About 20% of people that contact a lawyer about a divorce are not "ready" to actually get a divorce, according to a statistic cited by Dr. Phil on his show today Are You Ready For Divorce?  Dr. Phil believes that most people are too quick to get divorced. 

As a Dallas divorce lawyer, I routinely advise my clients that they should explore every option for keeping their marriage together before going the divorce route.  Dr. Phil agrees.  He says before you get a divorce, you should make sure your emotional business is finished, you are prepared legally, and you are ready to move to a co-parenting relationship with your spouse (instead of the married dynamics you have been in).

Dr. Phil has a Divorce Readiness Test:

  1. Have you done everything you can to save your marriage?
  2. Do you have unfinished emotional business?
  3. Have you researched, planned, and prepared yourself legally for divorce?
  4. Are you ready to adopt a new standard of conduct with your children?
  5. Are you will to create a new relationship as a co-parent?

To make sure you are ready for divorce, Dr. Phil suggests reading books about repairing your marriage, going to a marriage counselor, speaking with a clergy person or spiritual advisor, and spending time focusing on what each person’s role is in the marital break-up. Evaluate: How did the marriage go wrong? Is what fight is about worth ruining the marriage? Are you willing to put in the effort to make the relationship work? What is your role in causing the break-up?

You know you are ready for a divorce when you can walk out the door with no anger, frustration, or hurt.  Otherwise, you have unfinished business, says Dr. Phil.

Tomorrow… Divorce Survival Tips.

 

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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.