When you hear people talk about filing for divorce, you may think they all have to be contentious and amicable divorce in Texas isn’t possible. But, for many couples, divorce is not something that pits one spouse against the other in a fight over assets, property and debts, retirement benefits, court costs, custody, and children. Some couples can agree on a settlement and other things that make the divorce process go smoother.
We’re going to take a look at what goes into an amicable divorce in Texas and how you and your spouse can achieve one without facing a tough and unnecessary legal battle to end your marriage in Texas.
What are Amicable or No-Fault or Uncontested Divorces in Texas?
An amicable or no-fault or uncontested divorce is one where both spouses agree to things like spousal and child support, conditions of property division, dividing retirement, child visitation, and custody. When a Texas divorce is amicable, both spouses don’t fight over anything in the divorce and agree peacefully. it doesn’t necessarily mean they are best friends when it is over.
Filing for an uncontested divorce in Texas is not impossible. While it does take some work to end a marriage peacefully, it can be done if both parties are committed to it.
Here are five steps to follow if you want to avoid a long court battle and have an uncontested or agreed divorce.
1. Decide to divorce without blame.
When it comes to divorce, many spouses blame the other for being the reason the marriage ended. If you want to divorce amicably in Texas, you need to take blame out of the equation. Both parties have to agree to this if they want to have a shot at an amicable divorce in Texas. At this point, it doesn’t matter if one or both spouses are to blame. A divorce has been chosen and now it’s time to move forward.
2. Focus on the big picture.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Decide which items are most important to you in the divorce and focus solely on them. This will help to achieve an amicable divorce. If you plan on fighting for every last piece of china, you can expect a drawn-out divorce that will cost plenty of money with lawyer fees and paperwork. When one or both parties plan to fight on every little thing, a divorce can take years rather than being settled quickly or through mediation attorneys.
3. Plan to negotiate in good faith.
When you’re talking about negotiating in good faith, both parties agree to be transparent and are not hiding any financial information or anything else that could complicate the divorce. They do their best to make sure that all divorce papers are accurate, complete, and truthful to the best of their knowledge.
This helps to avoid things like discovering that money or assets have been hidden for years or that one spouse did not disclose other pertinent information to the divorce. When people do this in their relationship, an amicable divorce in Texas is more difficult to achieve. But, if you can both negotiate in good faith, you have a better chance of making everything work.
4. Put the children first.
If there are children in the picture you and your spouse need to put their needs first. Mediation can help to achieve this goal. This will allow you to make the best decisions when it comes to issues like custody and visitation without negatively affecting the family relationship. This also allows you to figure out the best ways to co-parent so that the effects of divorce are as minimal as possible.
When couples don’t put their children’s interests first, children are often used as pawns to help one spouse achieve what they want. This is not only hurting the children but is also paving the way for a bitter divorce. By putting the needs of the children first and using mediation, when possible, you are helping your children and helping to achieve a peaceful divorce in Texas.
5. Work out the terms of your divorce settlement out of court.
If you can work out the terms of your divorce settlement agreement out of court, you have a better chance of getting divorced amicably. Sometimes when a divorce heads to court, it can get ugly as one party tries to find ways to make their spouse look bad. Often, there can be fights over money and other assets that can get messy.
If you and your spouse can go through mediation or work things out on your own, you stand a better chance of making the divorce as painless as possible for everyone involved.
Prepare for Divorce in Texas
As you are planning to file, keep the following divorce guidelines in mind:
1. Be Kind to Yourself and Your Spouse.
Divorce, even a no-fault divorce, can be painful. Remember to take time for yourself and be kind to your spouse. Even if they are the one who initiated the divorce, chances are they are feeling emotions as well. Be cognizant of these feelings going forward.
2. Stay Focused on Your Goals.
Whether there are financial or personal goals, stay focused on what you want to achieve. This will help you get through the proceedings and get a fair settlement.
3. Consider Divorce Mediation.
Mediation is a powerful tool that can help with having a smooth divorce. This will not only help to assure assets are divided fairly, but it will also make sure that the children’s needs are taken into account first.
