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It Is All About You

Too often in Family litigation, a party places focus in the wrong place. Divorces and custody cases are so full of emotional turmoil that priorities get misplaced. It becomes very easy for you to say, “I want to make him/her suffer and pay for what they have done to me.” The problem with that is that your priority should be YOU and your children if you have them.

In a divorce, you need to focus with specificity on what you need to get by each month and what your housing, job, and financial situation is going to look like post-divorce. You need to be as pro-active and involved in making those decisions as possible. The Court is going to divide property and make decisions about financial questions, like spousal support, with or without your full input. If you are focused on your soon-to-be ex-spouse, then you are not helping the Court to help you. Who cares if he/she thinks they got the better end of the deal, if you are happy and secure and free? Will it help you if you think you showed him/her, if you cannot afford to pay the light bill? This is the time to be selfish and make sure you are taken care of and not worry about anyone else.

It may help to know that the standard that the Courts must follow is not one of 50/50 or even “fair.” The actual general rule of property division is, “In a decree of divorce or annulment, the court shall order a division of the estate of the parties in manner that the court deems just and right, having due regard for the rights of each party and any children of the marriage.” Texas Family Code §7.001. That means exactly what is says. You must help the Court know what is just and right for you and your children. If you do, you will be able to step into your new life on the best footing possible.

In a custody case, you are not going to drive the other parent from your children’s lives because they choose not to live the way you want them too. What is important is making sure your children are safe, and emotionally and financially supported. If your children, and their true best interests, are your focus, you have a much better chance of being successful and raising happy healthy children. The Courts generally believe that children are better served by regular contact with both parents. There are exceptions, of course, but those are much less common than the internet would have you believe. Judges have stated repeatedly that they are not interested in knowing why you think the other parent is unfit or the wrong choice for your children. They want to know why you are the RIGHT choice to be the primary parent for your children. Again, give the Court the information on you, so that the Court can give you the relief you seek. The rest will work itself out as a general rule.

Remember, if you are involved in a Family case, it is time to take care of yourself and your children. Keep your eyes focused there, and you will achieve the right result for you.