Blog on Divorce and Family Law
Learning some basic information about divorce and family law can help prepare you for the legal issues you face. Our attorneys believe that honest advice, straight talk and some basic legal knowledge can make a big difference. A legal issue is a two-sided coin ─ your side versus the other side. Our job is to apply our knowledge, skills and experience to help you get the results you want. However, that doesn’t mean there is no participation on your part. You have important decisions to make that affect your future. The better you understand, the better you are at making smart decisions.
We hope you find our blog useful. Of course, forming a client-attorney relationship is the only way to receive legal advice, and these posts are not intended as legal advice nor the establishment of a client-attorney relationship.
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The holidays are over and now we’re entering what some call the divorce season because divorce filings begin to spike in January, peaking in February and March.
Why do more people take the leap to dissolve their marriages during this time of year?
Perhaps this is because seeing other couples express their Valentines’ affection serves as a wake-up call that our hearts are no longer in it. Or perhaps the withdraw of holiday warmth from December leaves us feeling lonely and despondent in January, and we finally decide to take action in February.
What do you think is the cause?
Experts speculate that unhappily married couples schedule their divorce filings around Valentine’s Day, as well as summer vacations, for a variety of reasons. There are a few explanations why people might time their marital dissolution this way. It might just be too difficult to announce a divorce around family-oriented Christmas time, especially if there are kids involved. Plus, January is a time for making resolutions, and some people resolve to make a fresh start in the new year when they are unhappy in their relationship.
During the summer, couples may look at their vacation as an opportunity to give it one last shot, and what they were hoping would happen didn’t occur. For others, it could be that people don’t want to ruin a family getaway, or that vacations are so stressful they drive the already-dissatisfied to divorce. The more likely reason could be that people decide their differences are irreconcilable right after a big trip.
If you have made up your mind, or if you think it is likely, there are some things you can do to prepare yourself financially.
- Always maintain a level of financial independence.
- Start saving money because divorce is expensive.
- Document your financial history and track everything including your income, your spouse’s income, your expenses, debts and assets.
All of us at C.E. Borman & Associates know how tough wading through the divorce process can be. Feel free to contact our firm at any time if you have questions or need advice. We also invite you to share this blog post with anyone who might find the information useful.
Our Team Is Growing!
To provide clients with the best support and representation possible, C.E. Borman & Associates is growing. We would like to take this opportunity to introduce John Williams, the newest member of our legal team. John is an associate at the firm and brings with him outstanding professional and educational experience.
People have a desire for companionship and they are willing to risk a lot for love. With 9 out of 10 Americans getting married at some point in their life, it seems like a good idea to get married. There are financial benefits and married couples are traditionally happier and more economically stable than their single, divorced, or separated counterparts. However, your marriage is in question and you’re facing a real dilemma.
A divorce or separation is hard to deal with regardless of how your separation goes down. This will feel deeply frustrating. You will want to argue over details, assign blame, and defend your actions … but here’s the truth: it really doesn’t matter any more. The kindest thing you can do for you and your spouse if divorce is what you want is to be very clear about your decision and be clear about what you want.
The Sooner the Better!
For whatever the reasons, wrapping your mind around the fact that you’re getting divorced (or even thinking of divorce) is not to be taken lightly. It’s traumatic! Deciding to divorce is one of the most crucial decisions you can make with consequences that last for years or even a lifetime.
Most couples who begin a divorce are unprepared and are often not even in agreement. Usually on some level there is a struggle to understand why it’s happening. You or both of you are not really ready for the divorce, but you know it is inevitable.
Why Consult A Divorce Attorney?
For divorce to be a collaborative and respectful process, you must be prepared and ready to separate your life from your spouse completely. For most people, taking the first step and making an appointment for an initial consult with a divorce attorney is a highly emotional experience. During this critical time of making your decision, you need to get prepared to do what it takes to finalize your divorce as quickly as possible so you can move on with your life.
Being prepared is key. When you attend the first meeting with a divorce attorney, plan to spend about an hour to discuss all your concerns and ask questions. It’s best to be organized and have a list of specific things you want to discuss during your appointment.
Questions to Ask Yourself
In addition to your list of questions, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- Who is the best divorce attorney to hire?
There are many general attorneys who practice in more than one area of family law such as adoption, estate planning, wills, and divorce. It’s important to do some research and identify the experienced divorce attorneys who have handled several divorce cases from start to finish. This will ensure the lawyer actually specializes in divorce and family law.
- Do I think my divorce is going to be high conflict or amicable?
Each lawyer has their own style of practice. Litigators are focused on the fight and want to win. Their experience is making your case in court. Sometimes, you have no choice but to fight it out in court. However, that may not necessarily be what’s best for you and your situation. A good attorney who’s reasonable, fair and looks to amicably resolve issues first is an attorney who will keep your interest in mind.
