During your divorce, you will need to hire a highly competent divorce attorney who knows the local Houston, TX rules and regulations. They can help you navigate this tricky process and figure out how to lay out your case, so you can get a positive outcome. When you first speak to your lawyer, you should give them as much information as possible because it helps them fight for your rights.
In addition to the facts of your case, they will need to know about assets and liabilities, the reasons for the breakup, relevant details about your children, and health conditions you or your spouse are struggling with. What’s more, you should paint a picture of what you want your life to look like after your divorce. That way, the attorney can focus on the most relevant aspects of the process and has a better idea of what to work towards.
What Does My Houston, TX Divorce Attorney Need to Know?
You will need to tell your divorce lawyer everything relevant to your case, so they can best help you. This includes a history of your marriage from when you first met your spouse to the day you decided to get a divorce. You should go into detail about the reasons for the rupture and what factors influenced the decline of your marriage. Then, you’ll have to mention all the assets and liabilities you both have, which will be split up equally.
If you have children, you should also speak about your preferred custody agreement and whether you’ve been the main caregiver for them in the past. Any health conditions you or your spouse have need to be addressed, as they can significantly affect the outcome. You should also paint a clear picture about your desired outcome and what you want your life to be like once the divorce is complete.
The History of Your Marriage
It’s easiest for your lawyer if you draw up a written history of your marriage. You can make a timeline that starts when you met your partner and ends in the present day. Such a document can be a helpful reference point when talking about the finer details of your case. On your timeline, mark any important events, even if they are not directly related to the divorce.
This could include the birth of your children, any incidents that affected the state of the marriage, financial decisions such as taking out student loans or buying a house, hospital visits or health problems, and employment or unemployment information. The more you tell your lawyer, the better they can represent you. Remember that there is attorney-client confidentiality, so everything you share will be kept between you and the professional you work with.
The Reasons for the Rupture
There might already be some indication of why the rupture happened on your timeline. Usually, multiple factors contribute to the breakdown of a marriage, and you will need to address them all. Most likely, both parties are partially at fault, and your lawyer will know this. Don’t try to hide any of the reasons, even if they paint you in a bad light.
For example, you might admit to sexual infidelity, lying to or cheating your partner, or even violence. It’s better to get this out in the open than to cover it up because your spouse’s attorney will mention it in court. If your lawyer has no idea about such issues, they will have a much harder time defending you because they haven’t had any time to come up with a strategy.
Details About Assets and Liabilities
Most people have a range of assets, such as your primary residence, your pension, or your car, and liabilities like loans or the mortgage. These will all be split equally during your divorce because Texas is a community property state. As such, it doesn’t matter who earned the income or paid for the assets, as long as they were acquired during the marriage.
You need to let your attorney know what you already had when you came into the marriage, as those assets are likely to be exempt. You will get to keep anything that was yours before the wedding or that was gifted specifically to you and not to the family. All property acquired during the union will likely be split 50-50, but you might be able to negotiate with your spouse if there are specific assets you’d like to keep.
Details Related to Your Children
Divorce is always tougher when children are involved, and your Houston, TX divorce attorney will need to know the details about your situation. For example, you should speak to them about who the primary caregiver is and how you’ve been involved in raising your children so far. Let them know your desired outcome, such as shared custody or sole custody, and why you believe this would be the best solution for the children.
Any Health Conditions
Health conditions can have a significant impact on the outcome of your divorce. If you have a severe physical condition or a mental health issue, you might have more trouble gaining access to your children. On the other hand, such an issue could allow you to get more assets or alimony because you can’t be expected to fund your own life if you’re severely disabled.
Even if your condition isn’t acute or if you’re managing it well, speak to your lawyer about what is going on and how it might impact your future. Similarly, give them detailed information about your spouse’s health and any potential problems.
What You Want Your Life to Look Like Post-Divorce
Finally, paint a picture about what your ideal outcome is. Demonstrating to your attorney exactly what you hope to achieve and how you want to live your life post-divorce can help them lay out your case. Since everyone is different, your wishes may not be the same as those of their previous clients. By being very clear about what you want, you can help them to act in your best interests.
How Your Attorney Will Help
All the information you give your attorney can be used to build your case and help you achieve a good outcome. While divorce is often messy and complicated, having a competent lawyer can help you move forward in your life without having to give up what you value most.
They will know all the relevant local and federal laws and use them to build a strong case. As a result, you might gain more assets, and you can work out an advantageous custody agreement.
Getting a divorce is a complex and involved process, and you will need all the help you can get from your Houston, TX divorce attorney. To make sure they can do the best job possible, you should tell them all the details of your case, even private and sensitive information. They will use it to build your case and grant you access to the assets that are most important to you.
Because attorney-client confidentiality protects you, there won’t be any risk when you speak to the lawyer about private matters. This is true even during your initial consultation, which serves to determine whether the attorney is a great fit. Call or message us today at Skillern Firm to book an appointment with Matthew Skillern, John Schmude, or another member of the team.