Family Law

Considering Divorce? What a Divorce Attorney Wants You to Know

By May 6, 2020
Considering Divorce?

Maybe you’ve been thinking about asking your spouse for a divorce. Maybe you and your spouse have recently separated. Or, maybe your husband or wife has been cheating on you or has become emotionally or physically abusive.

If you feel like you’re coming to the end of your marriage, this article is for you.

Divorce is a difficult, life-changing decision, one made even harder when it comes after a bitter period in a marriage.

At this moment, before you’ve hired a divorce attorney, told friends and family, or filed any paperwork, there’s a lot to consider. Divorce brings not just legal, but emotional and financial ramifications. Below, our experienced divorce attorneys at Lovelace Law created a list of things you should keep in mind before taking that first step into a divorce. Think of it as a guide for navigating this difficult journey ahead.

Download our free resource

“What to Bring To Your First Meeting with a Divorce Attorney”

Keep a Realistic Mindset

Many people enter divorce with a mindset of revenge. They hope to win against their spouse, whether that means obtaining full custody of their children, receiving the spousal support they desire, or maintaining ownership of the family home or other assets. But this mindset isn’t helpful because divorce comes with compromise. While you may end up receiving some of what you want, you’ll likely compromise in other areas. Divorce is not a “win-lose” game. The sooner two spouses realize this, the faster and more productive the process can be.

Weigh Life-Changing Decisions Heavily

Divorcing your spouse is a life-changing event. It can drastically change you and your children’s daily lives. Because of this, take time to think about your decisions during a divorce. Decisions made quickly in anger or frustration may lead to regret or further legal hurdles down the road.

Be Organized

Getting all the right documents in place and organizing your personal financial information is an important early step in preparing for divorce.

For an exact list of what to bring to your lawyer (compiled by our experienced Fort Worth legal team), download the free resource below.

Don’t Compare Your Divorce to Another

Your friend or family member’s divorce isn’t indicative of your own. Every divorce and marriage is different, so while their advice or predictions are likely well-intentioned, they may not be accurate. At this moment in your life, it’s important to turn to expert guidance. Turn to your financial planner, therapist, spiritual leader, and divorce attorney for sound advice during this time. With the knowledge of your divorce’s specific details, your attorney can offer logical, trusted answers to questions or concerns you may have.

Download our free resource

“What to Bring To Your First Meeting with a Divorce Attorney”

Court Can (and Should) Be Avoided

When it comes to divorce, a trial is a last resort. (And in fact, 95 percent of divorces are resolved outside of court.) Any attorney will tell you that divorces are more efficient, less expensive, and less emotionally distressing when they can avoid a trial. Sadly, the expense of a divorce trial can significantly shrink the funds couples are likely fighting over, or drive couples deeper into debt.

In addition, when a judge who is unfamiliar with your family, lifestyle, and marriage is involved in resolving disputes, you may have little certainty as to how they will rule. For greater control over your divorce, it’s wise to settle it out of court.

Consider Your Legal Options

The three primary legal options couples have for obtaining a divorce are:

Litigation

This is the traditional, lawyer-driven divorce alternative. Keep in mind that, “litigation” does not mean the divorce ends up in court. It is simply a term that means a lawsuit is being carried out.

Litigation is necessary when the decision to divorce is unilateral, as many divorce cases are. Litigation is also the method that is needed if a couple does not seek to work together to come to a mutual agreement. That’s because the other two processes mentioned below require cooperation of both parties and voluntary disclosure of all pertinent information.

Collaborative Approach

Unlike a traditional divorce process, during a collaborative process, each spouse will hire lawyers to bring the case to settlement. Papers are not filed with the court until everything is resolved. Instead of having the Judge direct the discovery process, attorneys will cooperate with one another and give each other access to financial information and other details. If a settlement cannot be reached through collaboration, each spouse will then hire a traditional divorce attorney who will represent them in court.

Mediation

The third option involves the hiring of a mediator before any attorneys are retained or documents are filed. This option is usually chosen when couples seek professional divorce guidance, but want to save time and money as well as avoid an attorney-driven procedure. This is called pro-se/pre-suit divorce mediation. (Pro-se means unrepresented and pre-suit means pre-lawsuit.)

Another variation of mediation is if you and your spouse hire attorneys to represent you during the process. When this occurs, both attorneys will complete a discovery process and then select a mediator to oversee the mediation.

Choose Honesty

Honesty is critical during your divorce. You should be honest both with your attorney and with your spouse. Provide your attorney with the truth about all aspects of your marriage (and answer their questions honestly) so he or she can analyze your case properly. Hidden information that is later revealed by your spouse’s legal team in mediation or at trial can put your lawyer — and your best interests — at a big disadvantage.

Similarly, you should be honest with your spouse. Divorcing spouses must disclose information and documents regarding their income, expenses, assets and debts during discovery. Failure to do so may end up causing you to lose valuable assets or rights in the divorce ruling.

Remember the Big Picture

It can be easy to obsess over small details when there is frustration, sadness, or animosity between spouses. Something as small as a dispute over a piece of furniture could cause you to take up arms. But dwelling in anger or jealousy will be a roadblock to resolving your case and moving on with your new life. While things will likely sadden, frustrate, or anger you during the divorce process, keep the larger goal — creating a more positive life for yourself — always in mind.

If you are seriously considering a divorce, we encourage you to download our free resource “What to Bring to Your First Meeting with a Divorce Attorney.” Use the checklist to come prepared with the information your attorney will need to get started.

If you need legal help gaining a divorce, contact Lovelace Law. Our trusted divorce attorneys in Fort Worth or Burleson can meet with you to determine your goals, answer your questions, and help you get started on the path to a better life.

If you are seriously considering a divorce, we encourage you to download our free resource

“What to Bring To Your First Meeting with a Divorce Attorney”

Use the checklist to come prepared with the information your attorney will need to get started. Fill out the form below to receive your download.

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If you need legal help gaining a divorce, contact Lovelace Law. Our trusted divorce attorneys in Fort Worth or Burleson can meet with you to determine your goals, answer your questions, and help you get started on the path to a better life.