Tips When Going Through a Divorce in Texas

Going Through a Divorce

When people think of going through a divorce, they may picture a drawn out, frustrating, and contentious ordeal. While this stereotype may be proven true, amicable divorces ARE possible. The potential for a healthy divorce and smooth process hinges on several factors, including the right mindset from both parties, intentional planning, and a knowledgeable family lawyer to guide the way.

The reality is that some divorces can be resolved without going to trial, which can dramatically decrease the cost related to the divorce process, making out-of-court resolution ideal when possible.

Mediation is one alternative to litigation to discuss with your lawyer. Mediation is often a one-day event that requires a clear negotiation strategy: this is where your attorney is an important resource and guide. If the idea of working out the details of your divorce agreement with your spouse isn’t pleasant, remember that having an attorney and a mediator can help create a safe atmosphere to freely discuss your concerns and work on coming to a communal arrangement.

Discussions surrounding emotional topics such as child custody may benefit even more from your willingness to mediate, because you know your children’s specific needs best. If you are interested in learning more about mediation, read through our article on how mediation can save money during a divorce.

Whether you choose mediation or litigation, these tips might increase the chance of your divorce process going more smoothly.

Before Going Through a Divorce Process, Thoroughly Prepare

By getting your “personal house” in order prior to becoming deeply enmeshed in the nitty gritty process, you may decrease the possibility of unnecessary headaches along the way.

Making smart personal decisions and thoroughly preparing for divorce might not be fun or easy depending on your situation. However, this is one area that you have more control over. The more prepared and informed you are, the smoother the process tends to be.

While not all these steps may apply to your situation, consider preparing in the following ways:

1. Assemble your personal support team

The challenges of going through a divorce can be very emotional, so it’s important to make sure that you take care of your wellbeing. Gather your support network, which might include family and friends, as well as formal support groups and professional counselor(s), to help you cope with the ups and downs.

2. Fully share your case details with your family lawyer

For your attorney to represent you well, they must have accurate and complete information. The investigation process focuses on all of the issues and circumstances related to your marriage – even the details that may feel uncomfortable to discuss.

Keep in mind that an experienced family lawyer has guided many people through cases and will be able to better advise you if you establish an open communication model. Your attorney can’t prepare for situations of which they aren’t aware, so honestly share the details of your situation no matter how difficult the subject.

3. Start gathering your documentation

Gathering documents during the Texas divorce discovery process can become one of the most time-consuming steps of the divorce process. The more time your lawyer spends assisting you at this stage, the higher their cost will ultimately be. Your family lawyer can provide you with a checklist, specifying which documents are needed and facilitating your own gathering process.

By proactively collecting and organizing all requested documentation, you may be able to avoid some of the hassle and expense that is often involved in the divorce process.

4. Be cautious with emails, texts, and social media

If you are in the the divorce process, most legal professionals would urge you to be cautious about what you share via any type of electronic communication. Even if your messages appear harmless, it is possible that content shared in emails, texts, and social media could be used as evidence against you during mediation or litigation.

It’s important not to speak badly about the other party on social media, texts, or emails. Any false comments, threats, or criticisms could harm your case and lead to unsatisfactory outcomes in the final divorce decree. Even when tempting, for instance, now is not the time to vent via text messages to your friend, as even these private communications could be used in court.

More details about this topic can be found in our blog post about social media use during divorce.

Establish a Civil Relationship With the Other Party

Even when emotions are running high, there are several reasons to maintain a civil relationship with your former spouse when going through a divorce and after the process.

If children are involved, a civil relationship might facilitate stronger co-parenting practices and help avoid some of the custody issues that can plague families. In cases that do not involve abuse or danger, striving to build civil relationship dynamics can increase the odds of smoother interactions and healthier boundaries in the future.

Both communication and compromise are important aspects in most people’s efforts to have a healthy divorce. Establish civil relationships, despite what you might be feeling about the other party at the time.

