Updated on August 24, 2022
Divorce is naturally an emotionally fraught transition, but it is also a complicated legal process—the results of which will significantly affect your financial future and your role as a parent. Attempting to move forward with a divorce on your own is unlikely to support your best interests.
The outcome of your divorce is too consequential not to work closely with an experienced Fort Hood divorce attorney. If you are considering a divorce, contact an attorney as soon as possible. He or she can help guide you through your divorce and reach the best possible outcome for your case.
Why Should I Hire a Divorce Attorney?
An experienced divorce lawyer will be an essential help as you move through your divorce case. Here are several reasons why:
Your Attorney’s Legal Acumen
Your divorce is legally complicated, and attempting to navigate the process without professional legal guidance can quickly go awry. The terms of your divorce will directly affect your finances and your time with your children, and these are both far too important to leave to chance.
Your Fort Hood divorce attorney understands Texas divorce laws and how they apply to your case specifically. For example, the division of your marital property will hinge upon having a complete picture of your marital property. Your experienced divorce attorney has the legal insight to obtain an accurate accounting of these assets and to negotiate for a just division.
Your Attorney’s Objectivity
Divorce generally amounts to one emotional upheaval after another, which can render making well-considered decisions challenging—but you will have many such decisions to make along the way.
In the course of your divorce, you will need to prioritize your divorce goals, which can give you considerable leverage when it comes to negotiating. Once you have pinpointed those issues that are most important to you moving forward, it makes compromising on other issues far more doable.
Your seasoned divorce attorney will help you identify your priorities and hone your negotiating stance, which can mean the difference between a scattershot approach and a well-defined plan. Contact a divorce attorney today to discuss your plan for moving through your divorce case.
Your Attorney’s Organized Approach
Becoming more organized early on will help you stay organized throughout the divorce process in Texas, which can become protracted and emotionally grueling. By focusing your attention on gathering the necessary documents and information to protect your interests, you fortify yourself for what is to come.
Your dedicated Fort Hood divorce attorney has been through the divorce process countless times. He or she will help you see the big picture, help you understand the steps you must take to get there, and help you move forward with purpose.
Your Attorney’s Knowledge of Court Deadlines
If you have been served divorce papers—via certified mail, a private process server, or a sheriff or constable—the clock is ticking. Courts have rigid deadlines, and missing or failing to be well prepared for such deadlines can lead to dire results.
Working closely with your skilled Fort Hood divorce lawyer will provide you with the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you are well informed, that you are moving forward with purpose, and that you are represented by a knowledgeable legal professional who is advocating on your behalf.
When Should I Hire a Divorce Lawyer?
Every divorce is unique, but an experienced divorce attorney will help you better understand your situation, no matter what stage of the divorce process at which you find yourself.
Before Filing for Divorce
If your marriage is heading for a fall, there are undoubtedly warning signs that may be easier to ignore than to face directly. However, ignoring the warning signs of divorce is likely to do more harm than good. Addressing signs that your marriage is in trouble early on makes it that much more likely that you will be able to turn things around.
Seeking professional legal guidance does not mean that you are increasing the likelihood that your marriage will end in divorce. Instead, seeking this help is a sign that you are committed to making well-informed decisions regarding your marriage moving forward.
Committing a mistake during your divorce can negatively impact you, your children, your assets, and your income. Your best approach is to speak with a Fort Hood divorce attorney concerning your legal rights before you even file a Petition for Divorce. A good attorney can walk you through the best steps to take to ensure your rights are secured.
If you are considering divorce, if you believe divorce is imminent, or if you have been served with divorce papers, it is time to consult with an experienced divorce attorney. Your experienced divorce attorney will help ensure that you are well prepared to move forward with whatever comes next and that you set an amicable tone from the start.
When Everything Is Going Smoothly
If you and your spouse have come to a mutual decision that you need a divorce and if you are in agreement about the specifics, you may wonder if you really need a divorce lawyer at all. While there is no law that requires you to work with a lawyer during the course of your divorce, it is important to carefully consider the ramifications of not doing so before you make up your mind.
If you are facing a divorce involving large assets, complicated assets, or children you are well-advised to work closely with an experienced divorce attorney. If you are facing a divorce that is not complicated by either children or significant assets, you may think that hiring an experienced Fort Hood divorce attorney is overkill, but this could not be further from the truth.
If your divorce is as straightforward as you think it is and you and your divorcing spouse are equally invested in moving forward with as little muss and fuss as possible, your dedicated divorce attorney will simply help ensure that you have crossed all your t’s and dotted all your i’s—and will finalize your divorce as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Even in this best-case scenario, however, having an attorney on your side can provide you with the valuable peace of mind that comes from knowing you are taking care of business—and moving forward with as few surprises as possible.
Another thing you must consider is that, regardless of how friendly you and your divorcing spouse are at the outset, things can quickly go south. The anxiety associated with a transition of this magnitude can push even the most levelheaded among us to do things that are out of character.
If you are divorcing, you owe it to yourself, to your children, and to your future to consult with an experienced divorce attorney. The truth is that divorce is complicated and has lasting implications. As such, taking the time to consult with a dedicated divorce attorney who better understands the far-reaching ramifications of your decisions is always a good idea.
This doesn't mean that your soon-to-be-ex is out to get you or that anything nefarious is afoot—it simply means that it is a good idea to have a legal professional on your side when you are signing off on terms that will directly affect your and your children’s future.
When Abuse Is a Factor
A lawyer can help if there is a problem with abuse of any kind, even substance abuse. Victims of abuse often have a very difficult time negotiating with their abuser and a divorce lawyer can make arrangements for the necessary protection for an abused spouse and any children.
