Many divorce attorneys or family law attorneys will spend a lot of time talking about what you should do in a divorce. There are thousands of articles, guides, etc. that inform those in the divorce process of what they should do. While much of that information is relevant and worthy of consideration during a divorce, here is some information on what not to do when you divorce.
Don’t Forget to Read Your Standing Orders
Most counties have so-called “Standing Orders” that go into effect as soon as you file – or receive – the divorce petition, before you ever appear in court. Standing Orders dictate things like how money can or cannot be spent until your divorce is final, how the parties are to behave during the divorce process, and ways that spouses are to minimize disruptions to their children’s lives and schedules. If you fail to read – or follow – these Orders, then you may unintentionally violate them. The court can sanction you for violating the Standing Orders, meaning you may have to pay part of your spouse’s attorneys’ fees or a monetary penalty, or the court may negatively modify possession of or visitation with your children. So make sure you’re you read your Standing Orders as soon as you receive them.
Don’t Text When You’re Mad
With the increased use of smartphones, we all communicate increasingly by text message. Many times, this is more convenient than a phone call. When a divorce is ongoing, however, sending a text message to your spouse when you are angry or upset can hurt your case. You can count on any angry or profane texts being introduced into evidence against you, and they will not make you look like the better person or parent. Before you send any text message to your spouse – or child, because your spouse will also be checking their messages – read what you have typed, and then re-read it. Think about how it would sound if it was read aloud in court to the judge or a jury. Do you sound reasonable? Rational? Calm? If not, do not send it. Don’t let your thumbs get ahead of your brain.
Don’t Settle Too Early
Although you may want to get through the divorce process as quickly as possible, don’t make the mistake of rushing through it and forfeiting your financial security. Because Texas is a community property state, you may have a greater financial interest in your marital property than you realize. Make copies and obtain documents for things like retirement plans, pension statements, property deeds, tax forms, brokerage and mutual fund statements, credit card statements, and other records. If you and your spouse can work out an amicable agreement on your own, you can file what’s known as an “uncontested” divorce. If this is not possible, you will want to hire a mediator or an attorney.
Don’t Forget the Taxes
The spouse who is awarded the children is commonly awarded the family house. However, if the mortgage, property taxes and insurance are too much, you may want to consider asking for something of equal value to the house so you can acquire a more manageable living situation. Additionally, your future income taxes will be different since single individuals do not receive as many tax breaks as married couples.
Divorce is difficult for anyone, especially when children are involved. But, at The Goodeman Law Firm, we are dedicated to providing quality service through the entire process and beyond. Contact us today for a consultation.