With the title to this blog post like the one we have for today you probably have a lot of expectations for the information that will be contained in today’s blog post. I’d like to think that I will be able to include a great deal of helpful information as it pertains to the world of Texas divorce is in this blog post. However, it would be impossible for me to fit every bit of knowledge I have about divorces into one blog post. So, if you are hoping to learn everything you need to know about divorce from one blog post I guess I’ll be the bearer of bad news and tell you that that is not what this blog post is going to be.
However, there is a great resource for you if you are interested in learning as much as you can about divorce in Texas. There are two periods first of those resources is this website for the Law Office of Bryan Fagan We have consistently posted blogs every day for at least the past four years on issues related to family law in Texas. Many of those blog posts have centered around the world of divorce. While no attorney can tell you exactly how divorce will go considering the specific circumstances you are likely to find answers to just about any questions you may have about divorce on this website. Take a look around the website- once you’re done reading this blog post, that is.
The second exceptional resource available to you as it pertains to the world of Texas divorce is the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. If you took me up on my offer to look through our website and our blog posts then you would have learned that we have over a dozen experienced, detail-oriented, and client-driven attorneys on our team. That doesn’t even begin to mention our competent, empathetic, and hardworking staff of team members who our clients are fortunate to interact with every day a daily basis. Our attorneys work to serve our clients who are people in our community just like you.
The great thing about having a diverse and talented team of attorneys is that we have been able to attract and advocate for a diverse group of clients. If you can schedule a free-of-charge consultation with one of our attorneys, I think you will find that no matter what circumstances are at play in your life the attorneys at our office have encountered similar circumstances and therefore stand ready to assist you. A blog post will never be able to touch on every circumstance that is relevant to your life in your potential divorce. However, asking one of our attorney’s questions about your life can result in you getting real-world feedback that can certainly be helpful.
Here’s the catch are attorneys are not going to walk through your neighborhood on foot and knock on your door and see if you can help. All we can do is promote our services and allow you to take the next step. The journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step. My advice would be to let that first single step be towards one of our attorneys in a consultation that is no risk and no fee. Even if you don’t end up hiring one of our attorneys we would be honored to at least provide you with some information so that you can better make decisions moving forward. Consultations with our attorneys are available six days a week and are offered over the phone call in person and via video.
Filing for divorce: what to expect
One of the most frequently asked questions that I receive from clients and potential clients alike is regarding any advantages that may follow from filing for divorce first period, are there advantages to being the first person to file for divorce out of you and your spouse? Is a race to the courthouse necessary or are you better off taking your time and being prudent with your decision?
There are limited circumstances in which I think it is important to be the first person to file out of you and your spouse. The most important that I can think of is regarding situations involving domestic violence. If you have been the victim of domestic violence then I would not recommend waiting for your spouse to file for divorce or for your spouse to make the first move towards getting a divorce. Continuing to stay in the family home is dangerous to your physical and mental health in addition to that of your children.
If domestic violence is driving you towards wanting a divorce you should consider filing for divorce sooner rather than later. This is a recommendation based not only on my belief that starting the divorce can be the most difficult aspect of the case but also on the fact that there are protections afforded to you within the divorce process that can help keep you safe and keep your children safe. Protective orders, temporary restraining orders, and temporary orders can all be explored once you begin the divorce process.
If your plan is to get divorced as quickly as possible for any reason then you need to have a plan of not only how are you going to file for divorce but what are you going to do after your divorce has Been filed. If domestic violence is the main motivating factor in your life for filing for divorce then you should consider where you and your children are going to live after your divorce has been filed. It probably would not be a great idea for you to file for divorce the locks changed on your family home without your spouse is aware of that. That could lead to some messy circumstances before you ever get a chance to address any issues with the judge in court.
That’s not to say that you don’t have options. Instead, you should pursue living arrangement questions with your family and friends when available. In the short term, there are also women’s shelters that can take you and your children in on a short-term basis while you are attempting to get on your feet after filing for divorce. While you work to file for divorce your attorney can file the necessary requests for protective orders or temporary orders that can keep you and your family safe and allow you access to the home while your spouse is barred from entry. Again, however, none of this can start until and unless you decide to move forward with your case. Otherwise, these steps will be left in the planning stage and you and your family could not benefit.
Do you need to hire an attorney for your divorce?
Probably the most important question that you will ask yourself during your divorce is whether or not you need an attorney to assist you in filing for the case. The decision whether or not to hire an attorney for your divorce all beyond needing help simply filing the case. You need to ask yourself whether or not you are capable of guiding yourself through the divorce process having never done it before. Even if you have been through a divorce before you have never been through a divorce with this person in all likelihood. With changing circumstances you cannot copy exactly what you did in the last divorce and apply it to your current divorce.