If you fear your spouse may harm you or your children, you need to leave immediately and obtain a temporary restraining order. An attorney can help with this and with filing a court action for support to sustain yourself in such a case.
Other Reasons You May Need Representation
A divorce can be a difficult emotional time for anyone, but it is a serious legal matter that can affect you the rest of your life. A divorce impacts your finances and responsibilities going forward. While you are not legally obligated to have representation before or during a divorce, it is certainly a good idea to have it.
You should have an attorney by your side if any of the following circumstances apply to your divorce case:
Your spouse has a lawyer.
Your divorce is contested, which means that you and your spouse do not agree to the terms of the divorce.
You are unsure as to how best to divide property.
You are not fully apprised of divorce law or divorce court procedures.
You need the help of an impartial third party with no emotional investment.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me with the Divorce Basics?
Every divorce is unique to its own set of circumstances and to the spouses involved, but every divorce also involves the same basic legal components:
Division of your marital property, which is according to what the judge sees as just and right
Child custody arrangements for your shared children
Child support, if needed
Spousal support (often called alimony) as applicable
Any one of these terms can turn into a battle—and sometimes, each and every one of them is a battle. Your Fort Hood divorce attorney has the negotiating skills to hammer out terms with your soon-to-be ex that uphold your financial and parental rights. Without an experienced divorce attorney’s guidance, it is far easier to get lost in the emotions of the matter and to lose your way.
The Division of Your Marital Property
In the State of Texas, the assets and properties that you and your spouse acquire throughout your marriage are considered marital property that is to be divided equitably in the event of a divorce. Equitably here means fairly given the circumstances involved in your marriage and divorce—and does not necessarily mean equally or straight down the middle.
This term of your divorce will likely be its most important financial component, and it is in your best interest to get it right. While the terms involving your child support, child custody arrangements, and even your alimony can be modified after the fact, the division of your marital property will remain set in stone (barring misconduct).
Your accomplished Fort Hood divorce attorney will help ensure that your and your children’s financial rights are well protected in the division of your marital property. He or she will also keep the tax implications of your divorce in mind during negotiations.
Your separate property, meaning assets that you and your spouse bring into the marriage with you and keep separate throughout, are not subject to division. However, the line between marital and separate property can easily be blurred. If you believe you own separate property, you may have to defend this stance with the help of a stalwart Fort Hood divorce attorney.
Your Child Custody Arrangements
If your divorce involves shared children, hammering out child custody arrangements that are in keeping with both your and your children’s best interests is a primary concern. In Texas, child custody boils down to both legal custody and physical custody.
Legal custody can be either sole or joint and relates to who will be making the following important decisions on behalf of the children:
Decisions related to your children’s extracurricular activities
Decisions related to your children’s religious upbringing
Decisions related to your children’s medical care
Physical custody has to do with whom your children live with—and according to what schedule (or parenting plan). Physical custody, too, can be either sole or joint.
If you and your divorcing spouse remain in agreement regarding your child custody arrangements, the court will almost certainly uphold your decisions. However, if your child custody arrangements become a sticking point, which is not at all uncommon, you should know that the court is motivated by your children’s best interests.
The court believes, in general, that children’s best interests are best served by continuing to develop their relationships with both parents—and thus, by spending time with both parents.
Your Child Support
Both parents are responsible for supporting their children financially post-divorce. The state’s mechanism for ensuring that this happens is child support payments, which are calculated according to exacting state guidelines. There are, however, extenuating circumstances—such as a child’s special needs—that give the court discretion in child support calculations.
Many divorces do not involve alimony. If, however, one of you will experience a financial deficit post-divorce and the other has the financial means to help, alimony may be deemed appropriate. Contact a divorce lawyer today to see if you are eligible for alimony after divorce.
Are There Factors I May Not Have Considered in My Divorce Case?
It is a good idea to steel yourself for unfortunate divorce surprises. Your inexperience with matters related to divorce can leave you with decisions that have unfortunate and unforeseen financial and tax consequences that can reverberate into your future. Even in seemingly simple divorces, there are often overlooked factors that can infringe upon your financial rights:
The manner in which you divide your marital property can have serious tax implications that can be difficult for you to predict.
Although they are in one spouse’s name, assets like retirement accounts can include marital property, especially if the account has increased in value over the course of your marriage.
Because the demarcation line between marital and separate property can easily be eroded, determining what is marital property and what is separate property can be a very complicated task.
The immense stress of divorce can cause otherwise reasonable people to act in extremely unreasonable ways that can quickly translate to a deterioration of cordiality in your divorce case.
The stress of divorce alone is enough to cause you to lose sight of what you may be entitled to financially, but protecting your financial rights at this juncture can play an important role in your ability to support yourself financially post-divorce.
Failing to protect your financial rights prior to divorce will leave you with no legal recourse after your divorce, which makes working with a divorce attorney now an excellent investment in your future. Having a skilled Fort Hood divorce attorney on your side can help you successfully navigate whatever comes your way and will help protect your and your children’s rights.
Seek the Professional Legal Counsel of an Experienced Fort Hood Divorce Attorney
Divorce is, at best, an emotional rollercoaster that you are ill-advised to tackle on your own. It is also a serious legal process—the results of which set the course regarding your parental and financial rights.
Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Fort Hood, Texas, is a practiced divorce attorney who has the experience, drive, and compassion to help you obtain divorce terms that work for you—in support of your financial and parental rights. Our legal team is here for you, so please do not hesitate to contact us online or call us at (254) 781-4222 for more information.