Common Mistakes During a Divorce
Divorce happens. While splitting up is relatively common—the research shows that as many as half of marriages in Texas will end in divorce—going through one yourself can be very hard. Even when both spouses agree that divorce is the right option for their situation, there are just so many complicated legal, logistical, and emotional things that still need to be worked on and resolved.
Unfortunately, many divorcing couples make avoidable mistakes during the process. At Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC, we are devoted to providing the highest level of family law representation to clients. In this blog post, our Houston divorce attorney highlights six of the most common mistakes that you should avoid if you are preparing to end your marriage in Texas.Six Mistakes that You Need to Avoid During a Divorce in Texas 1. Assuming That a Divorce Has to Be a Big Conflict
Divorce is hard. Even when both spouses agree that it is time to move in a different direction, the divorce process itself can still be extremely contentious. That being said, you should not enter the process assuming that divorce has to be a big fight. Under Texas law (Texas Family Code § 6.001), spouses can get divorced on the no-fault grounds of insupportability. While there are exceptions, most divorces in our state are uncontested. They are resolved outside of litigation.
You do not have to agree on everything at the outset of the process to reach a settlement. Quite the contrary, many couples in Texas enter the divorce process without seeing eye-to-eye before eventually resolving the matter in a cost-effective, efficient, and low-conflict matter. You may be able to resolve your divorce through a structured, non-adversarial process, such as mediation. It is a mistake to approach the process looking for a big fight.2. Trying to Handle the Entire Process Without Professional Representation
The logistical, financial, and legal complexities of a divorce can be overwhelming. Trying to navigate the entire process alone is a major mistake. You do not want to wait too long to get an experienced Houston divorce lawyer on your side. You may be stuck trying to work out highly complicated matters, such as filing requirements, property division, spousal support, child custody, and visitation. No matter your circumstances, a Houston, TX, divorce lawyer will protect your rights. Among other things, an experienced divorce attorney in Houston can:
- Hear your story and answer your legal questions;
- Help you gather all documents, records, and other relevant information;
- Handle the divorce paperwork, ensuring things are filed properly;
- Represent you in any divorce settlement negotiations; and
- Develop a comprehensive legal strategy focused on getting the best outcome.
It is no secret that finances are at the center of many divorce proceedings. Under Texas law (Texas Family Code § 3.002), our state uses a community property standard to divide property/assets in a divorce. All of a couple’s marital property is deemed jointly owned by each spouse. That being said, a 50/50 split is not guaranteed. Other financial issues need to be considered as well, potentially including things like spousal maintenance and child support. As you navigate the divorce process in Texas, you should always pay careful attention to financial considerations. Make sure that your best interests are protected and that you are well set up for a successful future.4. Failing to Take Proactive Steps to Protect Custody and Visitation Rights (For Parents)
Although getting divorced can be hard for any couple, it is especially difficult for parents who share young children. Are you a parent getting divorced in Southeast Texas? You must take proactive measures to protect your custody rights and visitation rights. Notably, Texas uses the best interests of the child legal standard to resolve any custody and visitation issues. As you prepare for a divorce, be sure to protect your children from conflict and to protect your parental rights.
Note: Texas officially uses the term conservatorship instead of custody. The state also uses the terms possession and access instead of visitation. However, the concepts are very similar.5. Accepting an Unfair Settlement Just to Get the Divorce Over With
Divorce is stressful. It is hard. Most people simply want to get the process over with as soon as they possibly can so that they can move forward to the next stage of their life. This is an entirely understandable impulse. That being said, you should never accept an unfair settlement in a divorce case simply to get things over with. It is one of the most common mistakes that people make. Before you agree to finalize a divorce in Southeast Texas, you should be absolutely certain that any proposed settlement agreement is truly in your best interests.6. Focusing Entirely on the Past Instead of on the Future
Finally, it is a big mistake to use the divorce process largely to litigate what has already happened without adequate focus on the future. Texas is one of the states that still allow for fault-based divorces. Still, most divorces in Texas are now finalized on no-fault grounds. Further, regardless of the grounds for divorce in your case, the process is much more about the future than it is about the past. To be sure, divorce is often a painful and emotional process. Feeling angry, hurt, or resentful is normal and even natural. However, dwelling on past events and conflicts can make it challenging to move forward and create a positive future for yourself.Schedule a Confidential Consultation With a Top Houston Divorce Lawyer Today
At Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC, our Houston divorce lawyer has the legal experience and professional expertise that you can rely on in even the most contentious of divorce cases. Reach out to us by phone at (713) 401-3998 or contact us online to set up a confidential consultation. With a law office in Houston and an office in Sugar Land, we handle family and divorce cases throughout Southeast Texas, including Harris County, Fort Bend County, and Montgomery County.