- How much legal work will be involved to make sure I get what I want?
The bottom line is that when you consult with a divorce attorney, you have an opportunity to get the facts and details all out on the table and start to understand how to best proceed with your divorce. It is a process in and of itself. Once you are prepared and ready, you will sooner be able to begin the divorce process.
Whether you are the one who wants the divorce or the one who is having to respond to your spouse wanting the divorce both situations have one thing in common, the marriage is ending. Being prepared and having a clear understanding of what you want from the marriage helps minimize the pain. In addition, the attitude you choose will determine the type of divorce you have.
ASK FOR HELP
Our experienced attorneys are here to help you with your divorce. Call for a consultation with one of our divorce attorneys and get the answers to all your questions. Contact the Family Law Firm of C.E. Borman & Associates at 979-846-4090 for an appointment.
Unless you’ve gone through a divorce before, it’s not very clear what you’re suppose to do after the divorce is final. You may be counting down to that marked day on the calendar when your divorce is final, and thinking all the conflict, cost and collateral damage will be over. While you’re waiting for that day to arrive you may dream of the day when it’s over and you can take a long vacation by the beach, relaxing and soaking up the sun. Why not! You certainly deserve a dream vacation after surviving the grueling process.
The truth is no two marriages are alike. Just like no two divorces are alike. The divorce process will be similar no matter where you live. Most divorces can be very difficult and hard to deal with. Anyone going through a divorce will tell you it is like being on a roller coaster for a while, but it does get better after your divorce is over and you begin to create your separate life.
To keep moving forward after your divorce, the first step is to get organized. Gather all your bills, a calculator, a pencil, a calendar, your checkbook and your divorce judgement.
Blueprint Your Divorce Judgement
Your divorce judgement says what is supposed to happen, but you are responsible for making it happen. To make matters more complicated, there is not one place to go to get it all done. You must separate your bank accounts, deal with your debt, and divide up your stuff. That means you are the one to cancel credit cards, fill out forms, request name and address changes, and gather what is needed from multiple offices, websites, and do whatever it takes to re-establish yourself as a separate entity.
Here is a checklist of important things to do to start separating your life after your divorce:
To-Do List After Your Divorce
- Change your name. If you plan to change your last name, you’ll need to get a certified copy of your divorce judgement immediately. Once you have it, change your name everywhere! Change your name on your driver’s license, your social security card, all your credit cards and bank statements, health insurance, investment accounts, insurance policies.
- Make a plan. Go through your divorce judgement and put deadlines in your calendar for all the important dates! Add to your list the things that are not in your judgement. Mark the calendar when money will be transferred to your accounts from retirement and other accounts, when your spouse is supposed to pay off any bills that are in your name and follow up to see it happened.
- Change passwords. Change your passwords on all your devices for personal email, business, banking and social media accounts.
- Cancel joint bank accounts. Cancel joint credit cards. If you still share a balance on a joint credit card with your ex, transfer that portion of any joint balances onto their own credit card, change authorized user access, and change beneficiary designation on your life insurance, 401(k)s, and any other with designated beneficiary
- List your property. Refinance the mortgage on the marital home and get a quitclaim deed to re-title your property. Gather all the transfer forms like titles to vehicles before the divorce. Then you’ll be ready to send them after your divorce is final.
- Make a new Will. and power of attorney for property and healthcare
- Get healthcare. If you don’t have your own health insurance when you get divorced, be sure to put this as a priority. There are deadlines that may apply for certain policies.
- Update kids contacts. List you and your former spouse’s names as contacts with your children’s schools and any other activities they are enrolled in at outside of school and church.
Although divorce proceedings may be over, the process to separate everything is just beginning. As the head of the household, it’s up to you to make sure that your entire family’s needs are being met. To do that, you need to be extremely diligent when it comes to your time and money management basics. It’s tempting to want to avoid thinking about more paperwork after your divorce is finalized. But the work you do after your divorce may be more important than everything leading up to it.
ASK FOR HELP
Dealing with your divorce may seem impossible, but you do not have to go it alone. Our experienced attorneys are here to help if you need it. Call for a private consultation with our family law attorney and get straight answers to all your questions. Contact the Family Law Firm of C.E. Borman & Associates at 979-846-4090 for an appointment.
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At C.E. Borman & Associates, we put our hard won experience to work for you. Call (979) 846-4090 or contact us online to talk about your legal concerns.
We offer legal services to clients in Brazos, Robertson, Madison, Burleson, Grimes, Washington, Austin, Lee and Leon counties.
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C.E. Borman & Associates has been selected for the 2014 College Station Best Businesses Award for Divorce & Family Law