Portrait of John K Grubb

Texas Divorce and Prenuptial Agreement

4550 Post Oak Place, Suite 201 • Houston, Texas 77027-3139

Phone: 713-877-8800 • Fax: 713-877-1229

10 Common Divorce Mistakes to Avoid

Divorce is difficult. Many times your divorce will be your first experience in dealing with attorneys and Houston’s Family Courts. There is no reason to feel overwhelmed if you know what to expect and what pitfalls to avoid. There are basically 10 mistakes that you will not want to make:

  1. Don’t sign documents without asking questions first. You are not expected to know and understand everything, and are entitled to be skeptical. Remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question. The best thing to do is ask your attorney to explain unfamiliar terms and inquire about his or her honest option concerning your chances to receive what you are requesting.
  2. Don’t keep information from your lawyer. Communication is critical to your relationship with your divorce lawyer. Your attorney will need to know about your future plans and finances to assist in developing a strategy for your settlement.
  3. Not reviewing the documents. Be sure to check the facts and figures. The devil is in the details, so take care to ensure accuracy. If the documents you sign contain accurate information, you will save yourself the headaches after incorrect information is entered into the court record.
  4. Not signing court documents promptly. Don’t allow too much time to pass before signing documents or enforcing court orders. Signing documents promptly protects your rights.
  5. Expecting that the Court will see things your way. Family Court proceedings require the Judge to consider both sides of the issue. Judges often must rule using limited information. Remember that the Judge will see two sides to the coin. Don’t expect your viewpoint to prevail in every issue.
  6. Not hiring a financial advisor. Asset division during your divorce proceeding will have tax implications. A financial advisor will be able to counsel you on the tax consequences of various settlement options.
  7. Believing that your spouse will be fair. If you’re involved in a court case, you and your spouse are adversaries. It doesn’t matter that you were best friends before the divorce petition. Your spouse will be looking out for himself or herself, so you should look after your interests. Be prepared that your spouse will be uncooperative.
  8. Expecting too much from your divorce. The reality is that you will not get everything you want. Everything you own as community property is in dispute – property, retirement and investment funds, children. Be realistic and reasonable in your demands, and be prepared to compromise. Focus on solving the problems so that you can help your case.
  9. Letting your emotions take priority. Divorce is an emotionally trying period in your life. You may feel angry and victimized. Many times when you are thinking emotionally instead of rationally, you may not hear correctly or not articulate what you want succinctly. Not thinking rationally can sabotage your case.
  10. Impeding your case. Do everything you possibly can to help your attorney. If you don’t know how you can assist, ask your lawyer. He or she will be able to tell you how best to further your settlement.

Attorneys and Houston’s Family Courts do not have to be intimidating if you know what mistakes to avoid. If you can freely communicate with your divorce attorney, make sure all the “i’s” are dotted and the “t’s” are crossed in the documents, and think rationally instead of emotionally, your divorce most likely will proceed smoothly.

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