Unmarried Parents in Texas
How much will my divorce cost? When I speak to divorce clients, that is one of the first two questions they typically ask. The other is how long will it take. Unfortunately, there is no single answer to these questions. No two divorces are ever alike.
When divorce clients contact me, the first two questions they typically ask is how long will it take and how much will it cost. Of course, there is no single answer for this as no two cases are alike. For example, a young couple with no children living in an apartment with few assets might file an uncontested divorce that will typically take 2-3 months. An older couple with a home and children, perhaps retirement accounts, with a contested divorce could take over one year. A Texas divorce cannot be concluded any faster than 60 days after it is filed.
Divorce is hard on children. Judges make custody and visitation decisions based on the best interest of the child. Judges and psychologists alike have little patience for parental alienation. Parental behavior during divorce is a key to better outcomes for children.
Our firm advises divorce clients to meticulously reveal all their assets to the court. The consequences can be quite severe.
One reason Patricia L. Brown & Associates handles probate, wills, trusts and powers of attorney is so many of our family law and divorce clients do not have these documents. Perhaps the term "estate planning" misleads people who confuse "estates" with mansions. If you own virtually anything of value (automobile, furniture, family photographs and momentos, a bank account, a TV, etc) or have minor children, you need a will and powers of attorney. Otherwise, some anonymous judge will decide who receives the items you value, including perhaps your despised brother-in-law. And if you are injured or ill and cannot make your own health care decisions, who do you want making those decisions? That brother-in-law?
Selecting an attorney is challenging. Although most people don't want to use lawyers, most will need one at some point. To improve your overall experience, follow these important rules for building a solid client-attorney relationship:
I caution all my social media using clients investigating or seeking divorce to be extraordinarily careful about how they use social media. Interestingly, based on the study referenced below, it appears that those using social networks like Facebook, are far more likely to end up leaving their spouses in the first place. In any case, married people would be wise to confine to constrain their social media activities, if any, to only the most benign, G-rated, family-oriented content. If unsure about do's and don'ts, speak with an attorney.
Separating? Divorcing? Do not sign anything your spouse/partner asks you to sign, no matter how innocent it may appear, without consulting an attorney. Let me repeat: do not sign anything without consulting an attorney. Does that sound self-serving? Sure it does. But let me assure you that (1) words matter, even if what you are signing may not technically be a legal contract, or legally enforceable, and (2) because words matter, signing such a document may cost you infinitely more than an hour with an attorney. The following is one example of a recent case of a mother who did take the time to consult with me before signing an agreement proposed by her husband. We will shortly write about two clients who sadly, did not. Divorce is difficult enough without handcuffing yourself to a document you never should have signed.