Before we begin to discuss whether or not the military will pay for your divorce we need to get into whether or not you will need a divorce in the first place. I think that the instinct for many people is to assume that when they have some degree of marital problems that the only thing that can solve their issues is a divorce. While a divorce may be what is best for your family we do not know for certain. That is a fact-specific question that only you in your family can determine the answer to. However, you will never have a good answer to this question unless you carefully examine near specific circumstances to make that determination for yourself.
What of the smartest things that you can do with this time is to seek counseling and try to work your way through the issues in your marriage with dialogue. This may seem like the last thing you want to do in some ways. I think the instinct that many people have when they face problems in their marriages is to try to do something. That something usually ends up being a divorce. However, the reality is that they divorced may not be necessary or beneficial for you and your family if you can talk through the issue in your marriage. It is much preferable to be able to talk through issues rather than to have to go through a divorce.
For military members who are on base or otherwise on duty, then a chaplain, counselor, or another officer may be available to you and your family to assist you in doing this. Just having someone available like this to listen to your issues, discuss methods of helping your marriage, and ultimately laying some groundwork for a manageable transition into a new phase of your marriage are all skills that a marriage counselor, chaplain, or another person with experience in this area can assist you with.
Something that counseling can assist you with is to be able to help you establish some ways to be able to communicate with your family effectively. For many people, despite extensive life and professional experiences, you may not be able to communicate effectively in your marriage no matter how long you have been married. Effectively communicating and talking to or at your spouse is not the same thing. Do not underestimate how helpful it can be to talk to someone who will help you talk to your spouse. Something that sounds very simple can be extremely complicated.
What going through counseling can also do for your family is to establish the basic parameters on what the issues in your case are. Sometimes you may be able to figure out what the major issues of your case are ahead of time and then save yourself a great deal of time and money when it comes to happen to negotiate the case once a divorce has been filed. It is not always possible to limit the length of time you have to spend on a case but by at least talking about the issues beforehand you can figure out whether or not this is going to be possible for you and your family.
What if I have no money?
For a military spouse, this is always a relevant question to ask yourself as you approach to divorce. Suppose that you and your spouse are living apart from one another and you are contacted by your spouse to say that he or she will not be returning home. In that case, you are left with few options and fewer resources. You depend upon an automatic deposit of his or her check into your checking account to buy groceries and things of that nature. Now that this isn’t a possible question that you need to ask yourself is whether or not you are going to be able to care for yourself and your children now that your spouse is left you.
Each branch of the military has its spousal support guidelines and applies them differently to each particular situation. Depending on the branch of the military that your spouse is serving under you may find that you either have a situation where your spouse must pay you some type of spousal support or may not need to pay you to support at all. It just depends it is something that you should look into in terms of the services made available to you. We do not have the space in today’s blog post to go over each scenario for each military branch. You should apply any information you have and contact any support specialist with your branch as soon as possible.
As a part of your Texas divorce, you may be able to negotiate for temporary spousal support for the duration of your divorce. These will be payments made from your spouse to you to help you meet your household’s minimal basic needs. To increase your likelihood of being awarded this type of support you should prepare a basic budget to be able to show the judge. This will help you to be able to prepare and provide a judge with specific information as to why you need a certain level of support. The next thing that you would need to be able to show is that your spouse can pay you this parcel support that you are requesting. You can also speak with your attorney about the possibility of limiting access to joint bank and credit card accounts or even freezing those accounts temporarily. The last thing you would want to do is to have your spouse rack up a great deal of debt that could compromise both of you at this late stage of your marriage.
Is there any way to keep your spouse from divorcing you?
It sometimes happens in a divorce situation that you or your spouse may not be interested in getting a divorce at all. One of you may still want to attempt to reconcile your marriage through counseling or other support services. The branch of the military that you or your spouse serve in may also be willing to help you all sort out your issues at no cost to either of you. For a family like yours that is probably on a budget right now, this can be a great service both financially and relationally. It is my experience that most people going through a military divorce (or at least approaching a military divorce) do not necessarily look into this option.
Does the military pay for your divorce?
It is my experience that no branch of the military will pay you to get divorced. There may be scenarios where the military would help you to locate an attorney. There may be scenarios where you can remain living on base for some time after your spouse leaves you. However, being able to have the military completely pay for your divorce is probably not something that is in the cars for you. Let’s look at what you should think about when it comes to filing for divorce if that is what you plan on doing.
Beginning your divorce
Contacting the State Bar of Texas, especially if you are not in Texas or even the United States currently, is a great idea as you continue to search for an attorney back home in Texas. Blogs like ours here with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan can also point you in the right direction while providing you with general information that is appliable to several scenarios which may be relevant to you. However, if you want specific feedback and you believe that a divorce is around the corner, then I certainly recommend speaking with one of our licensed family law attorneys.
