Winning your divorce case is not the same as winning any other legal case. Winning your divorce means that both you and your former spouse reached an equitable resolution on the division of property, custody and visitation for your children, and an amicable parting of ways. If you plan carefully, you can reach a successful conclusion to your divorce with a minimum of pain for all involved.
Consult an attorney. At BB Law Group PLLC, we recommend discussing things with a lawyer before beginning any legal action, including divorce. Your attorney can advise you about your rights regarding property division, child custody and support, possible alimony, and other legal matters. An attorney will also advise you about the Texas statutes regarding waiting periods, notice, and other issues.
Even if you choose to continue with your divorce on your own, it is a good idea to have the paperwork reviewed by an attorney before submitting it. This will avoid costly errors later. If you are unsure about what needs to be done, getting a consultation is worth the time.
Talk to your spouse. The best way to have an amicable divorce is to talk it over with the other party involved. Many of the most common problems facing divorcing spouses can be resolved by discussing them rather than having a judge make a declaration. At the least, you will know what your spouse expects and what you want from the divorce before you begin.
A word of caution: If your spouse has already retained an attorney, you should only communicate with the attorney. This is when you will need a lawyer of your own.
Consider mediation. Before taking things to trial, your attorney may recommend mediation, especially when the parties mostly agree about things. Mediation is a system where the parties sit down with a neutral third party and negotiate their differences. Unlike a trial, mediation is informal, and allows the parties to set their own terms and make their own arrangements for support or visitation.
Be honest with your partner, your attorney, and yourself. The best way to lose a divorce is to be caught hiding assets or failing to tell your attorney about an affair. Tell the truth about everything you have and anything you did. Your attorney cannot represent your best interests without knowing everything. The court will not look kindly on you for trying to defraud your partner.
Take care of yourself. Even the most amicable divorce is no fun for anyone. Anger, sorrow, joy, and other emotions will surface at the most inopportune times. At BB Law Group PLLC, we suggest a support group or therapist if you find yourself feeling out of your depth. Avoid the common mistake of trying to get through it alone.
Other Things to Consider
If you have children, be honest with them about what is going on. Children tend to internalize divorce and blame themselves for their parents’ separation. Secrecy and misdirection only confuse them. Never disparage your spouse in front of your children, even if you believe your spouse has done something wrong, and never use the children to spy on, carry messages to or from, or otherwise fight with your spouse.
A sure way to prejudice a family court judge against you is “alienation of affection” between your children and your spouse, and courts take it very seriously. No matter how angry you may be with your spouse, leave the children out of it.
How We Can Help
No matter how amicable the divorce may be, it’s usually best for each party to have their own attorney. This avoids conflict of interest, where an attorney is forced to pick between one party’s best interest and another’s. For instance, one party may want spousal support, but the other party may not wish to pay it. It is difficult for a responsible attorney to advocate for both parties in that case.
If you and your spouse have reached a point where you cannot remain in your marriage, you should consult a knowledgeable family attorney such as those at BB Law Group PLLC. We can help you negotiate the legal processes and work through the many issues facing you and your family in this trying time.