As we begin to enter and the holiday season, I can think of no better time than now to discuss what you can do to maintain your sanity and family cohesion during the holidays when you are going through difficult circumstances associated with a divorce. Indeed, one of the most challenging parts of the holidays for someone whose family is undergoing a lot of change at this time is that the traditions and things most important to your family during the holidays are likely to change at least for the time being as a result of the impending divorce.
If you are already going through a divorce, I would recommend considering what changes you can make to make this holiday season a positive one for you and your family as you begin to confront the reality that your life and that of your children are about to change significantly. Even though these changes may ultimately be beneficial for your family in the short term, those changes will likely come at you quickly and result in stress for a temporary period. This means that you should start to think about what the holiday means to you and what can be done to improve the holiday season this year for your family.
Undoubtedly, going through this time as you prepare for divorce will not be easy. Many of you reading this blog post are planning on a divorce that your spouse has no idea about. Keeping this a secret from your family may have been the decision you were going to make, but that does not make it any easier for you to take this position with your family as the holidays approach. We need to ask ourselves what we can do to survive the holidays this year and develop a plan to start your divorce off on the right foot in 2022.
Handling the holiday season as a divorce approaches
You may be wondering about what you can do to make this holiday season as stress-free as possible. We tend to think of the holidays as a time for family, friends, and togetherness- and rightfully so. However, this year that goal may not be as easy to achieve. Looking to make each holiday season a memorable experience for yourself and your kids is admirable, but at the same time, that may not be something that comes easy for you this year. Your attention may understandably be conflicted and spread a little more thinly than average.
The first thing that I would focus on is focusing on your kids rather than on your marriage. People often go through a great deal of effort to save their marriages, only to discover that those efforts were for naught. You may have even tried to attend counseling or therapy at the beginning of 2021 as a New Year’s Resolution. Months of attempting to work through these issues in your marriage may not have resulted in any tangible benefits. Now that we are close to the end of 2021, your frustration levels are probably pretty high. It doesn’t help that we are also entering a period where you will be around other people in your family a great deal. Seeing people in happy marriages can be difficult.
What you could do to avoid prolonged periods of sadness is to focus your energy on your children. Could you take advantage of the cooler weather and spend time outdoors with them? Taking your kids to the park, going to play a sport, walking the dog, or even just going for an evening stroll in your neighborhood can seriously help if you are struggling with your mental health or just not feeling like yourself this holiday season. Assuredly, what families go through during the holidays amid a divorce can be tremendously hard if they are dealing with divorce. For you, it is essential to identify what is most important in your life and prepare for what your life could look like after your divorce.
That begins right now during this holiday season. You can start to think about the parts of your life you want to focus on during your divorce. It could be that doing you want to make sure that your child’s medical issues are taken care of first and foremost. If your child has an ongoing medical need where you need to provide care for them, then it may be better for you to have the primary right to make medical decisions for your child. This is especially true. If you have been the parent who has primarily been Caring for your child on a primary basis, especially regarding medical decisions, then it would make complete sense for you to take the position of caring for your child in this way.
Next, what about if she’s related to your child’s education? Suppose that your child has been struggling with school this semester. They may have been out of school in a hybrid learning environment or possibly even not attending school for the initial months of the pandemic. With almost all students back in-person learning this year, it is even more critical for your child to be able to re-adapt to learning in school. If that has been a problem, you may want to ensure that you and your spouse focus on this subject in a divorce scenario. Overall, the health and well-being of your child come first in your life. With expectations that your divorce could see some change in your child’s life, you should want to focus on their well-being both now and into the future.
Finally, there are many issues to be concerned with in terms of your Community property states. Community properties are any property that you purchased or acquired during your marriage period. This includes retirement savings as well as your family house in all likelihood. When we go through issues like this, the most critical factor in the entire discussion is that you want to ensure that you maintain as much of your property as possible, even if a division appears likely. Bearing in mind that community property can be divided unevenly, what factors could play a role in how your property is divided between you and your spouse?
The family house is probably the asset that most people think about on their Community property. There can be quite a bit of confusion at home because some people believe that if your name does not appear on the mortgage or the deed, you as a spouse in Texas have no say-so over what happens to the home. However, the reality is that Texas is a Community property state, and it does not matter if your name appears on the home loan or on the home itself. Instead, so long as the home was purchased during your marriage, it will be considered Community property. Therefore, you will be able to maintain an interest in the home no matter what.
