In a recent interview, Daryl Weinman, founding partner of Weinman & Associates, P.C. in Austin, TX, revealed mistakes that people going through a do-it-yourself divorce often make. —
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When asked for a comment, she said, "Many couples going through the beginning stages of a divorce think that they have their bases covered and decide to proceed through the divorce process without legal help. In the majority of these cases, there will be issues that people fail to address - this is particularly true for couples with young children."
Failing to understand child support is one of the biggest mistakes made by parents who attempt to figure out child support on their own.
"I find that some spouses who come to my office are not aware of the fundamentals of child support, such as what child support covers or if they can even receive child support. In the state of Texas, the parent without custody typically pays child support in the amount stipulated in the state's guidelines," she commented.
Weinman continued by saying, "However, it's important to note that many parents find the amount of child support insufficient to cover all of a child's expenses. Instead of following the state's guidelines, divorcing parents can reach an alternative arrangement in the child's best interest, something that an experienced family lawyer can help navigate you and your spouse through."
Following from this, according to Weinman, many couples in a DIY divorce also fall into the trap of thinking that they don't need to worry about the specifics of a parenting plan for child custody.
“It’s all too common that spouses think that because they are amicable toward each other at the beginning of the divorce that they don’t need to worry about what form language for a parenting plan actually means. However, it’s entirely possible that their feelings toward each other will change after the divorce is finalized.”
She further added, "When getting a divorce, you want to make sure that you have a clear understanding of all of the language in your order, just in case circumstances change and you have to default to what the order says. Otherwise, this could mean that you have little to no input in decision making for your children, or that the schedule you will now have to follow is not what anyone is used to. Children need a consistent and predictable routine following the divorce."
Another major misconception held by couples in a DIY divorce is assuming that filing for divorce without the help of a lawyer is a simple process.
When asked to elaborate, Weinman said, "County courts might have their own particular filing requirements and process, which could mean that you could be faced with endless red tape for years, you may end up going to the courthouse multiple times before you get it right, and you’ll end up with a much-delayed divorce.
"The best thing to do is to get the paperwork done right the first time. It is much more expensive to fix mistakes later. To do that, you should get in touch with someone who is seasoned in family law in your area. They will know the ins-and-outs of the local court system, they can make sure you don't run into any major hurdles along the way, and they can help you to foresee and prevent issues that may come up in the future," she said.
Name: Daryl Weinman
Email: Send Email
Organization: Weinman & Associates, P.C.
Address: 8200 N Mopac Expy #230, Austin, TX 78759, USA
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