Focused on your future
Deciding to divorce is one of most difficult things you can do in life. And once you take this first step, there are many paths you can follow. We’re here to show you the way.
Perhaps it’s you or your spouse that wants a divorce. Or you have made this big decision together. Whether you hope to work toward an amicable divorce or will need to litigate, a meeting with an experienced Dallas divorce attorney is vital to figure out what happens next.
A divorce involves more than settling issues and receiving paperwork from the courts. Typically, a divorce undergoes three stages: (1) pre-planning, (2) the actual divorce process, and (3) addressing post-divorce issues.
Preparing for a Divorce in Texas
Before a divorce can really begin, both spouses need to take time to carefully plan and prepare. A GoransonBain Ausley attorney will guide you through the preparation process to help ensure you are in the best position to settle your individual issues, which may include the following:
- Children: Nothing is more important than addressing the financial, emotional, and mental needs of your child. During the planning stage, both parents should collect the appropriate information necessary to assist each parent in defining the financial, emotional, and mental needs of their child, such as scheduling demands, work demands, and school and extracurricular requirements. Such information provides a starting point for the parents to develop an essential plan that provides a road map to effectively care for the child.
- Personal financial details: Each spouse needs to prepare an accurate inventory of personal assets, accounts and debt, as well as the shared wealth and debt. The existence of a family business or other financial issues may significantly complicate property distribution issues, but everything must be considered when planning for a divorce.
- Future income prospects: Texas law makes no guarantees as to spousal maintenance, but either party may qualify for extra support, provided the marriage lasted for at least 10 years and the party is not capable of providing his or her own financial support after the divorce. Not having a job at the time of divorce is not enough — a party must prove diminished earning capacity. One of our skilled attorneys can help you determine what is needed and recommend a number of solutions.
Understanding the Divorce Process
Once an individual files for divorce, the process can take two basic routes, which is largely based on the parties’ individual ability to reach resolution through negotiation:
- An Uncontested Divorce allows parties to avoid potentially-stressful courtroom trials by negotiating their divorce terms. Even though the reasons for divorce often involve some form of dispute, there are a number of alternative dispute resolution methods that can help the parties put emotional issues aside in the interest of saving time and money, while also retaining more control over their individual futures. The two most common methods are divorce mediation and collaborative divorce, both which require legal counsel.
- A Contested Divorce is traditionally a more complex process because it involves a full courtroom trial, complete with opening and closing arguments, as well as the presentation of required detailed evidence to assist a judge in reaching decisions. Such a divorce may be a necessity when couples are unable to agree due to high levels of contention, or when the parties’ relationship involves a significant power imbalance that may prevent one party from receiving fair treatment.
Common Issues Following Divorce
A final divorce decree seldom marks the end of divorce-related issues, particularly where children are involved. Post-divorce issues that may require legal assistance for many years include:
- Parenting: When it comes to their child, divorced parents continue to be partners, at least until the child reaches adulthood. As finances or living circumstances change, parents may need to return to court to adjust their original agreements or the court order.
- Non-Compliance: Failure to comply with a divorce decree is a serious issue. Former spouses who attempt to equalize situations by failing to comply with the terms of a divorce decree are breaking the law and potentially subjection to penalty. GoransonBain Ausley attorneys the proper actions to take to enforce an order of the court.
- Taxes: Without proper planning, the first tax return filed after divorce may contain numerous surprises. During the divorce process, an attorney can help you understand what to expect and will have resources to help you find a reputable tax advisor.
- Retirement plans: The law can get complicated regarding Social Security and other retirement benefits earned during a marriage. Do not wait until the date you plan to retire to find out how you and your former spouse must share benefits. When you identify and value your assets and wealth, an experienced attorney can help educate you on what to expect at the planning stage and how to minimize potential post-divorce problems. Nonetheless, if proper planning was not done, an experienced attorney can help you remedy any post-decree retirement plan issues.
The Dallas divorce attorneys at GoransonBain Ausley are prepared to provide extensive support to you for as long as you need it. Contact us by calling 214-373-7676 to learn more about the services we provide.
How Our Texas Divorce Lawyers Can Help
At GoransonBain Ausley, we understand that, regardless of whether you and your spouse intend to cooperate with each other, emotions will be running high. We’re also aware of the pitfalls and distractions these emotions can cause – keeping you from making sound financial decisions or best-interest decisions for your children.
This is why we’re committed to providing all our clients with thorough legal advice, delivered with honesty and compassion. Using the depth and breadth of our experience, we navigate you through the divorce process to help you achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family. We focus on your future financial stability and help you identify your goals – then recommend an efficient, effective strategy to help you meet them.
Identifying Your Individual Concerns
With our 40 years of experience serving Austin, Dallas and Plano families, we know that every divorce is as unique as the people involved. We make sure you know all the options that are available to you and help you understand the pros and cons of those options. We also want you to understand the process you’re about to go through.
Working as a team, our goal is to guide you and your family to find the best way forward. When planning a strategy, we’ll consult with you about the following issues and how they apply to your circumstances:
- Property division – we’ll determine your current and future financial goals and how to meet them through a fair and equitable division of the marital estate, as well as protect what’s important to you.
- Parenting Schedules– We can help you develop a plan that works for you and your family considering the needs of the children, your geographic location and work schedule;
- Asset Characterization and Valuation– Marital assets can include businesses, pensions, educational degrees, real estate, intellectual property, and personal belongings. We can help you determine which assets are includable in the divorce process and what they are worth;
- Custody– Whether you are a mother, father, or grandparent, we are prepared to protect your parental rights;
- Property Division– We can help you achieve a fair and equitable division of the marital estate while prioritizing the assets that are most important to you, taking into consideration;
- Support Modifications– As your family’s lives change, we can help you modify previously determined orders, schedules, and legal support obligations to accommodate your change in circumstances.
Contact a Dallas Divorce Attorney Today
Every family has unique needs and, as a result, no divorce case is exactly like the one before. We believe that every family law case is fact-specific and has its own special issues and circumstances.
We encourage you to contact our legal team to schedule a consultation to learn about your options and to obtain sound legal advice on how to move forward. You can contact us online, or complete the consultation form. We have offices in Dallas, Plano and Austin.