You know the routine. You and your spouse begin bickering over something minor. It’s stupid really (volume of the TV, dishes, etc.) but it opens the floodgates and the real fight is on.
This is the fight that has been brewing under the surface like magma waiting for a volcano to lose it’s top. Statistically, your fight will involve money.
Someone’s ego gets hurt and in that moment of pain, they blurt out, “I Want a Divorce!” Words like that can’t be taken back like a bell can’t be un-rung.
This is the fork in the road where you both either take some time to cool down and realize how stupid the fight was in the first place, or you realize that your marriage has been in serious trouble for awhile now and you’ve both been afraid to admit it.
Sometimes, at this point the couple begins a frank discussion about the best way to get divorced in the same manner that a CEO would discuss selling a branch of the company. In these potential divorce discussions, there is a common thread of matters to be considered.
Considerations in Preparing for Divorce
A divorce effectively takes one home and divides it into two. Everything should be considered for division if anticipating a divorce, (retirement benefits, alimony, health insurance, etc.) but there are a few things that need extra consideration.
These considerations can be listed under three categories: Children, Finances, and Property.
You need to grab a sheet of paper (yes they still make the stuff) and draw a line right down the middle; one side for each of you. At the top, write “Separate Property” and list the things that you and your spouse owned before marriage, gifts, inheritance, etc. These things aren’t to be considered for division, but what isn’t Separate is Community Property and divided.
Everyone’s first instinct is to demand custody of the children. Unfortunately, some parents vie for custody simply as a bargaining chip to use against the other parent. Discard any thoughts about what you want and spend your time discussing what’s best for them.
Dividing the finances (debt, savings, income) is usually quite tricky because very often there is only one spouse is working. In your discussions, consider dividing things fairly instead of dividing them equally.
If after all of this you still want a divorce, now you’re ready to talk with an attorney.
–Authored by Matthew L. Harris, Esq.,
Matthew Harris Law, PLLC – Family Law Division
1101 Broadway, Lubbock, Texas, 79401-3303
Tel: (806) 702-4852 | Fax: (800) 985-9479