It is impossible to make your way through a divorce without committing a single mistake or error. That would require perfection and as far as I know, there are no perfect people out there. As such, thinking that you can run through your entire divorce case perfectly would be setting yourself up for disappointment. However, with proper planning, good advice, and remaining intentional about your goals you can position yourself to make as few mistakes as possible in your divorce case.
To me, that process begins and ends with hiring an experienced family law attorney to help guide you during the case. the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan practice almost exclusively in family law. That means that divorce cases are our bread and butter. We are honored to have served thousands of your fellow Texans who have gone through divorce cases in Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Galveston, Waller, and liberty counties. Before you become too wrapped up in potential mistakes that you may make in your divorce you should reach out to one of our experienced family law attorneys for a free-of-charge consultation.
These consultations can help you to learn more about getting a divorce in Texas and what that means both in the short and long term. Additionally, by learning more about the divorce process you can start to apply that information to your actual, real-life circumstances. So much of a divorce is based upon the circumstances and situations of your life and those of your children. Considering the information that we provide you with in today's blog posts can be a great way for you to learn more about divorce. However, the next step is seeing how this information applies to your specific circumstances. Consulting with one of our attorneys at no cost to you is a logical next step for you and your family to take currently.
Do not be afraid to stop making big purchases during your divorce
One of the things that some people in your shoes take for granted at the beginning of a divorce case is the simple costs associated with your case both from the emotional and financial perspective but also from a time perspective. In your case, it can seem like the entire world wants something from you all at the same time. Your spouse may be asking you for money. Your children are asking you for information and your time as children will do. Your attorney can ask you for responses to emails in other commitments for you both now and in the future. All of this can coalesce into an extremely stressful and difficult time for you.
As a result, your best bet in this position would be to consider what you need to do in terms of your daily life as far as costs and expenses are concerned and what is merely something that would be nice to have but it's not necessary. Necessary costs that you need to maintain during a divorce would be things like health insurance, food, utilities for the home, and any other expenses associated with caring for your children. However, there are certain luxury items that you may want to eliminate during the divorce that can help you maintain your four walls and your sanity.
Some extracurricular activities for your children may need to be eliminated at least temporarily. Private lessons for instruments and sports, participation in sports or dance, and leisure activities for the kids and their friends in addition to trips or vacations for the children may need to be put on hold during the divorce. You are not a bad parent for acknowledging this reality and you may find that limiting expenses is not only important but essential to being able to continue with your divorce case. Talk with your spouse about these expenses and how you can mitigate them during the divorce to make both of your lives easier.
Some parents that I have had the fortune to work with over the years expressed to me how they think that they are being bad parents if they deny their children certain experiences or other things during the divorce case. The way I talk to parents about this subject is based on my experience as an attorney and also my experience in raising four children with my wife. I know these feelings firsthand and know how they can convince you to feel like you are never doing enough as a parent. With that said, having difficult discussions with your children about finances and the realities that you are facing can be good for them. Denying reality and pressing forward with financial expenditures that you are not able to pay for would be a tremendous mistake.
Stay-at-home moms produce a great deal of value for the family
If you are a stay-at-home mom, have you ever stopped to consider the value of your labor? No, this isn't a question better suited for a college thesis paper or something like that. The fact of the matter is that all our labor has a certain value to it. When measured in dollars, the value of your spouse's labor may be a specific sum of money that he is paid every year. While you may not be paid for the labor you expand at home That labor certainly has value to be sure. Part of the challenge of your divorce case is being able to show that value to your spouse to negotiate subjects like division of your community estate, as well as child support and spousal maintenance calculations.
It is not fudging the numbers to show that you as a stay-at-home parent produce value and save your family money. Just think about your daily life and all the roles that you fill as a parent and spouse. Cooking meals, cleaning the home, buying groceries, caring for the kids, transportation for the kids, and the list goes on and on. If your spouse had to hire someone to fill these roles, then he will be paying a considerable amount of money to do so. As a result, do not negotiate from the perspective of a spouse who contributes nothing from a financial perspective to the home. On the contrary, you contribute a great deal from a financial standpoint to your home and you should negotiate with your shoulders back and with a great deal of confidence.
Look closely at your budget and how you spend money
One of the things or habits in my personal life that I can point to when it comes to achieving any kind of financial success is when my wife and I began to budget our money monthly. Having a budget can seem to constrain many people. The numbers on the spreadsheet or piece of paper are what they are. Not being able to spend over and above that it can seem like you were putting yourself in a financial straitjacket. However, if you think about a budget the way that I do then you will see that this is not the case at all.
