Getting a divorce is not for everyone. Or, more accurately, getting a divorce at certain times may not be for everyone. This includes you. Where you are in your life may not be the most opportune time for you to get a divorce. A divorce touches on many different areas of your life so much so that it is difficult to be able to say where there are not you are more impacted by the divorce than are your children, for example. Deciding on getting a divorce is one that you should not enter lightly. Most people in your shoes do give divorce serious thought. It is not something that you should rush into or consider without looking at the totality of your circumstances and deciding that way. However, I would like to spend some time talking with you today about different ideas to consider as you ponder a divorce. Finally, we can walk through what some alternatives are to divorce.

Is now the time for a divorce in your life? 

There are some circumstances in which I would certainly argue that getting a divorce is necessary. For example, if you have been the victim of abuse or neglect then a divorce is likely necessary for your circumstances. It would be hard to argue that any degree of counseling or therapy is going to solve the issues that are impacting your marriage period rather, we can look to the violent history in your relationship and determine that more likely than not this is going to be a problem for you and your spouse moving forward. When your physical safety is that daily risk then you need to consider the importance of but divorce immediately.

When it comes to getting a divorce, you should not stop there. Requesting emergency temporary orders to protect yourself from your spouse in the immediate aftermath of filing for divorce would be wise. An experienced family law attorney can help guide you through this process. Once a judge has approved your temporary orders you would have the law on your side where your spouse to try and do anything harmful to you. This is not foolproof but at least it provides you with some degree of peace of mind. Eventually, your spouse will be able to attend a hearing where he or she will be able to present evidence contrary to yours to have a protective order lifted but when someone has unpredictable behavior a protective order can be a great benefit.

Next, we can consider that situation in which your spouse is aware of the problems in your marriage but is simply not willing to work on them with you. This is a major red flag for any relationship. Especially so if you have communicated these problems to your spouse directly in that he or she is aware of those problems. Displaying a willingness to work on the problems is a minimum as far as I am concerned in terms of effort to make towards salvaging the marriage. Knowing that there is a problem in the marriage and refusing to take the minimum steps necessary to help save the relationship tells me that the end is near for your marriage. At that stage, you are better off preparing yourself and your children for what is to come rather than attempting again to save the relationship.

At this point, I will note that it is important before taking the next step in a situation like this that you should be clear with your spouse about what you see the problems as being as well as what sort of remedies there are to help save the marriage. The problem that many people in your shoes run into is that they believe that they are clear and communicative about these issues but they have not been willing to share their opinions fully with their spouse. This means that you need to be sure that you are communicating clearly with your spouse. You do not need to be a marriage or family therapist to do this. All you need to do is make a concerted effort and speak honestly. Once you have done this the rest is in the hands of your spouse. 

Finally, I think that circumstances that involve Infidelity on some level require serious thought about an end to the marriage. That is my opinion, and you may know people who have worked through these types of issues and have built strong marriages on what had been a rocky foundation. However, I have also known people to try their hardest at reconciliation in circumstances like this only to find that they have been unable to get past the grief and hurt brought about by infidelity. Whether we like to admit it or not, infidelity cuts to the core of our relationships and can damage the foundation that you and your spouse are built over many years.

When it comes to physical infidelity then it is obvious what I am talking about. There is almost always an emotional as well as physical component to this type of cheating. When you get into a circumstance where your spouse is spending money or excessive amounts of time with another person then you know that there is an emotional aspect to the relationship that goes well beyond the physical. This would tell me that there is good cause for a divorce to be considered.

Another type of infidelity that is less commonly discussed in our culture but is damaging would be fidelity related to finances. Financial infidelity can run the gamut of dishonesty about your work and how much you earn, refusing to combine your finances with your spouse, or not being clear about losing your income or having a reduction in your income. These types of offenses can occur to avoid having much more difficult discussions about temporary changes to lifestyle and things of that nature.

Next, we can consider situations that involve problems with overspending, taxes, and even using your spouse’s identity all that frequently and divorce is on a historic basis the fact is we do see them more and more these days. With the pandemic and all the changes that many of our households have undergone in this time, I would expect situations like this to occur even more frequently. Suffice it to say these are circumstances that cannot be remedied with a simple conversation. If you have had text issues confront you before then you know what I am talking about. It can be extremely difficult to work with a person in a marriage context when that person has continually had opportunities to come clean and confess to you about financial wrongdoing in your relationship. However, their refusal to do so can be a huge problem both now and in the future for your family. 

Ultimately, only you know the appropriate limits to accept the apologies of your spouse in to determine what can be done to repair broken bonds of trust. This is an intensely personal subject that I would never try to offer you specific pointers on only because I don’t know exactly what is going on in your relationship. However, I can tell you that a truly remorseful person will have the courage to come forward. While you have no responsibility to accept their apology you may be well served to consider their position and at least to listen to what they have to say. 

