The Pros and Cons of a Texas Divorce

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Divorce is a journey, but if you’ve hit pause on whether or not it’s the right journey for you, it may be time to consider the pros and cons.

If you’re having financial problems or relationship problems – divorce is not going to make them magically disappear. Divorce isn’t a cure-all, but it’s sometimes the best solution available, which makes digging deep before pulling the trigger on divorce an excellent plan.

Determining if divorce is right for you is a very personal decision that only you can make.

However, if you’re ready to explore what a divorce might look like for you, it’s time to consult with an experienced Killeen divorce attorney.

If You Share Children

If you and your divorcing spouse share children who are still at home, divorce is almost certain to be hard on them. Other than in instances in which the marital relationship is so bad that the children are caught in the crosshairs, divorce hurts children.

While you should not stay in a marriage that absolutely isn’t working for you for the sole purpose of sparing your children, you owe it to them and yourself to save your marriage if it’s salvageable. Carefully considering the pros and cons of divorce can help you make the right decisions for you.

Cons of Divorce

Divorce has several downsides that you should be sure to consider before proceeding.

Your Finances Are Almost Certain to Take a Hit

If you get a divorce, you can expect to lose ground in terms of your standard of living. For this reason, the division of marital assets tends to be one of the most contentious divorce terms.

In divorce, the assets that you acquired over the course of your marriage, which are considered marital assets, must be divided fairly – rather than necessarily being divided right down the middle.

You can keep any separate assets that belong to you, which refer to those assets that you owned separately when you married and that you kept separate throughout your marriage. However, any intermingling of separate and marital assets over the course of your marriage can weaken your claim to what was once yours alone.

Divorce Can Be Emotionally Scarring

If you choose to pursue a divorce, you will make it to the other side, and you may find that you are stronger and more resilient than ever before. However, it’s important to know that the process can be emotionally scarring.

Divorce represents the undoing of a public commitment that you made to yourself and your partner and that you are prepared to turn your back on.

Although your marriage may not be perfect, you and your spouse have been through ups and downs together, have supported one another through thick and thin, have been there for each other, have shared good times and bad, and much more, and it can be very difficult to walk away.

You and your spouse share a history that spills over into every aspect of your lives, including your extended families, friend groups, community, and well beyond. In other words, divorce is a major life transition, and emotional challenges are part of the process.

Divorce Can Be an Exceptionally Lengthy Process

In Texas, couples seeking divorce are required to wait at least 60 days from the date of filing before their divorces can be finalized, but most divorces take considerably longer. To obtain a divorce, you’ll need to resolve each of the following terms that applies to your case:

  • The division of marital property

  • Child custody arrangements, which include legal custody and parenting time

  • Child support

  • Spousal maintenance – better known outside of Texas as alimony

Any one of these terms can turn into a battle, and if you are unable to reach mutually acceptable agreements, you’ll need the court’s intervention, which will cost you more time and money.

If your marriage isn’t everything you hoped it would be and you’re looking for a quick fix, divorce is unlikely to be especially satisfying. Instead, it’s a difficult process that is likely to leave you feeling emotionally drained, spending less time with your children, and facing more challenging financial constraints.

If divorce is the right choice for you, these challenges are necessary to the process. If – on the other hand – you’re on the fence about divorce, channeling your efforts into saving your marriage is likely time better spent.

It’s Unlikely that Your Children Will Continue Living under Your Roof Full-Time

In a divorce that involves children, the court is very likely to award a parenting time schedule that affords you both a significant number of overnights with your shared children. This tendency means that your children won’t be spending every night at home with you anymore, which can be difficult to come to terms with.

Texas courts make every child custody ruling in accordance with the children’s best interests. Further, prevailing wisdom maintains that spending time with both parents is universally beneficial, except under dire circumstances.

This belief means that while you may become the primary custodial parent, your children’s other parent will very likely have a generous parenting time schedule. Preparing yourself for this eventuality early on is important.

Divorce Can Affect Your Work

Divorce is an emotional rollercoaster that will require a good deal of your attention to ensure that your parental and financial rights are well protected. In the process, it can be difficult to keep up at work. If you had your sights set on a promotion or advancing your career, you may have to wait until your divorce is behind you before you’re ready to go after wins at work.

Pros of Divorce

If your marriage has gotten to the point where it feels more like a liability than a partnership between equals who support one another through thick and thin, divorce may be the only sensible option. If you’ve put your shoulder into saving your marriage and have nothing to show for it, the pros of divorce may outweigh the cons by a long shot.