When it comes to a budget, the budget doesn't keep you from doing anything. Rather, a budget two things are very important period the first is the budget gives you the freedom to spend up to a certain point without having any negative emotion associated with that feeling. When you have a finely tuned budget you never have to wonder about whether you should spend this amount of money on this good or service. Rather, the budget gives you all the information you need to let you know whether you are spending your money wisely or have the funds needed to make that expenditure.
Next, a budget helps you to track your spending better and understand where your money goes each month. It doesn't matter if you are someone who makes a lot of money or very little. If you do not understand where your money goes each month then you can never achieve success financially. Many people are walking around our communities who we would consider wealthy but who have very little in the way of wealth. This doesn't mean that these folks don't earn a lot of money or have nice things. However, achieving wealth and financial success means being intentional and planning your finances honey a month-to-month basis. It is very easy even for rich people or for people who earn a lot of money to be able to waste money if they are not intentional About how they spend.
The first step to all of this is being able to have a budget that helps you to understand your income, how much of it makes its way into your house, and how you can best spend that money in a way that promotes financial well-being for you and your children. Wondering where your money goes or being concerned with making even small purchases are signs that you are not budgeting and that you have room for growth when it comes to financial wellbeing. Fortunately for you, the solution to these issues can be as simple as sitting down each month and budgeting out your monthly expenses and income.
A divorce is a great time for you to begin to look at your finances and to see where you might be able to make progress in certain areas. For example, how many of those streaming services that you subscribe to are ones that you use or get enjoyment out of? Why not go through your bills and begin to budget for only those subscriptions that you get some use out of. The others are ones where you can allow the subscription to expire or otherwise cancel them immediately. You would be surprised at how quickly these subscriptions can add up to a trip to the grocery store each month. In this era of high inflation, any little bit of money that you can save when it comes to your groceries can help a great deal.
next, you can look at things like your insurance to determine whether you would be able to save money here or there. Many times, your insurance carrier may allow you to save money if you bundle certain types of insurance such as auto or home insurance period you should reach out to your local branch for your insurance carrier to make that sort of determination. These are the types of steps you can take that require very little effort but can pay off for you in the long run.
Additionally, being able to learn what sort of expenses are related to raising your family can also go a long way towards helping you learn about minimizing costs and building up a strong financial foundation for your family in the future. are there certain expenses for your children that you can project out into the future? For example, does your child have a monthly visit to the doctor that costs a certain amount of money? If so then you can use this when you negotiate with your spouse for spousal support or any other type of assistance. Determining this type of information during the divorce can also help you to determine whether you can afford to remain in the family house for the duration of your case as well As for the time after your divorce.
If you do determine that you need to move from the family house to someplace new, then you will need to figure out where you want to live. A stay-at-home parent who is now having to go out into the workforce may be tempted to remain in the family house and instead make a long drive to your future place of employment. However, this may not be in your best interests and could be something that ends up costing you money in terms of transportation and time away from home. You should seriously consider your options as far as where you want to live as well as the costs of doing so.
You can create a budget for yourself now and a hypothetical budget based on the new location where you may choose to live. From there, you can determine just how much savings is possible based on your new budget and your current one. If the gap between the two is somewhat small then you may consider staying in your current residence. However, if there is a substantial difference between the two budgets then the benefit of moving or otherwise reducing costs can be significant for your family.
One of the best examples of how budgeting and being thorough with your financial planning for the future can benefit you during the divorce itself is regarding reentering the workforce or completing a college degree. If you are a stay-at-home parent who is facing the realization that you will have to head back into the workforce this should not be something where you feel like you are on your own. Rather, you can and should negotiate for financial support from your spouse to allow you to perform this transition.
Bear in mind that it is unrealistic for you to ask for money from a spouse unless you come to him or her with specific figures of the help that you need. For example, if it costs you only or a relatively small amount of money to go back to school and complete a degree then that may make sense for you to do immediately after your divorce. However, the cost associated with school, childcare, and any other certifications or classes that are needed to complete your degree needs to be accounted for during your divorce negotiations. You may find that your spouse is more than happy to pay for a portion of these costs if that means that he or she will not need to pay spousal maintenance or contractual alimony once your divorce comes to an end.
The more specific you can be in terms of providing your spouse with figures and projections for costs the more likely you will be to get what you want in the negotiation. Do not come to negotiation settings with incomplete information that require your spouse to do a lot of math or make assumptions about future costs. Rather, the more specific your figures are, the more reliable your requests become. If your spouse can trust that you have done your homework and can see a benefit to what you are asking for then you are more likely to get what you want rather than having to take the issue before a judge.
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 covered 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 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.