After that, you should pay attention to their actions much more so than their words. A listing out of their transgressions does not have to take a long period in all actuality we’re talking about a few minutes. However, working to regain the trust of your spouse can take a lifetime to achieve. Even then, you may find that a new relationship is never the same. Even so, you and your spouse may believe that even an imperfect marriage is preferable to a divorce. With that said, let’s talk about circumstances where you may consider staying in a marriage that is imperfect due to other considerations.

A child or a spouse with a disability

One of the first situations that come to my mind as far as one where you may not have immediately considered, would be if your spouse has a physical or mental disability. In situations like this, your spouse may be reliant upon you for care, health insurance therefore a range of other means of support. Again, this is not a blanket statement where I’m telling you, but you should never consider divorcing your spouse if he or she has a disability. However, I do think that this is a circumstance where you should consider the nature of the disability, the type of care required in your role as a caregiver. Staying in a marriage for no other reason than to provide care for someone is not necessarily a good idea. However, this would be the kind of extenuating circumstances that I may consider when it comes to pausing a divorce.

Additionally, if you and your spouse are raising a child together who has a disability then this may also be a rather extreme circumstance that you could consider before filing for divorce. Again, it is not uncommon for divorced people to raise a child with disabilities together. However, if you thought that raising a child with disabilities was difficult before divorce you should consider a few different aspects of your life once you do get a divorce. For one, conservatorships rights and duties R part of parenting. Conservatorships rights and duties refer to the rights and duties you have is apparent about your child. As such, you will be expected to negotiate these subjects with your spouse in the divorce.  The right to make decisions for your child regarding their mental health, physical health and overall well-being are important aspects of this discussion. 

While we don’t think about these rights and duties every day as parents, you have already been utilizing these rights in your everyday life. The only difference is after a divorce their rights and duties will be spelled out in black and white. Sometimes this reality is enough to make a spouse difficult to deal with or even approachable when it comes to learning how to raise a child in separate households. You should talk to an experienced family law attorney with the law office of Brian Fagan before considering a divorce in your circumstances. If for no other reason than to be able to learn what you are going to have to work through in your divorce negotiations and how that could particularly impact your child.

Next, depending on your specific circumstances, a divorce may be especially difficult for your child. Having both his mother and father at home with him can provide a great number of advantages. A divorce can throw a child’s life completely out of whack. This can be even more true for a child with a disability. This does not mean that you should put off getting divorced forever. What it does mean is that you should take steps to minimize the disruption to your child’s life and to make plans for how to adjust your child’s new life to the realities of your divorce.

Another circumstance that should give you some degree of pause when it comes to filing for divorce would be if you are completely reliant upon your spouse for income. These situations are somewhat common for both younger families who may have just experienced the birth of a child as well As for older families where the husband has always worked, and the wife estate known to raise children and tend to the household. If this sounds familiar to you then you should consider one of the most opportune times for you would be to get divorced. Absent other circumstances it may make sense for you to have an idea about what kind of spousal support or maintenance you may be entitled to because of your circumstances and the length of your marriage. Money alone should certainly not prevent you from getting a divorce. However, it is something for you to think about as far as what the next steps are going to be for you after the divorce.

Think about it in terms of leaving you If you had been pursuing a small business on the side part-time but wanted to make it your full-time occupation before you jump ship from the corporate job you would want to make sure that your entrepreneurial activities can sustain your basic needs. Can you devote more time to the business and generate more income as a result? Or would you be reminding me that is more he comes you could earn how much in your business? These will be very relevant questions to ask as you consider whether to leave a somewhat reliable corporate job for a less reliable stream of income as an entrepreneur. Again, this is not to warn you against making decisions of this sort. What I do want to do here is talk to you more about strategic planning with a divorce based on your specific circumstances.

Planning for divorce

Jumping into a divorce headfirst is not a good time. Divorce is not the backyard pool. Rather, a divorce is a serious life event that requires some degree of planning before you start the process. For example, you should investigate hiring an experienced family law attorney before beginning your divorce. No, a divorce attorney is not required to get a divorce in Texas, but it is highly recommended for you to have one. The fact is that you should not expect to succeed in a divorce without a plan.

Once you have decided as to what attorney you would like to hire for your case you should work with your attorney on determining what goals you would like to set in your case. Those goals can vary a great deal depending upon your life circumstances. That reason, you should not listen only two the advice of other people who have gotten a divorce. Their perspective is going to be significantly impacted by their only experience having gotten a divorce. A family law attorney will be able to provide you with a better perspective given that they have years of experience working with families of all different types and needs.

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. How are licensed family law attorneys offering 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 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. Thank you for your interest in our law office. We hope that you will join us again soon.