Uncontested Divorce? It’s Still a Good Idea to Retain a Houston Divorce Lawyer
When many people hear the word “divorce,” they immediately picture spouses who are involved in ongoing disputes and can no longer stand to even be in the same room. While it is certainly true that many divorces are extremely adversarial, there are also couples who both recognize that it’s their best interest to get a divorce and attempt to work together to resolve the issues they need to resolve before their marriage can be over. Though this article focuses on uncontested divorces, our article, “Contested Divorce vs. Uncontested divorces: What you Need to Know” outlines the differences between the two.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are your spouse are getting along and seem to agree about how to resolve these issues, it’s understandable that you’re considering handling your divorce on your own. It’s important to understand, however, that It’s always advisable to consult with an attorney during the divorce process. Even if you don’t retain a lawyer to handle every aspect of your divorce in Texas, it’s important to understand your legal rights and to be prepared to fight for them in the event that a dispute arises.
Not Understanding Your Rights Could Result in Disastrous Consequences
When you’re getting divorced , it’s critical that you understand your legal rights and the divorce process in Texas. If you don’t, you could make concessions in your settlement agreement that you don’t even know to question. To understand how this may work, it’s helpful to consider a hypothetical scenario. Let’s say that your spouse started a business during your marriage. The business was entirely his or her idea, and you never worked for it or on it. At the time of your divorce, the business really hasn’t taken off and has no real value. Because you never contributed to the business, you don’t feel like you have any ownership interest in it and frankly don’t care as it’s not generating any income or worth anything. As a result, when you and your spouse are going through your assets, you have no objections when your spouse says “I’m going to keep the business, okay?” Five years later, long after your divorce is finalized, your spouse sells the business for $10,000,000.
In this hypothetical scenario, you potentially walked away from $5,000,000. How? Because your spouse started the business while you were married, it was considered marital property. This means that, absent other circumstances, you likely had a 50 percent interest in the business, even though you did not work for the business or participate in its formation.
While this is an extreme example, it goes to show how important it is to fully understand your rights. The most effective way to ensure that your divorce agreement is your best interest and does not result in unforeseen consequences is to discuss your situation with an experienced attorney as soon you realize that your marriage is ending.
Your Amicable Divorce Can Turn Adversarial in the Blink of an Eye
It’s also important to keep in mind that while you are your spouse maybe getting along just fine right now, that may not continue to be the case. Even if you agree that the marriage needs to end, emotions can be unpredictable, and suddenly you and your soon-to-be ex may be unable to communicate constructively. Fortunately, if you’ve already retained an attorney to represent you, he or she can jump in and communicate with your spouse on your behalf. An emotionally uninvolved party can often negotiate more effectively than someone with an emotional stake in the outcome of a dispute. In addition, the participation of an attorney will let your spouse know that you are serious about enforcing your rights, which can significantly strengthen your bargaining position.
Things You Say and Do Can Affect While Your Divorce is Pending Can Affect its Outcome
Another reason that it’s highly advisable to retain an attorney while you’re involved in a seemingly uncontested divorce is that your actions while your divorce is pending can have a significant impact on its outcome. For example, if you are your spouse have amicably separated, you may want to celebrate your newfound freedom by starting to date again or going out more often with your single friends. Unfortunately, these kinds of seemingly innocuous actions could affect your legal rights in the event that your divorce became contested at a later date. Texas judges are allowed to consider infidelity when they make determinations about the way that marital property is divided and may not look favorably upon a spouse who couldn’t wait until the divorce was final to start a new relationship. Similarly, if going out with single friends tends to involve drinking alcohol at bars and clubs (as it often does), a judge may question your ability to effectively parent any children you and your spouse may have.
You may want to read, “Does Adultery Play a Role in a Texas Divorce?” for an in depth discussion of infidelity and its effect on divorce in Texas.
The guidance of an attorney through the divorce process can be invaluable, whether it’s amicable or not. At the Rudisel Law Firm, we represent clients in both uncontested divorces and contested divorces and are dedicated to finding solutions whenever possible. In fact, in some instances, we are able to assist both spouses in their divorce, allowing the couple to save time and money. To find out if this option may be available to you, call our office today.
Call The Rudisel Law Firm Today to Schedule a Consultation with a Divorce Attorney in Houston.
If you are considering divorce or have already started the process, it’s highly advisable to retain a Houston divorce lawyer as soon as you can – even if you and your spouse are getting along. Divorces that start off amicably have a way of getting adversarial pretty quickly, and it’s only prudent to make sure that you are ready to protect your legal rights. To schedule a free case evaluation with Texas attorney Shawn M. Rudisel, please fill out an online evaluation or call us at 713-781-7775 today.
Please read the following articles for more information on divorce in Texas: