valentines divorce-filingsValentine’s Day should be the day of love and romance, roses and chocolate. Right? For some yes, but for divorce lawyers, February is well into the swing of Divorce Season. Studies conducted by AVVO cite to a 40% spike in new divorce filings in the days around Valentine’s Day. Cynically, many point to someone not getting the right gift for Christmas or not enough flowers for Valentine’s Day. Others point to learning that a spouse shared Valentine’s Day with a girlfriend or boyfriend. Since many marriages end because of financial stress, another reason for the rise in divorce could be getting the bills from Christmas in the mail and fighting about how to pay them.

If you are planning for divorce in February, whatever the reason, be sure that you are ready for the reality of divorce. Make sure you have fully considered the very real emotional and financial negatives of divorce. Many women are worse off financially after divorce than they were before – some sinking into poverty level post-divorce. Others are lonely and scared to be alone. Think through what your situation will be after the separation and divorce. How will you pay the bills? Where will you live? Can you afford to keep the house or should you look elsewhere? Do you know what assets exist that are Texas community property subject to division during the divorce? Do you have access to cash to pay for living expenses when the divorce is first filed until a Court can enter temporary orders providing grounds rules for how the bills will be paid? And that doesn’t even begin to cover the issues surrounding finding and hiring a good Texas divorce lawyer to help you through the process.

There may not be answers to each of those questions – they may be ongoing thoughts. But start the process of thinking about them.

Hat tip:

Heartbreak! Divorce filings rise 40 percent around Valentine’s Day: study

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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.