When you got married, you likely thought that your relationship would last. Now that years have passed, you -- like many others throughout Texas -- may have come to realize that time and experiences have changed your relationship and feelings in a way that makes your marriage impossible to continue.
Because most ideas about divorce revolve around nasty conflict and spiteful actions, your concerns over this type of scenario are not unwarranted. However, you can take steps to prepare yourself for the legal proceedings ahead and work toward a less stressful divorce.
Assess your assets
Finances play a significant role in dissolving a marriage. You may worry about court costs, alimony, child support and property division. In order to better understand what outcomes you could potentially face in these areas, it's important that you fully understand the state of your finances, including your assets and debts. Having proper records and documentation, such as tax returns and bank statements, can help you prepare.
Additionally, know what assets count as marital and non-marital property -- referred to as community property and separate property in Texas. Because separate property is not necessarily subject to division, it's important to identify any such property and prove that it is separate. If you feel uncertain about whether an asset counts as marital or non-marital, you may want to look at the buying and selling history of the asset and how it impacted your family.
Beware your behavior
Your behavior at any time could impact how certain situations play out. While going through divorce, you may want to pay particular attention to your actions. Because any questionable behavior could potentially work against you during this time, you may want to remain as straight-laced as possible while your court proceedings move forward.
Consider the kids
If you have children, you undoubtedly have concerns about how the divorce will impact them. Certainly, the ending of a marriage is a major life change for everyone involved, and you may fear that you could lose time with your children in the new custody arrangement. Keep in mind, though, that courts now assume that children are best served by having both parents play an active and positive role in the kids' lives. If you have questions or concerns about a child custody agreement, discuss them with an experienced child custody attorney.
If you want to the divorce to go as smoothly as possible, it's important to think of divorce as a way of transitioning to a new situation and not as a way to make life more difficult for your spouse. By taking deliberate actions to move through the process efficiently, you can do your part to minimize conflict and costs.