Over the past few months, like many in Texas and across the country, you may be spending more time than usual with your spouse and children with few diversions or distractions. For some, this has been a bonding experience. For others, however, this unprecedented time has served only to exacerbate already tense relationships and bring to the surface irreconcilable differences.
If you are among the many who have decided you no longer want to be married to your spouse, you may be eager to get the process over with so you can start your new life. However, there are some important steps to take before and after you file so you can minimize any post-divorce struggle you may face.
Helping the process along
The end of summer typically sees a spike in divorce filings. Families spend their vacations together and return home disillusioned and unhappy. Many couples choose to divorce over the summer so the process is over and resolved before the children return to school in the fall or at least before the winter holidays. However, divorce can go slowly, so it is critical that you know what to expect and plan ahead. For example, some of the following actions may take weeks or months:
- Gathering all the information about your assets, including mortgage papers, vehicle titles and investment documents
- Locating all joint bank accounts
- Valuating a business
- Assessing your debt burden, including any joint or separate credit cards
- Collecting expense records
- Creating a post-divorce budget
- Reaching the end of Texas’ mandatory waiting period
You may also wish to seek marital counseling before you take any steps that you can’t undo. It is important that you take your time in determining what you expect to obtain from the divorce. Are there certain assets for which you are willing to negotiate? Do you anticipate requesting spousal support? Of course, you will also want to resolve any child custody matters with minimal stress for the children.
No matter what phase of the process you are in, it is wise to obtain as much information as possible about the laws in Texas and what you can expect from the divorce process and beyond. Even if you are not certain that you want to end your marriage, seeking legal advice is a smart choice. Speaking with an experienced attorney can provide you with helpful information and guidance for every aspect of your divorce.