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The Attorney

C. Eric Schmidt - Attorney at Law


Marilyn Gale Vilyus - Retired Founding Attorney

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    Energy Corridor:
        14780 Memorial Dr, Ste 103
        Houston, Texas 77079



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How to Begin the Healing Process When Divorcing

By: Marilyn Gale Vilyus

Going through a divorce can be a painful, emotional roller coaster ride experience!!!!  But, you don’t have to “wait until it is over” to let the healing process begin!  It’s never too early to begin “moving forward” and everyone involved will benefit from your efforts!!

Although it is normal to feel “helpless,” the first step is to have a legal team that understands not only your legal needs, but also your financial and emotional ones as well.  Having an attorney you can trust allows you to confidently rely on the fact that the divorce process is going properly.  Despite the way you might feel at the moment, you will survive this craziness!!!!  Knowing you are in good hands lessens your stress!!!

Don’t hesitate to get counseling for yourself as well as your kids!  Sometimes in our lives we need to reach out to others for support, and a competent, objective professional counselor can be the perfect answer! 

Of course, family and friends are also a “lifesaver!”  While this is true, don’t forget that they can’t help but be “involved” in your story and so their role is, of necessity, different!!!! 

We hope that they will be supportive and reassuring to you!  However, they are not likely to have the professional clarity and objectivity to get you moving on the road to healing!  At this moment, the very last thing you want to hear is that they never liked your husband or wife in the first place!

A professional counselor will give you reliable advice you can count on!  They can help you “grieve” the loss of your marriage –- which is certainly normal and necessary -– but they can also give you specific strategies to help you move forward to creating a new life! 

If you have kids, they can help you with the difficult task of supporting a continuing relationship between your kids and your spouse at a time when you may be personally very upset with your spouse!  This can be a real challenge.  We all know that it is important to keep our kids “out of the fray,” but a counselor can give specific tips on how to actually do that!!!!

This might be a good time to call a spiritual advisor if you have one, or maybe to search out a spiritual community.  “Faith” can be a real comfort at a stressful time like this!

A trip to the bookstore or Amazon.com will provide numerous self-help books you might find encouraging!  Sometimes reading about other people's experiences can put our own into perspective!  Sometimes it's great to know we are "not alone" in how we feel or what we are going through!

Call 281.550.6650 for a free attorney divorce consultation.  In addition to helping you legally, we would be happy to refer you to other professionals who might be of service to you such as counselors, accountants, tax advisors and financial experts!

A lot of changes are suddenly taking place!  Even if the divorce was our idea, or even if we “knew it was coming,” the reality of a separation is a shock!  People CANNOT live apart more cheaply than they can together.  Many couples were barely paying the bills as it was – maintaining two separate households seems impossible!!!

            Following is just a “short list” of some common financially based challenges:

  • Finding a job, or maybe a new full-time job, especially in this economy,
  • Deciding who will live in the house – both while the divorce is pending and then again after the divorce is final (the answer may be different!!!)
  • Finding a new, affordable place to live in the same school district, if necessary
  • Making minimum monthly credit card payments,
  • Making new child support payments, in addition to regular monthly expenses, and
  • Deciding who will use which car, and who will pay the insurance and car payment.

Know that these problems go “with the territory” of having a divorce, and you will find your way through them!!!

Having kids causes additional unique issues to resolve:

  • Explaining what has happened and assuring the child that the divorce is not the child’s fault,
  • Working out visitation and managing it to coincide with the schedules of the parties and the children’s activities,
  • Resolving the custody issue in the best interest of all concerned,
  • Calculating fair child support,
  • Making sure that the children have medical insurance,
  • Agreeing on parental “rights and duties.”

Remember to keep your children’s interests ahead of your personal needs and you will stay on the right track!!!!!

O.K., so now (if you have any energy left), you find yourself alone and wonder about how being in the process of a divorce affects your social life.

This can be tricky!  Noone wants you to turn into a hermit and to hide from the world!  Some of you may have been separated a long time before your divorce was filed and everyone may know you have a new boyfriend or girlfriend!

Please remember that in Texas, you are married until the day you are divorced.  This is not just a moral issue (although it certainly is that as well).  Any money you spend on a “significant other” while you remain married is community property money.  It’s one thing if this amount is small.  However, following are examples of items for the benefit of your new opposite sex adult friend (or sometimes same sex friend) which could provoke your spouse into a demand for reimbursement:

  • Vacations, hotels, airfares, elaborate dinners,
  • Paying for an apartment or house,
  • Buying a car or making car payments,
  • Expensive jewelry or other gifts,
  • Expenses related to the birth of a child outside the marriage.

While we want you to heal and move forward in your life, keep in mind that the above pitfalls can complicate your divorce settlement!  So, use your best efforts to finalize your relationship with your spouse before making any new one public!!!!

Also, it doesn’t hurt to take some time off to be single!  This is your perfect chance to re-assess your own real needs, wants and your personal communication and relationship style before becoming seriously involved with a new person!

We are all human!  Few people do ALL of the right things ALL of the time and in ALL the right ways! 

There is light at the end of the tunnel!  Just know that all you can do is your best!  One day, “this too shall pass!”  The harder you try to make the best possible choices while you are divorcing, the closer you will be to a bright future and new chance for happiness!

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