Avoiding legal pitfalls in Texas divorces

Texas couples often make many mistakes when it comes to filing for divorce. These mistakes can range from benign to criminal, with consequences ranging from needless legal expenses to making unnecessary financial concessions in the final decree. How this plays out depends on the couple and the specifics of a given case, but for couples who do not choose their fights wisely, they can win every battle and still lose the war.

One costly mistake many divorcing spouses make is failing to obtain an exact figure regarding marital assets and finances. This can lead to expensive litigation later, or require amending the divorce decree, meaning more legal fees. Fighting over how much child support a noncustodial parent must pay is another pitfall. An extra $100 per month in child support is worth the legal investment for a child of age 3, but typically not for a 16-year-old.

Other mistakes include going in with a “do or die” attitude. This will likely make the other spouse less receptive to offers later and could result in the judge ruling against the inciting party. Some couples take to social media to air their grievances, forgetting this can be used against them later in court. However, the biggest mistake many couples make is treating divorce as a race to the finish rather than ensuring all loose ends are properly tied up.

During a divorce case, an attorney may wish to examine the financial affairs of the couple both pre- and postmarital to ensure property, assets and debts are divided equitably. The attorney might consider statutory and case divorce law to determine what sticking points one party or the other might prevail on. Finally, the attorney may work for the client to craft a divorce settlement both sides can agree on for the judge’s approval.