I don’t think there is any doubt that the most frequently cited reason why not to hire an attorney for your divorce is that attorneys cost money. Nobody likes spending their money on unpleasant things like divorce attorneys. Furthermore, even fewer people like spending money on unnecessary things. Unnecessary evil is one thing but if you don’t need to hire an attorney in the 1st place why it bothers with any of the money? Is there a way to determine whether or not you need to hire a lawyer?
The best I can tell you is that there is no legal requirement that you have an attorney to proceed with a divorce in Texas. People get divorced in our state every day without lawyers. So, it is possible to successfully file for divorce and get divorced. The devil, as they say, is in the details, however. You would need to figure out whether or not it is in your best interest to try and proceed with the divorce without actually hiring an attorney. Just because it can be done does not necessarily mean that you should try it. Rather, you need to examine the specific circumstances of your case to decide whether or not you would be well served by having an attorney enough to bite the bullet and pay for one.
There are two kinds of divorces that I would recommend that you have an attorney available for representation. The first type of divorce where I believe you need to have an attorney on board to assist you is regarding a divorce with children. If you are getting divorced and you have children under the age of 18 then hiring an attorney is an extremely prudent and wise decision to make, in my opinion.
Simply put, there is too much at stake in a divorce with children for you to try to go it alone. There are issues regarding child custody, conservatorships, child support, Visitation, and a myriad of other subjects when children are introduced into a divorce case. Even if these legal terms don’t catch your attention the bottom line is that your relationship with your children is at stake in a divorce case. You do not want to risk harming your relationship with your children simply because you don’t want to hire an attorney or don’t believe that you can afford one.
The other type of divorce where I certainly recommend thinking long and hard about hiring a lawyer would be a divorce that involves a complex set of circumstances regarding the property. Texas is a Community property state for a divorce. This means that the property that you and your spouse own is a presumption that it is owned both by you and by your spouse wholly and completely. It does not mean that you own 50% of your home and your spouse owns the other 50% of the home if it was purchased during your marriage. Rather, the presumption is that both of you own the home completely. Therefore, the home must be divided in your divorce in some former fashion.
Not to mention, your retirement savings, bank accounts, investment properties, personal property, and vehicles all need to be dealt with in the divorce. These are complicated matters that sometimes require complicated solutions to be able to make sure that you are served well and do not have issues with the property after your divorce comes to a close. Most of the time, a divorce cannot be open back up once it is finished to deal with some property aspect that was not properly taken care of during the actual divorce.
For this reason, you should seek out an attorney to assist you when dividing up these types of property. Just like my advice when it comes to your children was concerned, I believe you have too much at stake if you have a sizable amount of property to risk handling the case on your own without counsel. Everything that you worked for in your adult life and during your marriage can be impacted by this divorce. Anyone telling you that the judge will simply split your date in two isn’t telling you the whole story. There are many circumstances at play in a divorce when it comes to property considerations.
Drafting and signing a final decree of divorce
Ultimately, what you are seeking in a divorce is an enforceable final decree of divorce that contains all of the orders regarding your children in property and does so clearly and concisely that you and your spouse can follow after your case. The last thing you want to do is to find yourself in a position where you have divorce orders in place but they R not clear and cannot be followed. These would be unenforceable orders and basically would tell you that all the work you did during your divorce was essentially pointless because you do not have an order that you can fall back on if your spouse begins to violate some term or another.
The best way to avoid putting yourself in a position like this is to hire an experienced family law attorney to help you draft the paperwork. In a divorce, it is typically the party that files the divorce who is then responsible for drafting the final petition for divorce. If that is you then you will be responsible for submitting a draft version of the document to your spouse either after mediation or your trial. You will have to take every settled term from your mediation or every pronouncement by the judge from your trial and put it into a format that can be understood by you and your spouse. This is oftentimes a document that is anywhere from 30 to 50 pages and requires some degree of experience when it comes to writing everything down.
On the other hand, even if you are not responsible for drafting the document you need to be aware that you are spouse’s attorney may not view the judge’s decisions or orders the same way that you do. Therefore, you may find yourself in a position where your spouse’s attorney has created final orders that looked nothing like what the judge laid out for you after your trial or after your mediation. Without an attorney, you are vulnerable to a situation like this because you will then need to work with your opposing counsel to create an order that better mirrors the outcome of your mediation or trial.
Whatever position you find yourself in it is definitely to your advantage to have an attorney available to consult with you even if it is to simply have an attorney available to help you draft your final paperwork. You can speak with attorneys regarding limited scope arrangements where the attorney will represent you only for certain purposes in your case. You may be able to save yourself some money and protect yourself after every case by hiring a lawyer in a limited scope arrangement.
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.