You may be surprised to hear this from divorce attorneys, but at the Sisemore Law Firm in Fort Worth, we never advocate for divorce. Whether you should get divorced or not is up to you. However, it is important to understand the ramifications of dragging your feet on getting divorced because it could negatively affect your divorce settlement and child custody rights in Texas.
Egregious behavior may make it easier to justify divorce
Obviously, in cases of family violence and adultery, ending a marriage can be warranted. You’ve made a vow to love and honor each other in sickness and in health, until death do you part. If your spouse cheats on you or is physically or mentally abusive, he or she has breached those vows both biblically and civilly.
Should you decide to file for divorce the Texas courts typically will consider evidence of domestic violence and infidelity when determining a divorce settlement,, as well as child custody and visitation. Keep in mind, you will need to provide proof that abuse or cheating occurred, and it’s up to the judge to decide how that will have an impact on the settlement. Evidence may include police reports, video, threatening texts or voicemails to prove family violence and evidence of wasting community funds on a lover for adultery.
Timing is critical in Texas divorce and child custody cases involving family violence and adultery
Unfortunately, victims of family violence are often wooed back by their abusers—some time and again. Many judges won’t take accusations of domestic violence as seriously and assume things couldn’t have been that bad, if the alleged victim keeps going back to the alleged abuser.
In the event that there are serious circumstances with family violence, adultery and other forms of egregious behavior, and you wait years to do anything about it, the severity and the effect on the division of property typically will diminish over time.
Timing is also critical for couples that have simply grown apart
Many people just don’t want to deal with the fact that their marriage is over or the hassles involved with divorce but it could cost you big time if you wait. Texas is a community property state, which means that any assets, income and debts you accrue from the date of marriage up through the date of divorce are considered community property.
For example, say you and your spouse have been separated for a few years. You’ve gone on to open a thriving business during the separation and view that business as your own. Now, three years into your separation, your spouse files for divorce and wants a piece of the pie. Guess what? He or she will be entitled to a big chunk of that pie and any other community property you have accrued during the separation.
Get honest legal advice about divorce and child custody in Tarrant County
If you live in Tarrant County and want to better understand your options for divorce and child custody in Texas, we’re here to help. At the Sisemore Law Firm in Fort Worth, we won’t tell you when it’s a good idea to get divorced but we can give you honest advice about what to expect.
To schedule a confidential consultation with our founder Justin Sisemore, contact us. Feel free to call our firm at at 817.336.4444 or visit our contact page to schedule online.