Divorce Lawyer Arlington TX

The Divorce Process

Divorce Lawyer Arlington TX

If you and your spouse have decided to obtain a divorce but you have yet to dig into the process, there are a number of things a divorce lawyer in Arlington, TX at Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC can help you understand before you pursue the legal side of marital separation in earnest. Once you become adequately prepared, you will be able to approach the legal aspects of the divorce process with a greater sense of confidence, focus and informed decision-making.

First Steps

An increasing number of Americans are choosing to embrace the process of divorce mediation. Divorcing couples and their attorneys sit down to negotiate in-person with a neutral third-party mediator present as well. This mediator helps to ensure that conversations are productive but does not take sides. On the other end of the spectrum is a traditional courtroom-style contentious divorce. This approach tends to work well for couples who struggle with fundamental differences about a property and/or child custody.

The middle-range option is attorney-led negotiation in which the attorneys for each spouse do the bulk of the negotiating work with each other and the spouses involved generally may or may not choose to be present during initial negotiating sessions.

Thinking Ahead

Once you have contemplated the model of divorce that may best serve your goals and have selected Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC to represent you, it may be helpful to write some notes related to your property-related and/or child custody goals. We can’t craft a legal strategy until we understand what is most important to you. Similarly, you may benefit from writing down questions for us as soon as they occur to you so we can answer them promptly.

If you are planning to get divorced, you may want to contact a TX divorce lawyer in Arlington, as our lawyers can take the time to learn about your long-term goals and find the best resolution possible. Here are several potential benefits of hiring our firm:

– Assistance With Paperwork
There is substantial paperwork that comes with divorce. If you have to fill out all the pages on your own, you can become overwhelmed and make mistakes. Unfortunately, making even a small error on divorce paperwork can slow down the entire process. If you have our team on your side, we can help you fill out the pages of paperwork and review it to ensure there are no mistakes.

– Objectivity
When you’re going through something as traumatic as a divorce, it’s normal for your emotions to be running high. Unfortunately, being overwhelmed with different emotions might cause you to make rash decisions, such as opting for a quick settlement. We can be more objective and prevent you from making bad decisions. We can help you calm down and advise you that it’s in your best interest to wait for a more fair settlement.

– Expert Advice
When you seek legal counsel from us at Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, you’ll find a knowledgeable divorce lawyer in Arlington, Texas who has dealt with many divorce cases in the past. We can make you aware if you are not being treated fairly. For example, if your ex-spouse’s attorney offers you a settlement that is too low, we may advise you not to settle yet.

– Reduce Stress
Going through a divorce may lead to a lot of stress. At Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, we can take care of just about everything, including communication with your ex-spouse. This may give you time to relax and take care of your family.

– Financial Security
While it does cost money to hire a lawyer, it may actually help you save more money in the long run. For example, a lawyer can help you avoid paying more than you need to in child support, or ensure that your marital assets are divided up fairly.

Hiring a Divorce Lawyer

There is no better time than right now to hire a member of our legal team. We’re proud to offer free initial consultations to our clients. You have nothing to lose by contacting us for a case evaluation. During your first meeting, a lawyer from our firm may ask you several different questions, such as what types of assets you and your ex-spouse own together and how much income you and your ex-spouse make a year. It is important to answer these questions with as much detail and accuracy as possible. The more information you give your lawyer, the better we can help you.

Will Infidelity Affect My Divorce?

This depends on if you live in a “no-fault” state. No-fault means the filing spouse is not required to provide evidence of fault on their soon-to-be ex. You and your spouse will not be required to testify about your marriage and why it is failing. The only thing you will have to do is give a reason for filing that their state will honor.

In many no-fault states, a judge may take a spouse’s infidelity into account when deciding how much alimony to award and to who or how the marital estate should be divided. In some cases, proof of infidelity has cost some individuals their alimony.

No-fault states represent a more modern approach to divorces. States that are fault-based still allow for individuals to discuss who is at fault in the divorce with the judge. Divorce documents in at fault states may even state that the divorce was a result of an affair, abandonment, abuse, etc. and name who is at fault. Your Texas divorce lawyer in Arlington can explain what options you have and if you need grounds to file for divorce.

Who Decides?

Whether you live in a no-fault or at-fault state, it is actually up to the judge whether or not your or your partner’s infidelity will be factored into the final divorce settlement. One of three things can happen:

  1. The judge may state that no evidence presented supports an award of more alimony than necessary or just deny alimony in general.
  2. The judge might decide that alimony should be awarded based on evidence and give an amount that is fair and rational to fit the details of the divorce hearing.
  3. The judge will only award alimony based on the length of the marriage and nothing else.