4. Build a Support Team.
Having family and friends you can turn to as you prepare for divorce and during the process can help. You’ll need all the support you can get. Some people also find therapy comforting during their divorce. This gives them an unbiased sounding board to vent their feelings and frustrations. Find what works best for you and make it happen.
Preparing yourself as much as possible can make your divorce go as smoothly as possible for everyone involved. It can also help you to save money and any unneeded emotional stress.
Things to Remember about an Amicable Divorce in Texas
When it comes to divorce in Texas, there are things to be aware of so that the process goes as smoothly as possible.
Amicable Might Still Require Mediation in Texas
Often, using mediation to achieve a Texas divorce is useful because it allows couples to negotiate in good faith, put the needs of the children first, and focus on the issues that matter the most with the help of divorce guides.
Mediation is often needed when getting divorced to determine child custody and dividing assets. This will enable a non-biased third-party to help determine that things are done fairly. When mediation is not involved, even in an amicable divorce, issues that were decided verbally can go by the wayside and proceedings can get messy. Having a mediator involved makes sense to assure that things go smoothly.
You will still need a lawyer for an amicable divorce.
If you want to end your marriage in Texas amicably, you’ll still want to have a divorce lawyer. Lawyers help to maintain a timeline and help to get a fair and equitable settlement. If you choose not to hire a divorce attorney, you face the potential of the proceedings taking longer than expected. There may also be mistakes when it comes to paperwork and filing.
You are also not familiar with the law like a divorce attorney is. This means that things can slip through the cracks and lead to long-term issues. A great family law attorney will know about the fine print when it comes to divorce proceedings and will make sure that the divorce settlement is fair.
You will also want to have an attorney when you petition for divorce in Texas if you have minor children. You want your children’s best interests protected and having a divorce lawyer is one way to assure this will happen. Your family law attorney will be able to walk you through the requirements listed in the Texas Family Code.
If you and your spouse own real estate or a business, you want to have a lawyer to make sure all assets and money are divided properly.
When one party wants or needs alimony, you’ll want to have a divorce attorney involved to make sure you get what you’re legally owed.
You may also need a family law attorney if you were in a common law marriage or are going through a military divorce.
Requirements for Agreed Divorce in Texas
On the subject of an amicable divorce, comes an “agreed divorce”. This is when you and your spouse agree on all divorce-related issues including child custody and child support. To have an agreed divorce, there are also no court orders for custody in place.
If there is a final order regarding child custody and support, you can still request an agreed divorce only if the final order includes all the children, you and your spouse have together. Both spouses must also agree not want to change the order and the final court order must not be a temporary or protective order.
The Hidden Dangers of Not Divorcing Amicably
If you’re not sure if an amicable divorce is the route you want to take, consider these potential dangers of choosing not to do so:
When you choose a heated divorce battle over amicable or uncontested divorces in Texas, you may be looking at a long and expensive legal battle. The more paperwork you need to file, the more money you can expect to pay. If you need to go in and out of court, you can expect to drain your bank account even more. But, if you can make the divorce go smoothly, you can save some money in the process.
It’s no secret that a divorce can put you on an emotional rollercoaster. The longer your proceedings are the more emotional distress you can expect to endure. If you want to make your divorce as painless as possible, consider what it takes to file for divorce amicably Texas. It will not only save you money, but also the potential of leaving you emotionally drained.
Hurting the children
When a divorce takes a long time and there are children involved, they are more likely to see their parents argue. This isn’t good for you and it certainly isn’t good for them. This hurts them even more than the divorce itself. But, when you can keep their interests at the forefront and avoid arguing, you are making the process better for them.
Contact Jimenez Law Firm for Legal Advice about Filing for Divorce in Texas
If you are planning to divorce, contact the Jimenez Law Firm for legal advice. Our experienced team has the knowledge necessary in Texas law to help you achieve an amicable divorce. Call us today at 214-513-0125 for more information on how we can help you through the divorce process.