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Divorce court can only do so much - the rest is up to you

Years ago, divorces were frowned upon and not nearly as prevalent as now. However, times have changed, and you likely know several people who are divorced -- your parents may even be divorced. Furthermore, the media, TV and internet are full of celebrity divorce news. However, even with so many people going through divorces, every case is different because the dynamics of every family are unique. If you are considering a divorce, it may help to know what a divorce can do for you, and what it cannot do.

Divorce may sometimes be difficult, but realistic expectations can prevent disillusionment during the process.

The following can all be established during the divorce process:

  • Property Division: Regardless of whether yours is a high-asset divorce or whether you own just the average assets that most families have, the court aims to see the fair division of property in every divorce. Texas is a hybrid community property state in which you and your spouse are each entitled to keep any property you brought into the marriage.
  • Support Obligations: Child and spousal support can be determined during the divorce proceedings. Although there are specific state laws about support, exceptions and deviations are allowed based on the circumstances. You and the co-parent may reach child custody agreements, and the court will consider those arrangements when it determines the amount of child support to be paid. Alimony is typically based on the financial circumstances of the couple, and not always predictable.
  • Child Custody, parenting and visitation: If you and your spouse cannot reach agreements about child custody, visitation and parenting plans, the court can make decisions and set schedules to cover those aspects. The best interests of the children will always be the basis for these decisions. Many judges recognize the importance of both parents being involved in the lives of their children, and they typically encourage parents to remain as present as possible in the lives of their children.

The following will be up to you after your divorce is finalized:

  • Guarantee equal division: Because of the uniqueness of each family's dynamics, the court cannot divide property and parenting time accurately to award you and your former spouse exactly half. Based on the information provided, a judge will endeavor to be fair in its decisions.
  • Be responsible for civil relations: The post-divorce relationship between you and your ex is entirely up to you, and keeping the best interest of the children in mind may enable the two of you to maintain an amicable relationship.
  • Maintaining your current standard of living: After the divorce, you will likely have to adjust your living standards, and the court can do nothing about this. It may prove to be much more expensive for two parents living apart and maintaining two households than having two incomes and one household.
  • Resolve Emotional Issues: Your emotional welfare is also your responsibility, and you may want to explore ways to navigate your divorce in a manner that will limit the trauma. Many others have found that the support and guidance of an experienced divorce attorney can ease the process.

If you are considering a divorce, you may have many unanswered questions. A consultation with a skilled lawyer can provide answers and explain the options available and what to expect going forward.

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