Keep in Mind

Generally speaking, most judges do not consider marital misconduct when making decisions about alimony. The purpose of alimony is to ensure that the supported spouse does not fall victim to poverty after the divorce and not to punish a spouse for wrongdoing. However, if a spouse was violent and committed adultery during the relationship, judges will often decrease or even sometimes eliminate alimony for the abusive spouse because courtrooms have zero tolerance for abuse. If infidelity has played a role in ending your marriage, contact a divorce lawyer from Arlington to find out what legal options you may have.

Filing for Divorce Step by Step

Despite your good intentions and best efforts, you have determined that your marriage is no longer salvageable, and the only way forward you can see is to divorce. The prospect can be overwhelming if you look at it all at once. However, divorce is a process, meaning that it is accomplished with a series of small steps. Taking these steps one at a time may help the process to seem more manageable.

The steps required to file for divorce vary somewhat from state to state. However, certain steps in the process should be fairly universal:

  1. The Divorce Petition. The process begins with a divorce petition, but serving a petition involves a lot of little steps.
  2. Consulting With an Attorney. You are not required to have legal representation for your divorce, but we can help you with the remaining steps and guide you through the process.
  3. Checking Eligibility. Most states have minimum residency requirements that you have to meet before you can divorce. You need to ensure that you have lived in the state long enough to qualify.
  4. Gathering Documents. At the very least, you will likely need your wedding certificate and a valid photo I.D. to file a divorce petition. Other documents may also be required, especially if you and your spouse have children.
  5. Obtaining and Filling Out Paperwork. You will need to get the necessary forms from the court clerk and fill them out completely. Double-check for errors before signing.
  6. The Response. Once you have submitted the petition to the court, your spouse will have the opportunity to respond. Your spouse can respond by disagreeing with some or all of the information in the petition, by agreeing with it, or by making no response at all. His or her response is expected within 30 days of the petition. Otherwise, you can ask the court to order a default.
  7. The Negotiation. Following your spouse’s response to the petition, it is time to negotiate matters related to property division and parenting time, if applicable. It is increasingly common for this to take place through mediation or another form of alternative dispute resolution, but litigation is still possible. In either case, you will likely have to attend at least one court hearing before the final decree is issued.

Things To Consider While Living With Your Ex During Divorce

Depending on your financial health or whether you have shared children, you and your soon-to-be former spouse may remain in the marital home together during your divorce. Use these tips to save your sanity and make the most of your situation.

Create a New Budget

Your old budget and way of taking care of your financial obligations may require tweaking for your divorce. While drafting a new budget, consider your income as a single person and other financial obligations, such as the cost of divorce. Your divorce lawyer in Arlington TX, from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, could help with this.

Also, refrain from making big purchases until you finalize your divorce. You do not yet know what property becomes yours after the divorce. Also, you do not want to risk using marital funds.

Divide Household Chores and Responsibilities

This is another area in which the arrangement you had during your marriage could continue to work. Sit with your current spouse to discuss how to allocate household chores. It may help to treat each other like roommates and navigate the task from that perspective.

Other than chores, discuss home comforts that make you feel at ease in your space. For instance, you and your soon-to-be-ex may agree to wipe down the counters every night and put dishes in the dishwasher rather than the sink.

Recalibrate Your Boundaries

When talking with your divorce lawyer in Arlington TX, you may learn the importance of establishing or adjusting boundaries while living with your ex during a divorce. For example, you may want “me time” during certain times in the day or week. You and your current partner may also want to divide rooms in the house and shared spaces. Perhaps you want use of the bathroom in the morning while your ex uses the kitchen before you switch spaces.

Think of What To Tell Your Children

If you have shared children living in the marital home with you, discuss what to tell them about your marital split and living arrangement. Even if you have young children, the legal professionals of Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, can tell you how perceptive kids are. Expect them to notice the shift in your relationship. You may keep the explanation as simple as, “We feel more comfortable sleeping in separate rooms right now.” Whatever you say, discuss it with your current partner beforehand, so you show a united front. Do not hesitate to ask for experienced insights from your divorce lawyer in Arlington TX. 

3 Misleading Myths About Divorce Lawyers

Divorce changes life as you know it, and if you head into the process unprepared it’s not likely to change for the better. The process of divorce is complex and requires intimate knowledge of family law, state law, paperwork and much more. It’s knowledge only a divorce lawyer would have, but there are several misconceptions about divorce lawyers that cause individuals to make the mistake of taking on the process alone. Here are three myths about divorce lawyers and the truth about how they can help you:

Myth: Divorce Lawyers are Only for Ugly Divorces

While it’s true the more complex and emotional your separation is the more likely you will need a lawyer, even the most amicable of separations require legal assistance. Every divorce requires documents, such as a marriage certificate or proof of residency for both parties.