As a result, you need to consider what it means to The family home in your divorce. You may be looking for some normalcy on behalf of your children during this time. Staying in the family home may seem like an excellent benefit for your family during a tumultuous period; however, the reality of the situation is that you need to look closely at the circumstances before you decide whether or not it is in anyone’s best interests for you to keep possession in the house. Here are some specific thoughts about planning on what to do with your family home, even during the holiday time.
Deciding what to do with the family home
Being at home during the holidays is the time immediately preceding a divorce that will likely cause you to begin to ponder what you will be doing with the house after a divorce. That decision becomes even more critical when you consider factors like children under the age of 18 and mortgage payments. I think we’re best off considering these issues one by one and then going through what to do with your family home in the divorce itself.
As I have discussed before in this blog post, you may have a desire to remain in the family home after a divorce for no other reason than to encourage the stability of your family. Many families struggle with cohesion immediately following a divorce. For that reason, your first instinct may be to grab hold of something stable to promote the well-being of your family. The closest thing to grab onto in most families is the family home. Not only that, it is the most significant and valuable asset that you will likely possess. However, just because it is something easy for you to grab onto does not mean that your best interest must keep the house. This is true even if you have children under the age of 18.
The other important factor that you have to think about is how the mortgage payment is in line with your budget. Bear in mind that your mortgage was likely attained using a household budget that had two different incomes. Now that you are getting a divorce, you need to remember that the mortgage payment will not be adjusted simply because you are down to one income. Stretching your budget as thin as possible to maintain a house that you cannot afford is not a good idea. It is a decision that could hurt your family over the long term.
There is an apparent connection between these two elements in that many families are willing to risk a financial problem in the long term to benefit them now. Well, I can’t say that I don’t understand why the person would do this is undoubtedly is short-sighted to sacrifice the well-being of your family in the long term for a short term play which probably won’t work out. Remember that that mortgage payment will be due on the same day as it always has been, no matter if you get a divorce or not, period; therefore, comma it will be wise to ensure financial viability before continuing with this loan even after your divorce has come to an end.
I am beginning to inventory your property.
In a time when you will both be likely to gain property and Bussum property, the holidays are an excellent time for you to go through your home and begin to inventory property that you own. This is because one of the first steps you will go through in your divorce will be doing the same. Why not go through these steps now rather than wait to do so in your divorce? You can save time and money in your divorce and perform these acts now. It doesn’t take much effort, and there is a method that I recommend to clients that they employ to begin the process.
The simple steps you can take to do this would be to walk through every room in your house with your cell phone and take pictures of what you find. It bears mentioning that the property in the home will likely change over the next few months, given that this is the giving season, and you may receive some gifts. However, many of those gifts will likely be a separate property anyways, with the understanding that the facilities are given to you specifically and not necessarily to you and your spouse. Therefore, the photographs you take will likely be a property that is subject to division in your divorce.
Additionally, the photographs that you take can be important for you to start organizing yourself in terms of what property belongs in your separate estate. Remember that your different estate is in the property that you owned before your marriage. Depending on the length of your wedding and the property in question, you may have even forgotten about some of this property. With that being said, remembering that specific property belongs in your separate estate can allow you to find ownership documents and prepare evidence to show that the property belongs to you differently from your spouse.
The holidays are also an excellent time to find a quiet moment to sit down at your computer and determine where your investments are. Those who have assets likely put the investments on autopilot, and that interest accumulates over time without really checking their specific status. Depending on your age, there is nothing wrong with doing this, but it is good to have an idea of where your investments stand before the divorce. Much like our discussion about community and separate property with other assets, you can also begin to think about what percentage of your investments are Community property and which are your individual property or your spouse’s separate property. This way, you will have a much better idea about the property subject to division in your divorce.
If you plan on filing for divorce as soon as the holidays are over, you are considering that having a plan can help you hit the ground running. It is our experience that many people work on filing for divorce after the holidays. If you have a plan in place and goals in mind, your attorney can likely help you more readily than people who have not thought about the next steps in their case. You can improve the trajectory of your case and shorten its length in all likelihood by doing some planning now before the holidays.q3
Once you have a solid idea of your property value, or investment property value, the value of your homes and can designate the property to go into different columns in terms of community or separate property, then you are ready to negotiate with a considerable part of your divorce.
Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
If you have questions about the material contained in this 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 an excellent way for you to learn more about the world of Texas family law and how your family circumstances may be impacted by the filing of a divorce or child custody case. Thank you so much for being so interested in our law office. We hope that you will join us again tomorrow as we continue to post interesting and relevant information about the world of Texas family law.