Preparing for Divorce
No one really enters into a marriage thinking that it will reach a point of no return and that divorce will become the only option. In fact, the phrase “till death do us part” is still part of many marriage ceremonies. That being said, life can move in unforeseen directions, and a wonderful relationship can reach a breaking point for any number of reasons.
While people in a relationship can just drift apart, most divorces are initiated by one spouse. According to a recent survey conducted by Forbes magazine, only 27 percent of divorces are mutual. No matter the exact circumstances of your divorce, though, it’s important to remember that you have rights.
If divorce is being contemplated in your relationship, or if you have been served with divorce papers, contact Robin Scott Law Firm, PLLC. Family law and divorce attorney Robin Scott will advise and guide you through the process and help you exercise your rights and protect your future. Preparing for a divorce can be tricky, but with the right legal guidance, you can move forward from this.
Robin Scott serves clients not only in Spring, Texas, but also throughout the counties of Harris, Montgomery, and Fort Bend. Your initial consultation is free.
Things to Consider When Divorce Looms
The first consideration is whether you really want to get a divorce or you just want to make things work more harmoniously in your relationship. Of course, if you’re on the receiving end of a divorce summons, then you may have to weigh proactive measures to bring your partner to see your viewpoint that the marriage should continue.
If divorce cannot be averted—especially after you’ve reached out to a marriage counselor and other resources—then you need to consider the type of divorce envisioned. Generally speaking, there are two types of divorces: contested. and uncontested.
Contested divorces mean the two of you disagree on key issues, and the judge decides your fate—who gets what, who gets the children, who makes spousal or child support payments, and more.
Uncontested divorces mean that the two of you negotiate a settlement agreement, whether through a collaborate divorce with your attorney or attorneys, or through mediation.
An uncontested divorce certainly has benefits over a contested divorce. First, it is less costly, and it is also private. There are no courtroom battles that become part of the public record. Second, if done correctly, it can result in more peace of mind moving forward for both of the spouses.
Another aspect to consider is who is going to live where. Does one spouse move out while the divorce is proceeding? Can the two of you continue to live in the same primary residence?
Of course, children are a major consideration when it comes to divorce. Issues involving child custody and child support are vital. Most of these matters are best handled through negotiation so that both parties are satisfied and the best interests of your children are met.
Important Steps To Protect Your Rights During the Divorce Process
To protect yourself in a divorce, you should take several important steps, including:
Retain an experienced family law/divorce attorney. You need to have your rights explained to you and strongly represented. While an attorney isn't technically required, you don’t want to navigate this situation alone.
Survey and secure your assets. In a marriage, there are two types of property, generally speaking: private (or personal) property, and marital property. Marital property is any asset or debt incurred by either spouse during the time of marriage. Personal or private property is anything you owned in your own name before getting married.
In a Texas divorce, marital property will be divided according to the principle of community property, which is usually a 50/50 proposition—but that doesn’t mean you cut a house or car in half. An experienced attorney can help you navigate these issues.
Assemble all legal and financial documents. Keep copies of your bank accounts, savings accounts, retirement accounts, deeds, and titles to property (whether joint or individual), and make sure you can account for every asset you possess by yourself or together with your spouse. In addition, assemble and keep all tax returns, life and health insurance policies, and any other legal documents.
Assess your financial situation. When it comes to calculating any child or spousal support payments, you’ll want to be on sure footing. In the case of child support payments, courts use a formula based on the financial resources and economic futures of each spouse, along with other factors such as the length of the marriage, the contributions of each spouse to home life, and more.
Make Informed Choices Every Step of the Way
Divorce can be complex and challenging, not to mention potentially traumatic. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. With experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel on your side, you’ll have a better chance of making this transition with confidence and peace of mind.
If you live in Spring or anywhere else in Texas, contact Robin Scott Law Firm, PLLC for trusted family law representation. Attorney Robin Scott will deal with your situation with compassion and understanding and help you chart a path to a brighter future.