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Five Divorce Truths, Revealed

Advice from family lawyers to help you prepare

Making the decision to divorce is one of the hardest, most emotional decisions in a person’s life. Dealing with the heartbreak and disappointment that comes along with divorce can be enough to overwhelm the strongest person. Then, dealing with the legal issues of the breakup can push a person beyond where they thought their limit is.

1. The divorce will take twice as long as you think it will.

There are many factors that affect the length of time a divorce will take. First, in Texas, a divorce must stay on file for a minimum of 60 days. Usually, only the most agreeable divorces finish in that short time period. Divorces involving contested issues will inevitably take much longer. Plan for it.

2. It is going to cost twice as much as you think it will.

Abraham Lincoln is credited with saying, “A lawyer’s time and advice are his stock in trade.” Thus, the more time or advice you need from lawyer, the more your divorce will cost. The easiest and least expensive divorces are those where the spouses can agree on all of their issues. In this event, the attorney becomes the draftsman of the legal documents. If the two spouses cannot agree, lawyers will have to advocate through the process to either reach an agreement or ultimately have a contested trial where a judge decides the issue(s).

3. There will be bad feelings between you and your ex.

The reality is that you will probably have bad feelings between you and your soon-to-be ex during the divorce process. This is normal. However, especially if you have children, it is best to try to suppress those feelings for the most part. After the divorce is over, you can both move on and forgive the hurt. During the divorce is probably too soon for that.

4. The ex’s family will probably hate you, too.

Blood is thicker than water, as they say. During a divorce, this proves true. No matter how close you were to his mother during your marriage, getting a divorce now makes you “Enemy No. 1” and there will be hard feelings with his family. Hopefully you will all be able to keep some modicum of peace for the sake of the children. But, still, just accept that you are the common enemy.

5. You will feel awful during your divorce.

Feel lost? Sad? Like you can’t get out of bed? That’s pretty normal. Situational depression, they call it. Try yoga, running, or counseling. Take up a new hobby. Try something new that will occupy your mind so you aren’t hyper-focused on your sadness. Make your new thing healthy – you don’t want to wake up from your divorce fog one day with 100-pound weight gain, a new smoking habit, or worse. But know that the “feeling-like-poo” phase will end. You will get through this.

Anyone who has been involved in a contentious divorce wants an attorney who is willing to get in the arena and fight for them. This is exactly what you get with Best Lawyers Michelle O’Neil and Michael Wysocki. Known as the street fighters of litigation, they try more bench and jury trials than any other family law firm in the state. O’Neil has developed a reputable niche in family law appeals. Her work extends further than appealing to a higher court about what may be deemed an unfair decision in family law courts. She is often called upon by lawyers to co-counsel cases to assist with complex family law matters. She is known for her family law expertise in preparing and presenting motions for summary judgment, drafting trial briefs on special legal issues, creating the court’s charge and attending charge conferences, requesting findings of fact and drafting proposed findings, and preserving appellate error. O’Neil has tried more than 26 family law jury trials and handled more than 75 cases in the Texas appellate courts. Many of her cases have been first impression family law cases. Described by one lawyer as a “lethal combination of sweet-and-salty,” she exudes genuine compassion for her clients’ difficulties, yet she can be relentless when in pursuit of their goals. Having tried cases in over 50 Texas counties as well as countless bench trials and jury trials, Wysocki’s experience in the courtroom knows few rivals. He focuses on family law litigation across the state of Texas, representing men and women in divorce, child custody, and complex property division cases. He believes a family law attorney must possess the skills of a counselor, mentor, negotiator, and litigator. He knows that no two families, children, or cases are alike, and he finds creative ways to solve current problems while preventing future issues. Both O’Neil and Wysocki are Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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