However, the circumstances of your divorce may require additional documents unique to your case such as evidence of infidelity which might include witness statements, photographs or financial records. Due to their experience practicing family law a divorce lawyer will know what documents your case requires and how to get them if your spouse controls those documents and withholds them.

Myth: Hiring a Divorce Lawyer Isn’t Worth the Cost

As when hiring any professional service, you should be prepared to pay for the services provided. The cost of hiring a divorce lawyer Arlington TX  pales in comparison to the cost of losing years of your life, your assets and the future impact on your finances. Due to their expert knowledge in divorce proceedings a lawyer can greatly cut down on the length of your case, which costs you less money and allows you more time to heal and move on.

Most married couples have joint accounts for bills, insurance policies or even investments, and it’s critical that you set up new individual policies and accounts correctly the first time. Even the smallest mistake when dividing these assets can impact your credit score and devastate your financial well-being for years. Hiring a lawyer to assist in this process ensures it is done right the first time and saves you from unnecessary stress.

Myth: Divorce is the Same in Every State

Where you live heavily impacts how long your divorce will take and the requirements for getting a divorce. One of the reasons for this is called a waiting time or cooling-off period to ensure that both parties are serious about separating. Some states have none at all and others require up to a six-month cooling-off period.

There are also living and residency requirements for divorce. Living requirements stipulate whether or not couples must reside separately for some time before obtaining a divorce. Not to be confused with residency requirements which specify how long you and your spouse must reside in the state in which you are filing for divorce, and some states have county residency requirements as well.

Your divorce lawyer will be able to help your sort through this and see through the chaos to the light at the end of the tunnel. Their expert knowledge of family law will expedite your case so you can focus on the better days ahead; because this isn’t the end of your life, it’s the beginning of a new one.

4 Ways To Diffuse Tension During a High-Stress Divorce

Divorce can be a tough time even in the best of circumstances, but it makes it all the harder when you and your ex-spouse are constantly arguing and fighting over a variety of topics.

After a while, you need to find a way to diffuse the anger between you both. Learning how to do so can help you both have productive discussions and move forward with your lives.

1. Focus on the Future

It may seem tempting to bring up old arguments or issues you had with your ex-spouse, but that will only drag the tension out for longer. Instead, let go of all your annoyances and frustrations with him or her and focus on what is coming up in the future.

You can also focus on finding a divorce lawyer in Arlington TX, such as Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC. Instead of continually thinking about what could have been or what you regret, you can strive toward a new lifestyle that will allow you to grow. This mindset will ease the tension between you both and result in fewer arguments as time goes on.

2. Stay Formal

When speaking with your ex-spouse, whether it is about your divorce lawyer in Arlington TX or not, make sure to stay polite but firm. Do not be too casual with your replies or discuss too many personal details, since that can sometimes lead to fights.

Take care to realize that anything you write or send in a text message can be used against you in court. Being respectful and polite with any communication is the best possible idea when you both have a strenuous relationship.

3. Avoid Complaining to Others

Posting your secrets and frustrations with your ex-spouse on social media can potentially cause worse problems as time goes on. Although you may want to complain to others in order to reduce the anger you feel, it only adds fuel to the fire of the main problem.

Keep the private details between you and your divorce lawyer in Arlington TX, such as someone from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC.

4. Find Ways to Relieve Stress

Spending tons of time thinking about your divorce can leave you on edge and more likely to fight with your ex-spouse due to underlying frustration about the topic.

However, you can combat this by choosing to spend time on hobbies and exercise in order to lower your stress levels. You can come back to a conversation or meeting with your ex-spouse with a clear and relaxed mind after spending time away.

Divorce Assistance Is Available

Parting ways from a spouse is often a difficult process, but having a lawyer in Arlington, TX for divorce on your side can help to make it a little bit easier. If infidelity has played a role in ending your marriage, we recommend contacting us to find out what legal options you may have. Every couple’s situation is unique, so it is important to be as informed as possible about how your particular circumstances may affect your divorce process. Once you have been advised of your legal options and potential legal strategies for your divorce process, you will be able to prepare mentally, emotionally, physically and practically for the road ahead.

Whether your divorce is likely to be amicable or contentious, preparation is key to ensuring that this life transition is as healthy, efficient and successful as is possible. Please contact a Texas divorce lawyer at Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for immediate and compassionate legal services.