Family law encompasses every legal issue confronted by the family. This includes more than just divorce, child custody & visitation, and child support; it also involves adoptions, paternity, spousal abuse, and family torts, which are civil trials against people or institutions who have wronged a family. At Nichols Law, our family law attorneys represent clients in all types of family law matters. With such a large legal field, we can only hope to cover some of it here, but we hope that the below information answers at least a few of your legal questions. However, every case is different. For information about your situation, please contact one of our qualified family law attorneys.
Amicable or Traditional (in-court) divorce?
Texas has over 90,000 divorces in an average year. If you are considering divorce, you don't have to end your marriage in court. Take advantage of the amicable options for divorce.
Divorce is one of the most emotional experiences a person will ever face. The decision to end a marriage is not an easy one and it is often accompanied by anger, fear, and resentment. The negative emotions associated with divorce are responsible for more than hurt feelings; they affect the final outcome of settlement negotiations. Most importantly, a divorce can be very difficult for children to understand and cope with.
Bill Fergusen, a nationally recognized divorce and relationship expert on divorce and healing, recommends several steps that will help you remain amicable with your spouse during divorce proceedings. Bill describes the cycle of conflict people engage in when ending a marriage. One person says something nasty, the other responds. It takes two people to create and maintain a cycle of conflict. It only takes one person to end it. To end the cycle of conflict, you need to stop fueling it. The following tips will help you end your part in the negative cycle and help you achieve an amicable divorce.
- Acceptance: If you don't accept someone as they are, you will end up frustrated and more likely to continue to contribute to the conflict. Face it, your spouse isn't going to change any more than a leopard will change its spots.
- Feeling Hurt: Feelings of hurt drive more behavior than most people will admit. Often, anger is simply an unwillingness to feel hurt. If you allow yourself to feel hurt, it will run its course more quickly and allow you to move beyond it. Remember, crying is simply a means of relieving stress.
- What's your part?: Take the time to think about yourself, not the other person. Ignore what they did or said and think about what you did and said. Were you more critical than you should have been? Did you hurt their feelings? Notice how the other person has put up his or her walls of protection and given it back to you. See how your actions have fueled the conflict.
- Let Go & Forgive: In many ways not letting go is a form of denial. We hang on to avoid feeling pain, but the pain won't go away until we actually experience it. Become willing to feel the hurt and watch the need to hang on disappear and your ability to forgive grow. Forgiveness is for you, not the other person.
- Listen: An argument is an example of two people talking but no one is listening. Once someone stops to listen, the argument ends. Take the time to listen, then calmly express your opinion and again take the time to listen. You will find solutions.
There are many more tips and techniques you can use to diffuse the tension between you and your spouse. Even if you decide to pursue a divorce, you can make it more amicable. Remember, when you fight to have your side prevail, you force the other person to fight against you. If you are committed to finding solutions that work for both of you, the resistance against you dissolves. It's hard to fight someone who's on your side.
When there is little or no marital property, no children, no issues of spousal maintenance, amicable spouses can usually obtain a quick divorce by making a divorce agreement and having a judge approve it. Most divorces, however, are quite different and far more complex. The typical Texas divorce involves a union of many years with considerable marital property, both personal property and real estate, children, family businesses, large or concealed debts, trust funs, real estate in other states, joint and separate accounts, investments, insurance, pensions, and other assets. In these complex situations, the parties often cannot divide their property on their own and therefore may require court involvement for its ultimate division.
During a divorce, there are often children involved and this can make a case difficult because people ultimately want what is best for their children. Family related matters that involve children require an experienced Houston child support lawyer. When going through a divorce that involves child support, it's important that the attorneys you choose have your children in mind.
DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.