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Divorce Horror Stories: What We Can Learn from Them

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Is Divorce Always Difficult?

No matter what you do, divorcing is a painful process. Whether you've been with your former partner for a few years or decades, separating and going through the process of property division, custody, and other divorce matters can be stressful, overwhelming, and emotional. Even in relatively amicable and straightforward cases, it can be mentally, emotionally, and financially difficult.

We have all heard horror stories about divorces that would never end, which financially bankrupted someone, or were just exceptionally painful. However, there is a lot we can learn from these horror stories. Below we look at some common problems people face when going through a divorce and why they happen. We also provide some helpful tips to keep in mind if you are considering filing for divorce or have already started the process.

Keep reading to learn more.

Divorce That Drags Out for Years

One of the most common questions we are asked is, "how long will my divorce take?" While every case is different, people understandably want the process over as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, having your divorce case hanging over you can impede your ability to move on. While Texas has a relatively short mandatory waiting period (60 days) before a divorce can be finalized, it is not uncommon for the process to take longer.

Many people have heard about couples who have had their divorce cases drawn out for a year or longer. These cases tend to have extenuating circumstances that cause the process to be delayed.

Three common reasons your divorce may take longer to be finalized include:

  • Having to wait to be eligible for residency requirements – to file for divorce in Texas, one member of the couple must have been a continuous resident of the state for at least six months.
  • The couple struggles to agree on one or more divorce matters, such as property division, debt division, or custody – when a couple fails to agree, their divorce must be litigated in court, which causes the divorce to take significantly longer.
  • Paperwork is filed incorrectly, or judicial procedure is not followed – when someone fails to file the appropriate paperwork, or does not adhere to prescribed court procedures, the process can be delayed.

Unfortunately, there are also situations in which one party intentionally drags their feet or does things to delay the process to get back at their former spouse. These situations can be incredibly difficult to deal with, but the support of a skilled attorney can help you get through it.

High-Conflict Divorces

During a divorce, emotions are running high. Divorce is typically a couple's last option, and after a relationship has broken down, the couple may struggle to remain civil with each other, and communication becomes difficult and strained. Even when a couple initially agrees on important divorce matters, during the process itself, feelings can change dramatically, and people may change their minds.

Acrimonious or high-conflict divorces are incredibly challenging and can take a serious toll on your mental and emotional health. Furthermore, acrimonious divorces tend to take longer to resolve, costing you significantly more in court and legal fees.

People going through high-conflict divorces are also more likely to have to deal with serious problems related to hidden assets or dissipation of marital assets. Such moves are not acceptable to courts and can result in serious punitive measures.

Drawn-Out Custody Battles

Parents want what is best for their children. However, differences in parenting goals and parenting styles are an often-cited reason for divorce. What one parent wants for their child is not always the same as the other parent, and when going through a divorce, these differences in opinion and perspective can make for a very difficult divorce process.

You have likely heard stories about a parent who was wrongfully denied custody or whose former spouse pursued a fraudulent restraining order in an attempt to gain sole physical and legal custody. These stories can be incredibly scary for a parent going through a divorce. While the courts do everything in their power to develop custody orders that are fair and in the child's best interest, you are not alone if you are worried or scared about a drawn-out custody battle. This is why you must work with a knowledgeable, skilled attorney throughout your case.

Things to Consider When Divorcing

When going through a divorce, you will hear a lot of horror stories. It can be difficult not to let these stories get to you. However, we can consider these difficult examples and learn from them. Below we've provided a few things to consider when going through a divorce and how you can work to avoid some of the more difficult aspects of the divorce process.

Picking Your Battles

Disputes are the primary cause of long, drawn-out divorce cases. As you and your former partner work to come to a settlement agreement, it can feel like every issue is worth fighting over, from what to do with the family home to dividing your retirement accounts. One way to help smooth the process is to spend some time thinking about what really matters to you and what you are willing to compromise on. For example, are you willing to take on more of your shared debt to keep your retirement account intact? You should also make sure that you go into negotiations prepared. It can be easier to reach a resolution if you have spent time thinking through each matter with your attorney in advance.

Mediation & Collaborative Divorce

Another factor that can increase animosity and create greater stress while going through a divorce is when divorce matters have to go before a judge to be litigated. During divorce litigation, the courts have ultimate control over how disputed divorce matters will be resolved, leaving you with less of a say over how these issues are resolved. Additionally, divorce litigation is a lengthy, expensive process.

If possible, you should consider working with a mediator or using other collaborative divorce methods to keep your divorce out of court. Furthermore, mediation and collaborative law methods encourage working together to come to a resolution and can be very beneficial for divorcing parents who are in the process of developing an effective co-parenting relationship.

Choose the Right Lawyer for You

Perhaps the most important thing you can do when facing a divorce is secure legal. However, choosing an attorney can be incredibly difficult, and it is not uncommon to feel intimidated by the process.

When choosing an attorney, you should consider:

  • Resources – does the law firm have access to the resources you need for your case?
  • Reputation – does the law firm and the attorney have a good reputation in the area?
  • Availability – will the law firm and the attorney provide you with the personalized attention and care you need to feel confident?

At Hunt Law Firm, we strive to provide each and every client with the dedicated, one-on-one attention they deserve. Our attorneys are highly experienced and have a reputation for delivering personalized, compassionate legal services that speak directly to client needs. With extensive experience handling all types of divorce cases in Texas, including high net worth divorces, our law firm is prepared to help you today.