May 2016 Archives

Contested Divorce vs. Uncontested Divorce

Contested Divorce and Uncontested Divorce in Texas

What is a Contested Divorce in Texas? A contested divorce is when one or both spouses are disputing some aspects of their divorce. Complicated financials, custody disagreements and other complex issues usually mean you are up for a contested divorce. It means spouses can't come to an agreement on one, or in some cases, many issues of their divorce. It is important in a contested divorce to find experienced counsel you can trust. Most likely there will be courtroom litigation, and you need to be prepared for it with a good family lawyer on your side. In a contested divorce, both sides put together their case and go before a family judge who will make decisions for you. First the lawyers engage in divorce discovery, which is gathering information from the future ex-spouse and witnesses. Lawyers will typically try to negotiate and settle on a deal that works for both sides at this point. If they cannot reach a settlement, then the case goes to trial. After the trial, one side might want to appeal if they don't agree with the judge's decision. All of this could take months, or even years in some cases. Complex issues, high financial stakes, and technical legal procedures are the marks of contested divorces. Experienced counsel is necessary for a contested divorce because it so often involves litigation. What is an Uncontested Divorce in Texas? You may be wondering what exactly constitutes an uncontested divorce and if it is right for you. Any divorce is stressful. An uncontested divorce is the lesser of two evils. In most divorces you have to settle four main matters- division of property, division of debt, custody of the children, and payment of child and spousal support. Some couples may not have children, debt, or assets. That will most likely make their divorce easier. Any time you can sit down with your lawyers and settle these four matters between you and your spouse without having to go to trial is considered an "uncontested" divorce. An uncontested divorce can save time and money. In addition to it being a financial relief, it can also be a stress relief. A lot of anxiety can accompany a court case.  In an uncontested divorce, you must be able to work together, with your lawyers, toward a mutually agreeable resolution. It will take compromises from both sides. Working with your future ex-spouse can be difficult, but it is usually easier to find resolution outside of a full blown court battle. Typically, an uncontested divorce creates less hostility due to the quickness of the process versus a trail. It allows both parties can get on with rebuilding their lives quicker. Texas has specific legal requirements that need to be met before a couple can proceed with an uncontested divorce. So it is always best, even in a seemingly easy uncontested divorce, to meet with a lawyer. Contested or uncontested divorce in Texas, you need a family lawyer with a proven track record. Call the office of Michael Puhl, 972-569-3166 for a free divorce consultation.

Five Things To Do Before and During a Divorce

Helpful Divorce Tips

Divorce Tip #1: Be aware of social media You might be mad, sad or ecstatic, or all three emotions at different times of day. Don't use social media as a way to get back at your partner. Anything you put out there (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) stays out there. It can be used against you. Out late partying pictures - bad idea, especially if there is a custody issue. New boyfriend/girlfriend pictures - don't, people can smell the jealousy ploy. On the flip side, don't cyber stalk either. Finding out who that person is in the picture with your future ex is not going to make you feel better. It will probably make you feel worse. Now might be as good of a time as any to start a social media hiatus. Take a break and focus on yourself instead of what others are doing. Sure it might be easier said than done, but imagine all the free time you might have! Divorce Tip #2: Consult a family law lawyer Whether it's an easy divorce with barely any assets to divide or a complicated divorce with multiple homes and children, you need a good family lawyer. They will be on your side throughout the whole process. A lawyer will serve as your advocate and will make sure to look after your best interest. They will make sure you understand everything you sign. It may cost you in the short run but it can pay off by helping you avoid costly mistakes in the long run. Divorce Tip #3: Keep your kids best interest at heart You might be very mad at your ex. It might even be hard to control these emotions at times. Try your best not to take out your frustrations on your kids. Do not use them as pawns to get back at your spouse. It can be a challenge, but it is best to remain neutral about the situation in front of them. After all, the other person is still going to be their parent, and you can't change that. Don't treat them like adults either. They might be your support system at the moment but don't share uncomfortable information about the other person. In the long run, badmouthing or oversharing is going to hurt them and possibly your relationship with them. Divorce Tip #4: Get your finances in order Now is a good time to look at what you bring in and what you spend. You should know your complete list of assets and debts - knowledge is power. Get a firm grasp on your bills and spending. Try to start a nest egg. The first few years after a divorce can be a drain. According to Divorce Source during the first year of divorce a woman's standard of living drops by 25%. Expect things to get a little harder before it gets easier. Divorce Tip #5: Focus on you Going through a divorce is one of the hardest things a person can experience. There is a lot of pain involved in the process. It is easy to turn to overindulging in substances - alcohol, food among other things to cope. Try not to. Now is a great time to start an exercise routine if you don't already have one. Put yourself first for a while. Say no to things you don't want or have to do. Get enough sleep. Take positive steps to get you through this transitional period. Or join a support group for people going through the same thing as you. Hang out with people that make you happy. Do things that give you joy. At the end of the day, give yourself a pat on the back for getting through another day on this journey. For more divorce tips, contact our family law attorney, Michael Puhl, by calling 972-569-3166.  

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