Over the past two decades our firm has been in business, we have noticed an increasing number of divorce clients are over 50. This trend has been noticed by many social science observers and pollsters. According to Pew Research, the divorce rate for people over 50 has more than doubled from 1990 to 2015, while the divorce rate for those aged 25-39 has dropped by 21% over the same period. The trend is so profound, it has been dubbed "grey divorce". This, despite the U.S. divorce rate hitting a 40 year low.
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.
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.
I have been practicing family law in central Texas for more than 15 years. After hundreds and hundreds of divorce cases, Patricia L. Brown & Associates have experienced an incredible variety of cases. While there are similarities and important learnings in each one, each new case does indeed present a unique set of circumstances. To prevail, we call first upon our significant experience base, and then our creativity which is always needed to adapt our experience to each of those unique situations. Some issues are significant and dramatic, with significant ramifications. But when a divorce becomes contentious, especially one involving violence, every issue, no matter how minor, has the potential to become a major obstacle, if not managed carefully.
Over the past two years, the Texas legislature has amended several provisions of the Texas Family Code related to spousal maintenance in divorce. Understanding these new spousal maintenance provisions and whether a spouse in a divorce may benefit from them is essential to proceeding with a claim for (or a defense against) spousal maintenance.