Planning a Divorce in Texas Checklist
Deciding to file for divorce is a huge step, requiring careful planning and execution to avoid common pitfalls. This checklist will walk you through some of the steps you need to take before filing for divorce in Texas.
Gather Documents & InformationIf you are certain that you want to get a divorce, the first thing you need to do is gather important documents and information. You will need all of your family member's birth certificates, social security cards, and any other important documentation unique to your family.In addition, you will also need to list you and your spouse's previous marriages, the locations they were granted, any additional children from them, and their duration. Also important are you and your spouse's occupations, salaries, and college degrees or certificates.If you will also need to decide on your grounds for divorce. This can be one or many reasons. Making a list of reasons to take with you to your attorney will help expedite the paperwork, and may also help difficult conversations progress.
Discuss the Situation with Your Children, Family, and FriendsIf you are certain that you will go through with the divorce, it's never too early to start explaining the situation to your children. Please remember, however, that you should only discuss details that are age appropriate for your children. Before discussing anything with them, reading some articles or consulting a family psychologist about how to speak to them about it is highly recommended. It's also important that you let your family members know about the impending divorce. Not only will they need time to absorb the information, they will also be your go-to support during this difficult time, as well as your children's support structure. Embrace your family and friends, and let them help you when they think you may need it. Most parents worry so much about their divorce and children that they don't stop to take care of themselves and their needs. If you find yourself in a situation that your family and friends cannot help you out of, contact a counselor right away.
Hire an Experienced Divorce AttorneyThere are many family law firms out there. In Texas alone their are hundreds of thousands of firms that advertise family law services. However, you need to research and find an attorney that specializes in the type of divorce that you will likely have. For instance, a law firm specializing in divorce focuses primarily on divorce. Therefore, they will be experienced in all things divorce. However, if you have children or suspect that you will have tough custody and child support battle you need to find attorneys that have experience with these types of cases. Also, it doesn't hurt to search for attorneys who are experienced in divorce modifications, because changes to divorce decrees such as custody, child support, and living arrangement agreements can change with time. As always, conduct thorough research before hiring any attorney. Speak with your family, friends, and co-workers to see who they recommend or want you to avoid.