Dissolving a marriage is an emotional and confusing event for a couple. To ensure that both parties are properly represented and the marriage ends as amicably as possible, it is important to work with experienced divorce lawyers who can help in the process. In the following two-part article series, couples who are contemplating termination of their nuptials will learn what they must consider, what to expect when working with divorce attorneys, and how their dissolution can hopefully progress to a positive conclusion.
1. Filing the Petition for Divorce
When one or both spouses in a marriage decide to end it, the process begins by filing a petition with the family court. This filing, which is often done with the assistance of divorce lawyers, officially starts the process in motion so that both spouses can begin to plan their physical and material separation.
When the petition for divorce is filed, a spouse may request a temporary restraining order to prevent the other spouse from interfering in ways that would either endanger them, the couple’s children, or otherwise prevent the filing spouse from making the necessary preparations for separation. This order may be especially important in cases where filing spouses are concerned about any potential violence issues.
2. Finances and Marital Property
Once the process has begun, divorce lawyers will assist their clients regarding finances and other marital property. It is important that couples have access to their financial records as it will be necessary to determine personal budgets and create two separate households. The amount of income, who will pay for what expenses, and who is responsible for any current debt must all be taken into consideration when creating a budget and determining a feasible financial plan for both spouses. If there are children involved, the expenses for them, including child support, must also be considered.
With regard to marital property, couples must first agree on what is separate property owned by each of them and what property is part of the marital estate. This can sometimes become confusing, especially when considering things such as retirement accounts, profits from businesses and investments, and other wealth obtained during the marriage. It is also one stage where spouses must work closely with their divorce attorneys to determine the best and most fair ways to divide marital property.
3. Child Custody and Support
Divorces that involve children are more complex since spouses and their lawyers must also consider the welfare of the involved children and how to ensure children receive the best care and upbringing after their parents are divorced. Although the final approval for custody and child care is made by the court, attorneys and other professionals will work with parents to outline a suitable care and custody proposal to present for approval.
The steps above are the basic procedures involved in obtaining a divorce. Beyond filing the initial petition, most of the process involves planning for the future and negotiating the separation of the marriage or family. These negotiations may be easier for some couples than for others, as dividing property, discussing personal finances, and planning for child custody and debt responsibility can become highly emotional topics. The best and easiest way to avoid unnecessary conflict and to plan most efficiently is for spouses to do so with the aid of experienced divorce attorneys.
Garza & Elizondo, LLC
680 East St. Charles St, Suite 600
Brownsville TX 78520
1393 East Alton Gloor Blvd, Suite 12
Brownsville TX 78526