Determining whether you should get a divorce is something that is an incredibly personal decision. Not only will you be thinking through issues that will impact your and your spouse’s lives but will also impact the lives of your family for years to come. Your kids will begin to live in two separate households. Your work may be impacted. What if you have to move? What are the chances that you are ordered to pay child support? Spousal support? Both? The questions that you could be asking yourself at this moment are critical and seemingly unending. Where should you begin your search for answers?
Asking questions is a great thing to do before you jump into any process in life. This is especially true when you consider the implications of what it means to get divorced. We have already covered a few areas of your life that will be impacted but we could go through items that would last an entire day. Rather than go through every single issue that may be relevant to your divorce I think we should think about what it means to get divorced and what are some of the more important subjects that you will be confronted with.
Whether you are approaching your divorce as the party who will be filing the case or as the party who must quickly respond to a divorce petition, there are options for you to consider and situations that you should be aware of. Starting your divorce journey in a blog post like this is a good thing. We want to be able to share important information with you in a casual atmosphere. Sometimes not only is the message important but how the message is delivered. A casual, come as you are environment like this can be extremely beneficial to someone like you who is trying to learn as much as possible as quickly.
However, that should not be the last place you go to find out information about divorce. Rather, I think that you should begin reaching out to family law attorneys in your area who are experienced in helping people just like you get through divorce cases. Not only should your goal be to "get through" a divorce but to set and accomplish goals for yourself and your family. A consultation with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan is a great place to begin that journey. Did you know that our experienced family law attorneys offer free of charge consultations six days a week? These consultations allow you to meet with one of our attorneys face to face, over the phone, or even via video. You can learn a lot about a law practice simply by talking with another person about your situation.
I would also stress the importance of asking questions about your specific situation in one of these consultations. Divorce cases are based upon the specific facts and circumstances of your life. It is impossible to be able to guess how your divorce will turn out if you are only basing your opinions on what other people have told you about their divorce. Rather than wonder how your case will work why not contact our office today? These are consultations where you are committing to nothing more than speaking to a lawyer for free, for thirty minutes about whatever you want about your divorce.
Ultimately only you will know when the time is right to get a divorce. There is a not insignificant detail related to this discussion that involves the process of getting a divorce. Just because you have filed for divorce does not mean that you will get a divorce anytime soon. There is a waiting period involved in getting divorced as well as issues to work through during the case. Even if you want to get divorced today that won't be possible. Divorce cases a journey and yours is sure to be one, as well. The main question that you need to ask is whether you think it is important for you to have an attorney help guide you through the process.
What can an attorney do for you in your divorce?
An attorney like those with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan seeks to help provide guidance and perspective in a divorce case. Contrary to what others may have told you if you choose to hire an attorney to represent you in your case that lawyer will not make decisions for you. I have talked to a handful of people over the years who believe that if you hire an attorney to represent you in a divorce the attorney makes all the decisions for you based on their judgment. This could not be further from the truth.
Rather, an attorney is there to educate you on the divorce process. A divorce can be complicated but keep in mind that an experienced family law attorney can help you to navigate the waters of a divorce. First, this is done by educating you on the important issues in your case and how they are likely to interact with the laws covering family issues in Texas. I always like to tell clients and potential clients that our attorneys have the heart of a teacher in this regard. We work hard to make sure you understand issues thoroughly when it comes to making important decisions.
What you can find, when interviewing attorneys, is that attorneys are sometimes not the best at taking the time to teach you something when it comes to your divorce. Lawyers like to skip over the “teaching” part of the job and jump right into the action part of it. This is done to save time and be able to help move your case along to the next step. However, it overlooks an important part of the attorney-client relationship. First, then an attorney is supposed to be able to educate a client on how to make good decisions in a case period since most clients, like yourself, are just learning about the divorce process they cannot possibly make informed decisions without first being educated.
Next, by skipping over the education part of the attorney-client relationship the attorney is here putting themselves in a position to make decisions for a client. What our attorneys seek to help you understand is that your divorce case is just that: yours. While our staff and attorneys will work tirelessly to help represent you and your interest in a divorce, we understand that ultimately the case impacts you and your family. As a result, we would never want to shift the decision-making away from you and put it in the hands of another person. With that said, by helping you to understand thoroughly the issues of your case you can be better prepared to make decisions about what you should or should not do.
another important part of what an experienced family law attorney can do for you in a divorce is to help you to make sure that you do not miss deadlines when it comes to your case. whether it is filing an answer in response to an original petition for divorce or sending back responses to discovery, there are deadlines associated with your divorce from beginning to end. Missed deadlines usually have significantly negative outcomes for parties like yourself. This is probably one of the most underrated aspects of a divorce in terms of its difficulty. Many people assume that the most difficult parts of a divorce case are those in the courtroom. Rather, some of the more difficult parts of a divorce case are simply keeping your case on track and not missing deadlines.