Sometimes you can even receive good advice from friends, neighbors, or even family members who have been through a divorce themselves. Be aware that some people, even people that you trust, can sometimes provide you with advice that is not well thought out or even purposefully dramatic or over-the-top information for no other reason than to intimidate you. Do not let these people and their misguided perspectives intimidate you from moving forward with your divorce. Listen to your inner voice and seek advice from those who have been through the process before.
In this age of the internet, it is easier than ever to go on the computer and get information about a wide range of topics. Any subject that you would like to learn more about has a great deal of information available online. Simply go to your internet browser and begin searching for information that can b helpful. For example- do you like the idea of having an attorney who is located near your home? What about an attorney who has been to many divorce trials? Each one of us is different from one another. This means that the attorney who works well for me and my family may not do the same for you and yours. The only way to determine what works best for you and your family would be to conduct some basic internet research on your own.
While you are at it, why not use any free time that you have to meet up with some of the attorneys who you learned about online. Being able to sit interview these lawyers in person, see how they conduct themselves and just get a general feeling for them before hiring one. Our office offers free of charge consultations six days a week, in person, over the phone, and via video. Hopefully one of the lawyers that you meet with turns out to be a winner and you can move ahead with the other parts of your divorce after hiring an attorney.
Goal setting is something that you need to do at the very beginning of your divorce. The more crystal clear your goals are, the better off you will be in your divorce. Goal setting, acting intentionally, and then following through on those goals is a recipe for success in a divorce no matter what your circumstances are, what type of divorce you entering into, or which branch of the military you or your spouse serve under. Do not let what you don’t. know intimidate you into not getting a divorce that could pay dividends for you both now and into the future. The fate of your family may be riding on the decisions that you make both now and in the future. Why not have an attorney by your side that you can trust and who has been through a divorce with great frequency.
Asking questions is also something important- especially for a military spouse. Do not think that anyone is going to think less of you or be critical of you if you ask questions associated with the divorce. It is normal to have questions in a divorce situation. Consider that your spouse may have more information relayed to him through his military service that you may have access to only on a second-hand basis. You can lean on your attorney for information and perspective on the events of your divorce case.
One thing that I will mention at this stage of your divorce is that you should not hesitate to talk with your attorney about any negatives in your case. We like to think about divorce in terms of what we bring to the table as far as positives. A great paying job, experience raising the kids on a primary basis, and a host of other subjects may be things that you have no issue speaking to a judge or your case. However, every person that has ever gone through a divorce does so with some negatives shining bright. We like to call these types of conversations a skeletons-in-the-closet situation. What you should do is share this sort of information with your attorney as early as possible. This way he or she can work to negotiate with your spouse more readily and can help you to move on to other subjects more readily.
What can your attorney do for you?
If you are going to take a relatively long period to see what an attorney can do for you then that would be a wise move to make. I have worked with several people who have gone through a divorce or another life emergency. What these folks will tell you is that it is possible to have a great divorce experience no matter what the circumstances are. To close out today’s blog post I wanted to share with you what I think are reasonable expectations for you to have of your attorney.
At the very least attorney-client communications are private and privileged. This means that your attorney must not share any information with anyone else unless you explicitly give him or her permission. Remember the whole skeletons in the closet conversation that I was mentioning to you a moment ago? Well, this is a real example of this situation. Make sure to go over with your attorney any concerns you have on your divorce sooner rather than later.
Next, and perhaps most importantly, your divorce attorney should allow you to make the decisions in your case. True enough that he or she can guide you in making those decisions, but the attorney is not there to tell you what to do or not to do in your case. Think of the attorney as someone sitting in the back of the racecar while you drive. The attorney is there to tell you how to avoid potholes and the like. It is up to you whether to take the advice or suffer consequences in many cases.
A great attorney has the heart of a teacher. This means that not only should the attorney have an excellent understanding of the law but should also be able to explain issues associated with your case without any issues. What the attorney is also adept at, hopefully, is explaining those issues to you and allowing you to make decisions for yourself. Knowledge is power, as they say. An attorney can speed through the decision-making process and give you their answer on a particular subject but that doesn’t do you much good. Rather, I think if your attorney can explain clearly any circumstances that you may be facing. Ask your attorney that you are meeting with how he or she shares information with their clients. I would be interested in this a great deal if I were you especially considering how a military family may be on the go more frequently than a civilian attorney.
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 presented 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 about your family’s circumstances and how they may be impacted by a family law case in Texas.