How Can A Woman Protect Herself In A Divorce?

By Cassandra Daniels | December 2, 2022

Hundreds of women every year ask themselves…How can a woman protect herself in a divorce?

No two divorces are the same.

This is why a woman with particular concerns about a potential divorce should seek an experienced divorce attorney to offer the best legal advice possible. Every bit of personal information will impact the strategy chosen to win their case.

Need an informed, fierce, and understanding divorce attorney in Houston? Call Cassandra Daniels today.

Top 5 Ways Women Can Protect Themselves In A Divorce & Other Critical Tips

Below are 5 critical items you should investigate, understand, or consider before and during your divorce.

1. Hire A Divorce Attorney

You will have questions, and only a hired divorce attorney can provide legal advice for your case. You may find general answers to your questions online, but only information from a hired divorce attorney is considered legal advice that you can follow confidently.

As an example, did you know that Texas does not have alimony?

It’s true. It’s also a question many women have about getting a divorce in Texas. This is because Texas has what it calls spousal maintenance rather than alimony. You must meet the requirements to be eligible for it. Be aware that spousal maintenance is not a long-term payout.

Requesting Spousal Maintenance

Asking for spousal maintenance is more involved than making a simple request. Eligibility for spousal maintenance depends on several requirements and determining factors, such as:

  • Convictions against the other spouse or children involved
  • Timing of the request
  • Physical or mental disability
  • Length of marriage
  • Education and employment skills
  • Current income

Neither spouse is entitled to spousal maintenance. Termination of spousal maintenance is also a possibility in terms of:

  • Death of either party
  • Remarriage of the obligee
  • Obligee cohabitation from a dating or romantic relationship

If you have questions about spousal maintenance, hire a divorce attorney in Texas to answer your questions accurately.

Avoid going through your divorce uninformed, and hire Daniels Law Firm in Houston as soon as possible.

2. Think About What’s Important To You

If you have children, property, and even questions about insurance, wills, and inherited assets you want to protect – now is the time to think about what matters to you.

Protected Versus Unprotected Assets In A Divorce In Texas

Texas considers community property as any property, other than separate property, acquired by either spouse during marriage.

Texas outlines the distinct meaning between separate and community property because many people end up questioning the following:

  • Property owned or claimed by the spouse before marriage
  • Property acquired through an inheritance or gift
  • Personal injury recovery costs sustained by the spouse during marriage

All of the above is considered separate property. However, knowing its definition may not stop you from asking more refined questions like…

Are personal injury recovery costs shared between spouses if only one spouse is awarded a payout?

Do you share an inheritance if a family member added your spouse to the will just before they passed?

Do I have the right to kick my spouse out of my home if I owned it before marrying them?

If you have questions like these, it’s important to have a divorce attorney to guide you through each answer based on your specific situation.

RELATED: Read Surprising Ways Divorce Can Affect Your Finances

3. Assess Your Finances & Secure The Funds To Have Legal Representation

Make sure you have the requisite funds to afford the divorce process.

For example, if you’re not working, not the primary provider, or don’t have easy access to the necessary funds to secure your legal representation, you need to consider how you will pay your court and attorney fees moving forward.

Many women question their financial security and whether they can use shared accounts to pay for legal services. Remember, if funds are considered community property, you can use those funds to secure legal expertise. This is why you must have access to joint accounts, investments, and anything else you need to assess your finances properly.

Talk to your financial advisor, accountant, and whomever else you might have to assess:

  • Gaining access to all accounts
  • Debt (credit cards, mortgage, car payments, etc.)
  • Current and future expenses
  • Other potential holdings

Gather everything you need to secure this information, including account numbers, passwords, usernames, hard copies, etc., before hiring an attorney to ensure a strategic solution best serves your needs.

Can I Make My Spouse Cover All Legal Costs?

You cannot force your spouse to cover anything for you without an agreement on record. Furthermore, whether you are awarded attorney fees is based on the discretion of the court. If you want your spouse to cover your legal costs, bring it up to your divorce attorney so they can prepare accordingly.

4. Find A Positive Support System

Remember, your spouse and their legal team can use anything you say or do against you before your divorce is final. It’s essential to support your mental and physical health as best you can before and during the divorce process. 

An ideal way to do this is by exploring and joining:

  • Support groups for divorcing or divorced women
  • Religion-based affiliations 
  • One-on-one professional therapy or counseling
  • Family therapy or counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Workout and/or healthy eating programs

Joining one or several organizations like the ones above can help you avoid mental clouding to keep you in check, so you aren’t making decisions or saying things you may regret later.

Counseling For A Pending Divorce

The court may request counseling from a court-appointed professional for either party during the divorce process. However, it’s important to know that this isn’t a typical request and will not usually be required to get a divorce.

5. Understanding A Temporary Restraining Order

Texas uses a temporary restraining order as a step in the legal process. In the example of divorce, upon filing, the court signs off on this type of order for 14 days before hearing testimonies. You can think of it as freezing any movement and other actions to get you in front of a judge so they can listen to testimonies and continue the process.

What Should I Avoid Doing During These 14 Days?

It is necessary to avoid:

  • Communicating with your spouse
  • Threatening your spouse
  • Harming your spouse physically
  • Attempting fraud

And a number of other actions during these 14 days.

Also, if there are any active standing injunctions against you by the court that extend beyond the initial 14 days, you still need to follow that order for as long as is required.

Again, avoiding these actions is why it’s so important to have positive mental and/or physical support throughout the divorce process.

What To Know About Moving Forward

Your life will change when your divorce is deemed final. Part of moving forward for you might include reclaiming your single identity following your divorce.

To reclaim your single self, consider updating your will, establishing new bank accounts, making all changes with your employer, and updating emergency contacts if needed.

You might also want to take basic steps to change your name, social security card, Texas driver’s license, passport, and so on with your maiden or newly chosen name post-divorce.

Don’t Go Through Your Divorce Alone Without Guiding Expertise

As a woman, it’s key to ask…How can a woman protect herself in a divorce?

Hiring a knowledgeable and experienced divorce attorney in Houston could be the difference between asking yourself what you could have done versus feeling confident about your decisions.

Ready to hire a divorce attorney in Texas? Contact the Daniels Law Firm to get started.

The information in this blog post is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from Daniels Law Firm or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

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