Unfortunately, what we see at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan is that many people end up trying to represent themselves in a divorce case only to wind up having to hire our office to make course corrections because of missing deadlines or running into other issues in your case. This means that these folks would have lost time and money in trying to go about representing themselves in a divorce when they could have avoided the time and money loss simply by hiring our office to begin with. I'd like to emphasize that this is a mistake that you could make as well. For that reason, we offer free of charge consultations where you can determine, after speaking with one of our lawyers, whether or not working with our office in your divorce is the best decision for you.
With all of that said, that's been the remainder of today's blog post talking about considerations that you could make as you start to analyze whether now is a good time for you to get divorced. As we mentioned a moment ago, each person's considerations about getting a divorce can be different. Rather than relying upon A blog post like this or even the advice of friends and family, you should consider your specific circumstances as far as whether now is the best time to get a divorce. Here are the four considerations that I think you should pay attention to in the early stages of a divorce.
Have you and your spouse attempted counseling?
One of the most important factors that I recommend to people who are considering a divorce is whether counseling has been attempted. Counseling can look like different things to different people period to me, it simply means being able to sit down with a person who has experience in marriage and family therapy to determine whether any communication skill enhancement or practical marriage advice could help sort out the problems that you and your spouse are experiencing. Certainly, the best way to avoid any divorce mistakes or problems is simply to never have to get one in the first place.
In some instances, I'm sure that it is possible to see improvement in your marriage by attending counseling or therapy without your spouse. However, marriage counseling is not something where the counselor or therapist is there to play referee for the fights between you and your spouse. Rather, counseling is more about learning communication skills to be able to work through the problems that your spouse has been facing in your marriage. The simple reality is that most of us lack the communication skills necessary to solve complicated issues in marriage rather, we use the tools that we must solve problems in our marriage no matter if they are well developed or not. A counselor can help you and your spouse to identify problem areas in your marriage and to develop communication skills that are tailor-made to help solve those problems.
Do you have minor children with your spouse?
The next consideration that I would pay attention to as a pertains to a potential divorce in your family is whether you have children under the age of 18. This is an important consideration for a few reasons. Having children under the age of 18 in a divorce means that those kids hard going to have some adjustment in front of them if you get a divorce. This should not deter you from getting a divorce, but it should present you with some food for thought as far as how to develop goals and strategies to achieve those goals in the divorce.
Next, if you do decide to get a divorce then you are signing your children up to live in more than one household for extended periods. Even if he winds up as the parent who can live with their children full time, your ex-spouse will still have weekends, holidays in summer vacation as far as being able to spend time with the kids. As a result, if there is any thought that you can give early in your case to what the case will mean to your children then you should do so. Otherwise, you may get ankle-deep into a case before you realize that proper consideration is not given to your children in their lives about the divorce.
You should stop and think about what you can do tip start planning for visitation and conservatorships agreements that consider the needs of your children. Are your children school-aged? Preschool-aged? Do they have special needs that require accommodation in school and at home? What sort of possession schedule would work best for your children considering their school and extracurricular commitments? Finally, when you consider the subject which parent, you or your spouse, would be better position to act as a full-time caregiver for your kids? If you can be honest with yourself during an analysis like this, then your children will likely be much better off. Certainly, you can take steps now to help prepare them for the divorce if this is the direction that you all go in.
Are you going to hire an attorney and how are you going to pay for it?
The 3rd and 4th considerations that I think you should pay attention to in your divorce are related and we will cover them here. We have already discussed some of the advantages and services that will be provided to you by your family law attorney should you choose to hire one. However, before we get to the point where you discuss the services provided by an attorney you should probably first think about whether that is in your best interest. Having a free-of-charge consultation with an experienced attorney like those with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan is a good place to start.
The general rule of thumb baby that I had talked to clients about when it comes to hiring a lawyer for a divorce is to first think about the circumstances of your case. Do you have a substantial amount of property that will be subject to divorce in Texas? If so, then you have a financial stake in the divorce that is significant and could be bettered by representation by an experienced lawyer.
Most importantly, if you have children under the age of 18 then those children will be an issue in your divorce. When it comes to your children in your relationship with them it is not a great idea to risk the outcome of the case due to not having an attorney representing you. Whether you plan on paying cash for your lawyer, putting the attorney on your credit card, or even taking advantage of financing options to hire a lawyer these are considerations that you should think about early enough and in your case. The more well-defined your plan will be in connection with the divorce the better the outcome for you and your family, in most cases.
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 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.