Going Through a Divorce

Communicate openly as much as possible

Open communication with the other party is necessary, if you want a healthy divorce that goes as smooth and inexpensive as possible. If you and your spouse aren’t able to civilly communicate directly, your lawyer may be forced to do all of the communication on your behalf, usually billing you for every communication.

If this feels like a sore point, developing a “script” to work from helps some people alleviate a portion of the intensity of face-to-face communication. If you find this idea appealing, then try to pick a time when you’re feeling calm to write down your “script,” noting all the points that you want to discuss to use as your guide during future conversations.

Prepare to compromise

No one involved benefits from a dragged out, unnecessarily long divorce process: this type of divorce is usually both emotionally and financially exhausting. The reality is that it’s very unlikely either party gets 100% of what either wants.

Preparing yourself to compromise throughout the divorce process can help you reach a resolution more quickly. If you can mentally prioritize what really matters to you and seek the advice of your family lawyer as a guide, you can stay on track and move forward.

Also, the less time you spend debating every issue, the less expensive your divorce will usually be. Continuing to argue or negotiate for what you believe is “fair” can cost you greatly in the long run, while compromise, on the other, can expedite the process.

Take Extra Care If Children Are Involved In Your Divorce

Research has shown that divorce affects children often just as much as it does adults, even if the impacts differ or don’t show up in the same ways. However, during a divorce, parents can do a lot to ease a child’s transition and protect their rights if a child’s wellbeing is prioritized.

Do your best to keep your conflicts with the other party away from any children involved. Ongoing parental conflict has been shown to increase kids’ risk of psychological and social problems.

The Texas Children’s Bill of Rights in divorce, which we explore more thoroughly in a different blog, highlights the following key reminders:

Avoid sharing all the details or bad mouthing

There are many reasons why parents should strive to treat each other with respect and compassion during and after a divorce, but perhaps one of the most important reasons is to minimize the negative affect on their child(ren).

Children learn how to process emotions and negotiate challenges by watching those closest to them. In most large counties in Texas, once a divorce is filed, there are standing orders (a set of rules established by the judges) that prohibit you from making derogatory comments about the other party within hearing or on social media that your child could have access to.

Going Through a Divorce

Don’t use children as a go-between

Sometimes when a parent doesn’t want to speak to the other party while going through a divorce, they use their children to deliver messages instead of speaking to them directly. This is harmful for everyone involved.

It is in the best interests of the children for both parents to stay active in their children’s lives during the divorce, but not to make them part of the daily discussions about it. This is a heavy emotional burden on a child. If a judge becomes aware of unhealthy communication, there may be repercussions.

There are multiple online communication tools, such as Our Family Wizard, that can be used to help facilitate communication between co-parents without involving the children.

Consider family counseling or co-parenting counseling

Family counseling can be a helpful outlet for children to process feelings associated with their parents’ divorce. It is often seen that when children have an idea of what to expect, they are less likely to suffer from anxiety, confusion, fear, and frustration surrounding the divorce.

Co-parenting classes co-parenting counselors can teach parents the skills to maintain a the type of relationship that provides a nurturing environment for their children. Additionally, co-parenting specialists and other mental health professionals can be important resources to help children adjust to the new changes in their life.

(Learn more about how co-parenting counseling can increase resilience in our blog, focusing on this helpful family resource.)

Choose an Experienced Divorce Attorney

Kelly J Capps

Kelly J. Capps is a knowledgeable family law attorney who works hard to find the best path forward for her clients and their families. From the conference room to the courtroom, we will work with you to develop a tailored strategy that reflects your unique situation and strive to help make going through a divorce process as smooth as possible.

If you would like to discuss your family law matter and/or any concerns that you may have about whether or not you are ready to file for divorce, contact our office or call our office at (512) 338-9800.


This article does not create an attorney-client relationship. Its purpose is to educate the public about the topic of family law. This article should not be seen as legal advice. You should consult with an attorney before you rely on this information.