Online Divorce: Probably Not the Bargain You Think It Is
When you make the decision to end your marriage, it’s only natural to want to pursue the easiest path forward. While online divorces are on the rise and you may be tempted by their seeming expedience and low cost, proceed with extreme caution. A uncontested divorce that begins with both parties in complete agreement on every conceivable point can end up being a contested divorce, and an online divorce has very few mechanisms to protect your best interests. If you are facing a divorce in Texas, consult with an experienced Houston divorce attorney.
Divorce and Your Financial Future
The dissolution of a marriage is exceedingly stressful and fraught with emotion. Further, the outcome will likely significantly affect your finances far into the future. You don’t want to leave your financial future to chance, and even seemingly minor missteps in an online divorce can leave you less financially secure. When you’re going through a divorce, you’re going through a lot, and this isn’t the best circumstance for tackling Texas State law on your own.
Texas Divorce Online
While forging ahead with an online divorce may appeal to your desire to expedite the process, keep expenses to a minimum, and move forward with dispatch, it’s important to give the matter some serious thought. Even a relatively straightforward divorce that doesn’t involve children can quickly become complicated. The stress and emotions brought on by divorce can push otherwise reasonable people into extremely unreasonable actions. What begins as an amicable divorce can quickly morph into something far more complicated. Further, if you’ve begun on the path toward an online divorce and end up needing to hire a lawyer in the end – which isn’t uncommon – it could easily cost you more and take longer than it would have if you’d hired an attorney in the first place.
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Common DIY Mistakes
Divorce is complicated, and the law is complicated, and as such, going it alone is rarely a good idea. There are several common mistakes that couples make when pursuing an online divorce:
Child Custody Arrangements
Many couples going through what they believe to be amicable divorces assume that they’ll continue to agree about child custody arrangements into the future and that they’ll deal with changes as they evolve. Child custody arrangements, however, are naturally one of the most critical issues for parents facing divorce. After divorce, your lives will change, and it’s very difficult to predict if you will continue to see eye-to-eye regarding these arrangements. You want what’s best for your children; protect yourself by working with an experienced custody attorney from the outset.
Division of Marital Property
Many people assume that their marital property will be split evenly down the middle in a divorce. As discussed in our family law blog article, “Property and Debt Division in Texas-What you Should Know” the State of Texas, however, has considerable discretion in the division of community property and takes many variables into consideration in determining a “just and right” division of that property. Things can become more complicated still when it comes to determining precisely what is marital property and what is individual property. The division of your marital assets involves many important details – including tax implications – that can have financial repercussions far into your future; don’t leave it to chance.
After your divorce, the custodial parent of your children – the parent with whom they primarily live – is generally entitled to all the tax benefits that come from claiming your children as deductions. Divorce is complicated, and taxes are complicated – and you may not even want to think about the two in conjunction with one another. The tax implications of your divorce are likely to be significant, and letting the chips fall where they may is not a good idea. An attorney will help you better understand the tax implications of your divorce and what you can do to protect you and your children’s financial futures.
Spousal maintenance – or what you may think of as alimony – is not the norm in a Texas divorce, but there are circumstances in which it plays a role. Spousal maintenance in Texas refers to the money that a higher-earning spouse pays a lower-earning spouse – but only when certain requirements are met. These requirements focus on the number of years you were married, your separate earning potentials, and other factors that contribute to your individual capacities to support yourselves. While it’s far from a given, if you are entitled to spousal support, you don’t want to forego this income. Read our article, “Texas Divorce and Spousal Maintenance” for more information.
Consideration of Your Future
The fact is that your life is going to change in fairly dramatic ways after your divorce. You and your ex will be maintaining separate households, and your children will likely be dividing their time between both of them. This is not only more expensive but also more time consuming than the life you share under one roof. It is difficult to comprehend all the changes you are about to experience, and as such, it’s difficult to plan for them. A dedicated Houston family law attorney has the experience and knowledge to help you carefully consider the details of your divorce and to ensure that you pursue a divorce decree that protects your rights and allows you to move forward with confidence into your future.
Every divorce is unique to its own set of circumstances. The outcome of your divorce, however, will significantly affect your future, and the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you’re doing everything within your power – under the guidance of an experienced family law attorney – to ensure that you protect your rights can be invaluable.
Before Considering an Online Divorce, Consult with an Experienced Houston Divorce Lawyer
An online Texas divorce is very unlikely to be in your best interests – there’s just too much at stake not to seek experienced legal counsel. The dedicated lawyers at the Rudisel Law Firm, P.C., in Houston, have the experience, commitment, and skill to help you pinpoint your priorities and to aggressively advocate on your behalf. We’re here to help, so please contact or call us at 713-781-7775 today.