divorce the whole time, however, you can feel better that you put forth an effort to try and salvage your relationship.
Determine whether you need to have an attorney representing you in your divorce
The big question that you need to ask yourself in connection with your divorce is whether you need to have an attorney representing you. Although many people choose to obtain representation for their divorce there is no legal requirement that you be represented by an attorney to get divorced. Nothing in the Texas family code outright requires you to have an attorney represent you. However, depending upon the circumstances of your case it may be a good decision for you to hire a lawyer. The question for you is your divorce one of those that require an attorney or can you get away with no lawyer at all.
The easiest rule to go by when it comes to whether you need an attorney representing you in your divorce is if you have children. If you and your spouse have children under the age of 18 then I could say without reservation that it would be a good idea for you to have a lawyer. The reason is that there is so much at stake when it comes to your kids in a divorce that you should not leave the outcome of your case to chance. Not only are we talking about your relationship with your child, but we also must consider these specific parts of a divorce that relate to your kids.
For a moment, just think about all the different areas of your divorce that relate to your kids. Child support, child custody, conservatorships issues, and possession are just a handful of the various areas of a divorce when it comes to your kids. There is no way that you will become proficient enough during your case to adequately represent yourself in the interests of your children in one of these cases. Remember that you will have not only your divorce to concern yourself with but your job, your family life, and any other aspect of your life that you have going on period to think that you could add a divorce on top of all that and then adequately represent yourself and your interests would be unlikely. Rather, the wiser move would be to choose the most experienced and qualified family attorneys in the Houston area.
The other part of a divorce that you need to think about is the community estate. Specifically, you and your Co-parent will oversee determining what property belongs in your community state and then figuring out how to divide that estate. While the general rule in presumption is that all property in existence your marriage is Community property in practice this can be a very difficult and convoluted subject to walk through. And certainly, helps to have an experienced family law attorney by your side to help you determine what is and what is not a part of your community estate.
On top of that, to even negotiate on this subject, you need to be able to perform a basic inventory of your community estates and then an appraisal of the property as well. This will allow you an opportunity to Consider the various portions of your community estate and then determine what the most equitable way to divide that property would be. The needs of you and your spouse are unique to both of you. As a result, you need to consider those circumstances before deciding how the property ought to be divided. While you may have a pretty good feeling as to how the property should be divided without having much experience in working on divorces like this you may nonetheless be equipped to do this. For that reason, having an attorney to help you focus on what needs to be done in your case can be incredibly helpful. If nothing else, learning how your attorney thinks and how they approach your case can certainly give you a leg up in the negotiation process with your spouse.
Otherwise, the general rule of thumb is that if you do not have any of these factors ongoing in your divorce then you can consider not hiring a lawyer. Since most of us, divorce cases do require consideration of child custody or property issues it is recommended that you strongly think about what you have at stake in your case and whether you would benefit from hiring an attorney. Every person is different in your comfort level with representing yourself in a divorce will differ from those around you. However, unless you pull your teeth and perform your surgery choosing not to hire an attorney will be inconsistent with the way you approach much of the rest of your life.
Meeting with an attorney for the first time
Once he determined that you do need to hire a lawyer for your divorce case the next step in the process would be to go ahead and hire an attorney. Before you pull the trigger, however, on doing so it is a good idea for you to interview a handful of lawyers. It may sound tedious to take the time to interview several attorneys, but I can tell you that the effort will be rewarded in many ways. Not the least of which is that you will have the opportunity to hire a lawyer who suits you and your case.
As we have discussed in this blog post multiple times no two divorce cases are exactly alike. This means that the circumstances of your case may suit one attorney better than another. For example, if you have a child with developmental delays then you may be wise to hire an attorney who Has focused their practice on representing parents whose children have developmental issues. Whereas, if you had no children but did have a complex community estate to divide then you may want to focus your hiring search on an attorney who has succeeded in helping high net worth individuals obtain successful divorces for themselves and their families.
You cannot judge an attorney based on their office, how nice they dress, or how fancy their office is. Many attorneys will spend a great deal of money to try and impress potential clients like yourself. Just like you cannot judge a book by its cover, you cannot judge an attorney by their wardrobe or office location. Rather, you should come prepared with questions for the attorney you were interviewing and be patient while he or she answers. Even if you are not that knowledgeable of the law you can still tell how prepared or interested someone is in meeting with you. If the attorney checks their watch or looks at their phone periodically throughout your interview, then you might be better off moving on to the next attorney.
Another benefit of meeting with an attorney in person is that you can get a feel for their personality and how it plays off your own. Just from life experience, we all have had times where we have met people that we get along with very well instantly like that person. On the other hand, I'm sure you have had experiences like me where you meet someone instantly he or she rubs the wrong way. While you do not have to be best friends with your attorney to have a good relationship it is always A plus for the two of you to Get along and have personalities that do not conflict.
If you get a bad feeling from the lawyer that you are meeting with there is nothing wrong with politely listening to what the attorney has to say and then going your separate ways at the end of the interview. One thing that we are lucky regarding is that there is a long list of family attorneys here in the Houston area. Specifically, with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, you have more than 10 family attorneys with whom you can meet and develop a rapport. So much of the attorney-client relationship is based on you're getting along with that person and having a certain level of trust in him or her. Take the time to interview as many attorneys as you feel that you need to to be able to make a good decision for yourself and your family.
Learn about the process of getting a divorce
The last thing that I will mention in today's blog post is that it is incredibly important for you to learn about the divorce process in Texas as you begin to move towards divorce. Just because you will be hiring an attorney does not mean that you can place all the burden of your case onto that attorney's shoulders. Ultimately it is you who will be making decisions in your case and who will be responsible for the outcome. You are turning should have the heart of a teacher and be willing to teach you as much as he or she can about the divorce. However, if you can take the initiative and learn a certain amount about the divorce that would be for the best as well. Places like our blog as well as the State Bar of Texas section on family law are great resources to obtain a basic understanding of family law in Texas so that you can better understand the issues of your case and make decisions for yourself and your family.
Questions about the material contained in today's blog post? 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 consultation six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are a great way for you to learn more about the world of Texas family law as well as about how your family circumstances may be impacted by the filing of a divorce or child custody case.
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 | 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 Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our divorce lawyers in Houston TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact the 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.