Tips for a Smooth Divorce Process
Whether you initiated your divorce or your spouse did, it is never an easy process. Furthermore, for most people, their divorce is the first time they have ever encountered the judicial system, and frequently is the first time they have ever worked with an attorney. As such, each step of the process can feel overwhelming and mystifying.
Over the years, we have represented countless clients from all walks of life going through all kinds of divorces. However, despite our extensive experience, we have noticed some common mistakes that are made. Below we review three of the most common divorce mistakes and how to avoid them.
Mistake #1: Fighting Every Battle Out of Spite
High-conflict divorces are particularly tough to go through. People dealing with these types of volatile situations frequently feel like everything is a battle. It is also easy to get sucked into a back-and-forth where you and your former partner dig in and refuse to agree. When communication breaks down, and you’re angry at your former partner, it can feel cathartic to fight everything tooth and nail. This does not serve you in the end. Instead, it can make your divorce take much longer than it needs to and cost you significantly more money.
Commonly disputed divorce matters include:
- Property division
- Spousal support
- Child custody
While there is no easy answer to a high-conflict divorce, working with your attorney to identify the matters that truly matter to you can help reduce the amount of conflict you experience during your divorce. Considering what is worth the fight and what isn’t can also help you speed up the divorce process.
Mistake #2: Refusing to Negotiate Because You Want Your Divorce Over
If you are in a rush to finish your divorce, it can be tempting to accept the first thing offered to you during divorce negotiations. However, doing so puts you at a disadvantage. It also leaves you open to potential abuses, such as misappropriation of assets or unfair spousal support agreements. Being willing to take the time to negotiate when figuring out key divorce matters can help you achieve a divorce settlement that is genuinely equitable and which you are satisfied with.
You should also be wary of trusting that your former partner will look out for your best interests, even if they have told you that they will “take care of you.” Marriages end for many reasons, and even when you and your ex have an amicable relationship, things can change when it comes to dividing property, assets, and debts.
It is always in your best interest to consult with an attorney and to go into divorce discussions with a willingness to negotiate.
Mistake #3: Trying to Do It All on Your Own
Though you are not required to work with an attorney to file for divorce in Texas, it is always recommended that you do so. A DIY divorce leaves you vulnerable to legal errors that can slow down your divorce process and put you at a long-term disadvantage. Divorce, in general, is a complicated process, and you deserve to have support during this difficult time.
Many people worry that hiring an attorney will slow down the divorce process. This is not the case. Working with an attorney helps speed up the process as you will benefit from the knowledge and resources of a legal professional who knows the ins and outs of the Texas Family Court system. Another major benefit to working with an attorney is knowing that you have someone on your side, ensuring that your best interests are represented during negotiations or if your case is litigated.
From property division to spousal support to custody schedules, it is easy to become overwhelmed. Many people feel pushed to make decisions quickly and before they have enough information to feel confident. Your attorney can work to help you understand your legal options and the ramifications different decisions and outcomes can have on your life. As such, your attorney is an invaluable resource that can help you feel more self-assured when making these crucial decisions about your and your family’s future.
Are you considering divorcing your spouse? Reach out to the Law Firm of Johnson & Gaskill, PLLC, for help today.