If you are facing a divorce, you have a lot of important decisions to make regarding you and your children’s future. If you and your divorcing spouse are in agreement about the divorce basics, you may wonder if you really need to bother with hiring a divorce attorney. While you are not required to do so, it is almost certainly in your best interest to work closely with an experienced Houston divorce attorney as you move forward through the legal divorce process.
The Major Divorce Decisions
Your divorce will follow its own unique path, but there are some basic divorce decisions that must be made in every divorce and that can significantly affect your post-divorce life. These decisions include:
- Child Custody Arrangements – If you have children, their on-going well-being, health, and happiness are naturally your primary concern. Divorce is obviously very hard on children, and you want to make child custody arrangements that help support them throughout the post-divorce healing process. If you believe staying in the family home as your children’s primary custodial parent – while your children have a visitation schedule with their other parent – is the best path forward, there is a possibility of having that arranged. Doing so, however, is often extremely complicated in terms of both finances and child custody arrangements, but an experienced divorce attorney can help.
- Division of Marital Property – The property that you acquired as a married couple will be divided in a manner that is deemed just and right (or what is considered fair) upon divorce. This issue, however, can become very complicated very quickly. If either of you brought property or other assets into the marriage with you, it will generally remain separate property, but there are exceptions. If you intermingled your separate property with your marital property, for example, it can alter its separateness. Bringing a business or your family home into the marriage can complicate the issue even more. Understanding what you are entitled to in your divorce and obtaining a division of marital property that reflects your rights is likely to be critical to you and your children’s financial future.
- Child Support – Child support is typically paid by the parent with the visitation schedule to the parent with whom the children live primarily. Child support is usually calculated according to the State of Texas’s guidelines, but there are a wide variety of extenuating circumstances that can apply. While the law does not require parents to support their children through college, many parents consider this an important parental responsibility that they are committed to upholding. As such, extending child support through your children’s college graduation (rather than through high school graduation) may be something that you want included in your child-support terms. Further, if your child has special needs, it can significantly affect the amount and duration of child support you receive. Child support is essential to your ability to provide for your children’s needs as they move toward adulthood.
- Spousal Support – Spousal support (often called alimony) is by no means a given, but it is a payment made by one spouse to the other as a method of leveling the financial playing field after divorce that is sometimes deemed appropriate. If, for instance, you spent your marriage taking care of the house and children so your spouse could pursue his or her lucrative career, you may be entitled to alimony that helps you move forward while you find your financial balance post-divorce. The longer your marriage, the greater the likelihood that alimony will be ordered by the court. If you are entitled to spousal support, it is an issue that you should not neglect, and because it is a complicated matter, your rights will be far better protected if you work with an experienced divorce attorney.
If any one of these important components of your divorce receives less than the attention it deserves, it can reverberate negatively into your future. Working closely with a dedicated divorce lawyer will help ensure that you look at each distinct element carefully and make well-founded decisions based on your rights.
Your Amicable Divorce
Wanting to keep your divorce civil and amicable throughout is admirable. Many people erroneously believe, however, that hiring an attorney automatically makes a divorce contentious, but this is far from the case. Having an experienced divorce attorney on your side helps to ensure that the agreements you make with your divorcing spouse protect you and your children’s rights into the future. Your attorney brings a breadth of knowledge that allows him or her to look at the important decisions you make in your divorce from every angle and to consider future ramifications, such as their effect on your taxes, that you likely hadn’t even considered. Hammering out divorce decisions that work for you is critical to obtaining a divorce that does not thwart your future, and your dedicated divorce attorney will help you do just that.
The Best Laid Plans
Finally, it is important to recognize that divorces can go off course along the way. The stress of reinventing your future and disentangling your lives from one another can make even the best-intentioned among us lose our focus. While your divorce may begin amicably enough, this is no guarantee that it will end that way. Working with an experienced divorce attorney from the outset can help ensure that you begin as you intend to proceed – with you and your children’s best interests protected throughout the legal process.
Consult with an Experienced Houston Divorce Attorney Today
If you’re facing a divroce, the dedicated family lawyers at The Rudisel Law Firm, P.C., in Houston, have the experience, compassion, and commitment to help you obtain a divorce that allows you to move forward into your future with confidence. Our experienced legal team is committed to helping you obtain divorce terms that align with you and your children’s best interests, so please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 713-781-7775 for a free consultation today.