I've personally never went through the divorce process in Texas or anywhere else.....but I know so many people who have and well....I do divorces for a living so I kinda know what I'm talking about. Sometimes divorces are easy and more times than not it can be like hell just decided to land on your front door and make residence until forever.
I tell clients that often times they have the power to handle how smooth or rough their divorce process is. There are simply some things you should not do when getting a divorce in Texas which can elongate the process or costs you thousands of dollars in attorney's fees. Here's some.
- UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS. Most times, you never leave a divorce with 100% of what you wanted. It's just not possible. Some divorces drag on because one party has an unrealistic expectation on what the court can and cannot do. Make sure you have a long talk with your attorney about whether some of the wants and needs you may have during the divorce process are actually attainable.
- GETTING PREGNANT. No. No. No. You cannot get divorced while you are currently pregnant. I understand mistakes happen and so do the courts but if you fall into this category you will have to wait until the baby is born for the divorce is finalized.
- BE UPFRONT WITH YOUR ATTORNEY. A major pet peeve of mine is having a hunch about a particular client and the client not being truthful to me until I'm staring him dead center across the court during a hearing or trial. No attorney want's to be in that situation. It can be messy and it's not always easy to clean up. Word of advice, please be as upfront as possible with your attorney. If you are paying us good money, take advantage of it and let us know exactly what's going on whether it's good or bad.
- DON'T VIOLATE ORDERS. Some courts in the DFW Metroplex have standing orders that attach to a petition once a divorce is filed. Other courts may issue a Temporary restraining order. Either way, if you have orders in place preventing you from doing so keep in mind that violating these orders may be enforceable by contempt. Having to appear before the judge on your case multiple times because of violating orders may not be the best idea.
- DON'T HIDE ASSETS: This honestly should've probably been #1. Do not hide assets during a divorce. Remember Texas is a community property. If discovery is done on your case and you purposely hide assets that you've acquired during the marriage that your spouse has a right to, they may have recourse in a post-divorce action. Basically, no deed goes unpunished. Hiding assets in names of relatives or friends does not change the characteristic of the type of property. Better to be upfront and honest during the divorce process.
- EXCESSIVE ABUSIVE COMMUNICATION/SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS. Refrain from sending threatening, intimidating, or abusive messages to your spouse regarding the divorce. Remember all communication between you and your spouse is discoverable. Posts on social media platforms bashing your spouse do nothing to help your case either and can be discoverable as well. Learning to communicate with the other spouse amicably during the process will help your case.
- REFUSING TO SETTLE BECAUSE OF PRINCIPLE. Sometimes it's not really the principle. It's the fact that the other spouse has moved on and you are still holding on to hurt. And while no one can tell you how to feel, keep in mind that participating in good faith to settle your case during mediation or any other settlement conference may be better economically for you versus going to trial for an issue that could have been settled before hand. Wasting community funds that can go to your children or another important matter seems wasteful when a final trial may not be needed.
- DO NOT DISCUSS THE LITIGATION WITH YOUR CHILDREN. Divorce is a time in your life where everyone is affected. It affects the whole family. Purposely including your children in litigation matters to sway them to one side, or disparaging the other party in front of the children to prove a point is heavily frowned on and can have serious consequences. Remember that your children will always love both parents and should not be made to feel as if they are in the middle.
Navigating a divorce can be a difficult process, both financially and emotionally. Feel free to contact us at OLG to learn how to navigate this difficult process.