If you ultimately decide to get a divorce, contact a Killeen divorce attorney to guide you through the process of divorce and maximize the positive impact of your divorce.

Divorce Affords Personal Agency

If you feel like you’re under your spouse’s thumb – with no true independence of your own – divorce may come as a relief. You’re an adult who has the right to make decisions on your own behalf, and if that’s missing in your marriage, divorce could be the answer.

While successful marriages require compromise, this does not mean you should give up your right to think for yourself or to make decisions on your own behalf. Divorce can be a liberating experience for those who feel like they have lost their voices in their marriages.

Divorce Could Improve Your Finances

While we just got done telling you to expect your finances to take a hit in divorce, it’s important to note that divorce also allows you to make your own financial decisions. In some situations, this increased independence and freedom can positively impact your financial health.

For example, if your spouse isn’t great with money and takes unnecessary financial risks that haven’t panned out well, having the opportunity to create your own budget and stick to it can put you in a much better financial situation – even if your assets have decreased overall.

Divorce Can Improve Your Mood

While it will likely take a while to get there, divorce can improve your outlook on life. If your spouse brings you down, never has anything nice to say about you, is invested in making you miserable, or is simply a downer generally, divorce can make you feel as if a heavy weight has been lifted off you.

Living under a dark cloud that never goes away isn’t easy, but you may have gotten used to it and may not realize how much you’ve missed the sunshine. If your spouse is prone to bad moods that are focused on you, divorce can feel like the light at the end of the tunnel.

A Divorce Can End the Toxicity of a Bad Marriage

Some marriages turn toxic over the years, and you may not realize how badly it’s affected you. If your spouse engages in any of the following behaviors and isn’t interested in putting in the hard work necessary to improve the situation, a divorce could help you turn your life around:

  • Blaming you for every problem

  • Preferring to argue instead of problem-solving

  • Routinely putting you down

  • Humiliating you in front of others

  • Routinely shutting you out

  • Routinely giving you the silent treatment

A toxic marriage that your spouse refuses to work on is not a good candidate for saving, and it doesn’t serve your children’s best interests.

Divorce Opens Your Life up to Possibility

If you’re in a bad marriage, you spend a lot of time attempting to keep it afloat, which can be exhausting. Once you’ve made the difficult decision that you need a divorce and put the matter well behind you, you may find that your life opens up to a considerable amount of possibility. Your focus will become your children and yourself, which can be utterly liberating.

While being a single parent won’t be easy, your ex will also have a parenting time schedule that allows you a bit of downtime to focus on some self-care and the things you enjoy doing, including reconnecting with friends, taking up a new hobby, considering dating (when you’re ready), and generally stepping back from the overwhelming demands you regularly face.

FAQ about Deciding on Divorce

If you’re focusing on the pros and cons of divorce, the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions may help you arrive at the answer you’re looking for.

Will I Know If Divorce Is the Right Answer?

You chose to marry your spouse, and whether or not you divorce him or her is another choice you’ll need to make. Deciding if you need a divorce comes down to weighing your options, and if pursuing a divorce better aligns with your goals, it’s likely the answer. However, if you believe your marriage could be saved, that’s a worthy pursuit.

In other words, it’s a weighty decision that requires careful consideration and that only you can make.

Does Consulting with a Divorce Attorney Amount to Giving up on My Marriage?

If you’re considering a divorce, consulting with a seasoned Killeen divorce attorney is an excellent idea, but it in no way means that there’s no going back. A trusted divorce attorney will help you better understand what your divorce terms would probably look like – based on his or her legal knowledge and experience – which can help you make a better-informed decision.

How Can I Reconcile Divorce with What’s Best for My Children?

There is no denying that divorce is hard on children, and that’s something you’ll need to come to terms with. If your marriage is toxic and your children are exposed to ugliness that could be emotionally scarring, it should make your decision easier.

However, if your marriage is broken and loveless but also mild and placid, it’s important to remember that you deserve better. Taking the steps necessary to pursue the fulfilling life you’re looking for helps teach your children that taking risks on behalf of your own happiness and well-being is well worth the effort, and that’s a valuable lesson.

Seek the Skilled Legal Counsel of an Experienced Killeen Divorce Attorney Today

Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard – proudly serving Killeen, Texas – is a practiced divorce attorney with a decades-long track record of helping clients like you make tough, well-informed decisions. When that means divorce, Mr. Pritchard will fiercely protect your parental and financial rights throughout the process.

For more information about what we can do for you, please don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us online or call us at (254) 781-4222 to schedule your FREE consultation today.

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