W. Tyler Moore, PC

What should Texans avoid doing before their divorce is finalized?

The end of a marriage is a time of tumultuous change for everyone in the family, especially if the couple has children. It may be tempting to make rash decisions, especially in heated moments. However, such decisions could be very costly down the road when it comes to settling issues such as child custody (known as conservatorship in Texas), property division and spousal maintenance.

If a couple seeking divorce is still residing together in the family home, it can be tempting for one party or the other to move out as soon as possible, especially if living with their ex has become unbearable. However, this could negatively affect the parent who moves out, particularly when it comes to child custody. Also, parents should avoid saying things they may later regret to their ex. Their ex may be verbally attacking them, but responding in kind can make a parent look bad. Keeping written records of what was said, any financial support given and what expenses a person incurred is also helpful.

It may seem obvious that spouses should not abuse each other or their child, but it is also important to behave well in other aspects of one's life. Staying away from alcohol and drugs can make a good impression, as can behaving well in public, taking care of one's physical and mental health and keeping up on one's bills.

Finally, when it comes to children and divorce, both parents should stay actively involved in their children's lives. They should make sure to communicate with their children regularly, attend extracurricular events and provide their children with emotional support. This sets the stage for a positive relationship with one's children once the divorce is final.

When one goes through a divorce, their personal life will be scrutinized. The court will want to look at their relationship with their children when it comes to child custody, especially when it comes to fathers' rights. Each party's spending habits and lifestyle may be examined when it comes to spousal maintenance. Finally, in a community property state like Texas, each party will need to be totally upfront about all their assets and debts, so an appropriate result can be made in the property division process. Therefore, it is important for parties to make sure they do not say or do things that can be held against them when it comes to settling these divorce issues.

Source: LiveAbout, "Ten Tips for Fathers in Surviving the Divorce Process," Wayne Parker, Aug. 24, 2017

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