How do you protect yourself and prepare for a divorce?  You must know your rights under Texas divorce law when it comes to spousal support, child support, and marital assets.  It also helps to know the outlook of the judges in the county you live in who might be likely to hear your divorce case, such as Dallas County Divorce Judges or Collin County Divorce Judges.  Sometimes how a judge views the law and the facts that fall within the law can vary from county to county.

Here are some Divorce Survival Tips to help you get ready:

  • Divorce proceedings can be like war — be prepared for the battle. It doesn’t have to be like war, and can be handled collaboratively, but people can’t get along well enough to reach agreements.
  • Consider the timing of the divorce.  Consider whether it is beneficial for you to stay in the marriage until a particular time.  Example, your spouse is set to receive a bonus at the end of the year.  If you file the divorce prior to that time, you risk a claim that the bonus is not marital property.  Or, is there a benefit to making it to the 10-year-marriage mark?
  • Consult with an attorney, or more than one attorney, to make sure you are getting the best advice for your situation.
  • Gather the information you will need to present your best case.  You will need all of the documents related to financial accounts, real property, debts, etc.  (Check out Divorce Cost and Prep from DivorceApps.com for an iPhone App that will help you put together a list of documents that your lawyer might need.)
  • Don’t put the kids in the middle of your divorce.  Work something out with your spouse so that you can both stay involved in the kids’ lives and co-parent them together.
  • Don’t talk to everyone you see about your divorce.  Keep your conversations very limited to just the one or two people you know you can trust and who won’t talk to your spouse.

Dr. Phil has his own set of Divorce Survival Tips.

See related post:  Dr. Phil asks, Are You Ready For Divorce?

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Photo of Michelle O'Neil Michelle O'Neil

Michelle May O’Neil has 27 years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes…

Michelle May O’Neil has 27 years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes genuine compassion for her client’s difficulties, yet she can be relentless when in pursuit of a client’s goals. One judge said of Ms. O’Neil, “She cannot be out-gunned, out-briefed, or out-lawyered!”

Family Law Specialist

Ms. O’Neil became a board-certified family law specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1997 and has maintained her certification since that time. While representing clients in litigation before the trial court is an important part of her practice, Ms. O’Neil also handles appellate matters in the trial court, courts of appeals and Texas Supreme Court. Lawyers frequently consult with Ms. O’Neil on their litigation cases about specialized legal issues requiring particularized attention both at the trial court and appellate levels. This gives her a unique perspective and depth of perception that benefits both her litigation and appellate clients.

Top Lawyers in Texas and America

Ms. O’Neil has been named to the list of Texas SuperLawyers for many years, 2011-2018, a peer-voted honor given to only about 5% of the lawyers in the state of Texas. In 2014-2018, Ms. O’Neil received the special honor of being named by Texas SuperLawyers as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas, Top 100 Lawyers in Texas, and Top 100 Lawyers in DFW. She was named one of the Best Lawyers in America for 2016 and received an “A-V” peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directories for the highest quality legal ability and ethical standards.

Author and Speaker

A noted author, Ms. O’Neil released her second book Basics of Texas Divorce Law in November 2010, with a second edition released in 2013, and a third edition expected in 2015.  Her first book, All About Texas Law and Kids, was published in September 2009 by Texas Lawyer Press. In 2012, Ms. O’Neil co-authored the booklets What You Need To Know About Common Law Marriage In Texas and Social Study Evaluations.  The State Bar of Texas and other providers of continuing education for attorneys frequently enlist Ms. O’Neil to provide instruction to attorneys on topics of her expertise in the family law arena.