A divorce can be the most emotional, traumatic, and stressful time that you ever experience. Unfortunately, coming to the realization that it's just not going to work out with your spouse anymore is often only the beginning of a long, complex process. The prospects of facing a drawn-out legal battle with the person you thought you could spend your life with can seem overwhelming. Fortunately, the attorneys at Dreyer & Mazaheri are dedicated professionals, with the ability to guide you through the rocky legal terrain.
All of this starts with our initial consultation. Because we pride ourselves on our ability to get you what you want in a divorce proceeding, we take great care to learn about what's important to you, so we can fully understand what your goals are. At our initial consultation, we'll discuss your options, and learn what you want most, so we make sure we advocate for your best interests.
It's important to get your legal counsel involved as early as possible in a divorce proceeding – even before you make the decision to end your marriage, if at all possible. Doing so allows us to better plan your legal strategy, avoid any pitfalls that might come up early in the process, and help you better understand what your options are. In some cases, the first few steps in a divorce proceeding can be the most difficult and not already having a divorce attorney on your side at that point can raise problems as the case progresses.
The Decision to Divorce
If you and your spouse are absolutely certain that your marriage is beyond repair, and that there's no other alternative, then filing for a divorce is your next step. Filing divorce papers is a huge life event. It is an ending, but also a beginning. Having experienced divorce attorneys, like those at Dreyer & Mazaheri, on your side at this point can make a huge difference in how you start out.
In Texas, divorces are initiated when both you and your spouse petition a court for a judgment of divorce. If you are the one who wants to divorce, then you will be the petitioner, and your spouse will be the respondent. If your spouse is the one who wants the divorce, then these roles will be reversed.
How well the petition is filed can have a great impact on how the divorce proceedings go. A poorly drafted petition can result in the respondent having a huge advantage, or can limit what the petitioner can get, even if the proceedings go well.
Early Divorce Proceedings
Once the petition for divorce is filed, the attorneys involved will go through the discovery process. This means that they'll gather all of the information they can that's relevant to the divorce. Dreyer & Mazaheri work closely with our clients throughout the divorce proceeding, including during the discovery process. We use all of the information that you provide on yourself, as well as the copious amount of information that we learn about your spouse, to help you get what you deserve.
As facts are gathered, negotiations will start. Ending a divorce quickly and cleanly is often in everyone's best interest, because divorces are incredibly stressful, and can quickly rack up attorney's fees and other expenses, especially if it progresses all the way to a trial. Coming to an agreement about the terms of the divorce can lead to everyone being as fully satisfied as possible, in a much shorter timeframe.
Important Issues to be Negotiated During Divorce
Most divorces also include numerous smaller issues that need to be resolved, as well, before everything can be wrapped up. These include:
· Child custody rights: If you had children with your spouse, one of the most important issues to be resolved is who can see them, and when. This is often the issue with the highest priority in a divorce case.
· Child support obligations: Oftentimes, the court in a divorce case will require the non-custodial parent to pay money to the custodial parent, to help financially support your child. These payments typically happen until the child turns 18, but they can be modified in certain circumstances.
· Division of property: Unlike most other states, Texas sees any property obtained by either spouse as belonging to the family community. A divorce, however, requires that this community property be split between you and your spouse. This can be a highly-contentious issue, especially if there's a lot of property to be divided.
· Alimony or spousal support: While child support is a financial payment to help your children, alimony is a payment to your spouse. The court can require you to pay alimony in certain circumstances.
· Relocation suits: Texas is a state that believes that it's important for your child to have contact with both of his or her parents. To facilitate this, Texas courts have the power to impose geographical restrictions on where the child lives, so that both parents can keep in contact, easily. These restrictions can impact you, though, if you need to move out of the area that your child is required to live in. If this is the case, then you'll need to investigate filing a relocation suit.
· Enforcement issues and modification of court orders: In the end, a divorce requires you and your spouse to do certain things. Unfortunately, sometimes your circumstances change that make it impossible for you to meet your obligations, and you need to modify the divorce agreement. Another issue is when your spouse stops meeting their requirements under the divorce agreement, and you have to take action to enforce the terms of what you agreed to.
As we help you negotiate with your spouse and his or her attorney, we'll slowly resolve these issues, and any others that may crop up. Oftentimes we manage to come to a complete agreement on all of the issues related to the divorce, and the case can be settled out-of-court, so you can avoid the stress and expense of a difficult and emotional trial. Through the process of negotiation, more than 95% of divorce proceedings settle out-of-court, with both spouses satisfied that they got what they wanted. However, we are fully prepared to vigorously advocate on your behalf should your divorce head to trial.
Dreyer & Mazaheri
At Dreyer & Mazaheri, we understand that each one of our clients is unique, and has their own set of goals in mind, as they go through the trying time of a divorce. These goals can even change, as things progress, and new information comes out.
Whatever your goals are, we are here to help. Our experience practicing family law in the area in and around San Antonio, Texas, has given us a proven track record of success. The people that we have represented in divorces agree: We understand the difficulties that you're facing, and we have solutions.
Having experienced divorce attorneys like us on your side from the beginning can be crucial to achieving your goals, as you go through the divorce proceedings. Call us at (210) 472-1400 and we'll help you on your way to a new beginning.