No one purposely enters a marriage with the belief that it will eventually end in divorce.
You probably never thought you would be in this situation. However, even with the best intentions, some marriages don’t survive.
You may have done everything you could do to salvage the most important relationship you have had in your life, but it just wouldn’t work. Sadly, about half of the American married population will get divorced.
There are many reasons for divorce, grounds for both fault and no-fault divorces, such as insupportability, adultery, cruelty, imprisonment as a result of a felony conviction, abandonment, and or mental institution confinement of a spouse with no hope of true recovery.
There may be numerous issues that led you to this place, but the question is – what do you do now?
After filing your petition for divorce, as long as you have lived in Texas for at least six months, the divorce process begins. It is at this time that you can decide what type of divorce would be best for you. Will you pursue the lengthy and expensive litigation through a court battle? Or will you opt for the less expensive and least time-consuming divorce proceedings, like mediation or coming to your own settlement?
Which divorce method you choose will to some degree dictate how your assets will be split. If you have chosen litigation, the court will ultimately decide who gets what property in a “fair and equitable” manner. If you have chosen mediation, your wishes and opinions will be heard. But in the end, a third party will only recommend settlement options; you and your spouse still have the final say as to what you found agreeable.
Obviously, it is ideal if you, as a couple, are able to negotiate with one another and come to your own settlement. But, that doesn’t happen often. If you have chosen collaborative law as your means of divorce, you will spend an arm and a leg and may think you have more say in which assets you are awarded; yet, you risk having to start over if you can’t come to an agreement.
Spousal support can be awarded during the divorce proceedings if it can be shown that one spouse needs it and that the other has the means to provide it. It is at the court’s discretion whether or not spousal support will be awarded and if awarded, may only last up to three years.
Do you have a Prenup?
Finally, a prenuptial agreement will expedite the entire divorce process, costing you less money. Having a legal contract can protect any personal assets in the event of divorce. It can even prevent creditors from coming after you for your ex-spouse’s debt. In the event of the untimely death of either spouse, certain property and decisions will be protected by the prenuptial agreement.
Make sure to educate yourself on the divorce process before you begin. It can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.