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Getting details organized before initiating divorce proceedings

The holidays may be less than ideal for Texas couples to begin divorce proceedings, but the start of a new year is a popular time for divorce filings. In fact, many attorneys have noted that the number of divorce cases initiated in January significantly increases. Although many New Year's resolutions fall by the wayside after just a few weeks, divorce proceedings have significant implications once they are initiated.

Many divorce lawyers recommend making a careful assessment of the situation before getting started. It is best to work with professionals who are not connected to one's family to ensure that confidentiality is preserved. It is also wise to have an understanding of the financial and emotional implications of divorce. For example, a prenuptial agreement may simplify issues such as property division. However, the lack of such an agreement may result in contentions as issues such as the division of debts, the family home and other marital assets and liabilities are considered. A financial planner may help with an understanding of the costs of a divorce.

Working with a psychologist can be helpful as the emotional side of a potential divorce is assessed. An individual might be tempted to enter into divorce proceedings without a clear-headed evaluation of the factors involved, and in some cases, a psychologist or counselor might provide the balance needed to rethink such a decision. In other cases, this step might provide the understanding needed to approach divorce in a non-contentious manner to minimize stress for all parties involved.

In many cases, a couple can work through the aspects of a divorce without necessarily going to court. There are alternative dispute resolution methods that can provide direction and assistance in moving through the details of property division, child custody and alimony. However, each spouse should have separate legal counsel in order to ensure that any agreements reached can be enforced by a court if there are problems with compliance in the future.

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