Common divorce mistakes can have a long-term impact on your emotional and financial future, not to mention the impact they may have on your ability to co-parent. Divorce is often a painful process, and that is understandable. It involves many complex emotions and some of the most difficult decisions a person must make. For that reason, many spouses want it to go quickly and be over with as fast as possible.
Unfortunately, in their rush to make a clean break and move on to the next phase in their lives, some couples make critical mistakes in the midst of a divorce that can jeopardize their financial futures. As challenging as it may be to put emotions aside, it is important to protect yourself from these mistakes so you can have the best possible chance at a fresh start.
Texas is a community property state. Generally, most of the assets you or your spouse acquired during the years of your marriage belong to both of you and will be divided as equally as possible during your divorce. Do you know which of your assets are community property and which you own apart from your spouse? If you do not have a firm grasp of this concept, you run the risk of receiving an unfair share of assets. This is one of the most common divorce mistakes, so it is vital that you take the time to fully understand your rights.
On the other hand, you may have unreasonable goals for your divorce. If you expect that your life will continue without changes in your budget or discretionary spending, you may be in for a shock. Even couples with substantial wealth may have to adjust their finances in the first years following a divorce. Some people mistakenly expect alimony or spousal maintenance for the rest of their lives, or to emerge from divorce with their retirement intact. Unless you are prepared for a new financial reality, you may find yourself struggling after the divorce.
A serious mistake many couples make is to turn their divorce into a battleground. You may be justified in your anger or resentment, but allowing those emotions to guide your actions may end up hurting yourself, financially and emotionally. The personal damage a contentious divorce can cause often lasts for years, hinders future relationships and can impair your ability to make sound decisions during your divorce process.
Instead, counselors recommend seeking alternative forms of dispute resolution, such as a collaborative divorce, as a more civil way to end your marriage. You may find you and your spouse can communicate effectively with the help of your respective attorneys and a neutral financial professional and neutral mental health professional. This can save you money as well as providing a foundation for future cooperation that may be necessary for you and your ex.
The very best thing you can do if you are considering a divorce in Texas, is to make sure you get the right information early on in your decision-making process. A consultation with an experienced lawyer can help you understand how the law applies to the facts in your case, how to avoid costly financial mistakes, and how to minimize conflict during the divorce in preparation for beginning the next chapter of your life. Contact Hargrave Family Law at (214)420-0100 to learn how we can help.