Divorcing with Kids,house and dogs...what Can I Do

Updated on May 26, 2012
K.H. asks from Grand Prairie, TX
10 answers

I have heard to let my husband file first so he will have to pay court fees etc then i've also heard that i need to file first so it will look better for myself. I'm clueless about it all. I dont know the first thing to do. I have teenagers 2 girls they want to stay with myhusband and my son is 12 wants us to stay with the both of us. Where can i go to get assistance or anything i'm listening.
I'm looking for someone who knows the ins and outs of this process and all. Neither one of us wants the house. He makes twice as much as i do and if i have to pay child support fine i just want it to be done i'm tired of the fussing all the time day in and day out. I hate going home, i take te long way home after work trying to find anywhere else to be. I heard about legal aid but if they going by my salary alone i'm not sure if thats considered low income or not. so much i dont know i just need someone to help me find out the first thing i need to do. ive been taking off work because i cant focus. i need this to be over and done with as soon as possible and cheap as possible. i only make 1100.00 twice a month and we still pay the bills at home. any advice i'm all ears.
I just want it all to be over with asap.

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answers from Dallas on

You can do this pro se if you both can agree on the terms. You can find the documents on line. I did this but had a lawyer as a friend who helped guide me through the process. If it is unlikely you will be able to agree on terms, you should get a lawyer asap. If there savings, investments property or significant debt, I would get a lawyer anyway. Most lawyers will do an initial consultation for free and they can give you an idea on cost and how to pay.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from San Francisco on

Both of you will have court fees. Whoever files first (Petitioner) will pay a filing fee and the other (Respondent) will pay a first appearance fee.

It doesn't make any difference who files - it does not put you in a better light to have beaten the other one to the punch.

If neither one of you want the house, why not get it ready and put it on the market now with the understanding that you each get 1/2 of the proceeds. The court will enforce that even if you sell before the final property order is entered by the court.

Your local courthouse may have what's called a Family Law Advisor who can help you.

If I were you, I would go to the bank with hubby and close out all accounts with 1/2 of each account going to you and 1/2 going to him. Then, I would open my own account(s) and start looking for a place to move to. Once you've done just that much, you will feel better because you won't have to dread going home every day.

Also, go ahead and get the paperwork going for the divorce. Doesn't sound like it's going to be contested. If you and hubby are able to, work out a custody and visitation plan and division of the assets.

If you guys can work all of this out, the divorce should go a lot smoother.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Hi Kay,

Sorry you are going through this.....

It doesn't matter who files. Odds are you will each have to pay your own court costs and attorney fees - unless one of you is proven to be "hostile" and then sometimes the judge will have the person who is hostile and not trying to work it out pay the "extra" court costs due to sending back paperwork etc.
My ex filed and we BOTH had court costs and attorney fees.

It doesn't really "look" any way. What a judge wants to see are parents who are trying to make this a good situation for their kids. And thats all they really care about.

Are you amicable? Can you reach an agreement together on who gets what and how you handle custody and child support? If so, you could go to mediation, which will be MUCH less expensive and save you a bunch of time.

Good luck

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Tyler on

I've heard that if the man files first he has to pay alimony (in Texas?). May be whoever?..husband or wife?...I have no idea??...no reason to research this topic..But I do think I would consider an attorney..at least have one in mind if needed at a later date??...sometimes it starts out amicable and then gets ugly as time goes on..

My personal opinion is to work on the marriage. Feelings/emotions change!!! Wait a few months. Date each other. Do for each other the things you'd do with a new boyfriend/girlfriend you were trying to impress. You might be surprised. There was enough there for you 2 to marry in the first place...It's still there, just needs to be stirred up. Everybody goes thru times of disagreement and fusses...especially as the kids get older/busier, but it passes!!...life together can/will be good again..

If you are not already in one, Get in a good supportive church. Not sure where it is, but I've heard this is a good church???..if not the church for you, I pray you find the one that is!

I pray that you pray and seek God as to HIS will and obey..
and I will be praying for your entire family. So much to lose in this situation.. -(

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Legal aide only does criminal cases in my area now. They are so overwhelmed they just can't do other stuff.

It is hard on women nowadays. My friend is going through a divorce. He filed first, he makes $8,000 per month, she is a SAHM. He asked for her to pay the fees, her to pay spousal support, her to pay at least half the bills from the marriage, he wants her to pay for his attorney and all other bills related to this divorce, etc... he got temporary custody of the kids due to her not working and having the means to support them, he has not made the house payment in 2 months now even though the court order says he has to. He has taken the kids out of every after school activity and is changing their schools, even though the temporary court order states neither party is allowed to do that.

It is so much harder on women now. Joint custody is ruining the divorce process for everyone. They are starting to side with men because they expect women to have careers and be self supporting. It is so hard on them.

I think trying to get custody of the kids regardless of their wishes would be okay too. That way they can never doubt that you love them enough to fight for them. Even if they say they want to go with dad they would not want you to just give them up. Be sure and let them know how much you want to fight for them so they will know just how much you love them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

You need a divorce lawyer. Some will do a first time interview free. If you don't want the house, pay the lawyer instead of the mortgage. (Maybe your husband will pay the mortgage to save his credit.) You can't do this without a lawyer, Kay.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I don't think it matters who files first. I think Wickerpark girl is correct. I am sorry this is hard on you. Have you and your husband tried counseling? I can't stop you from filing divorce but how sad that three kids are involved. Are you willing/he willing to work out the issues? I look back at your past questions and haven't seen much trouble in the past to make a move now that is pretty extreme. If he won't go to counseling have you gone at least for your own mental well being? I am sorry this is happening to you Hugs!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I completely agree with R T. Your family is in my prayers.



answers from Seattle on

I'm one step away from Gamma Gs friend. Only difference is I have badass attorneys, or I'd have lost my son & the house (aka things I WANT), after being a SAHM for 10 years. Granted, he has better ones, but mine have worked their tails off. And my husband is an admittedly abusive alcoholic!

NOTHING beats an attorney, if you even want a shred of a chance of what you want.



answers from Dallas on

There is no legal aid for divorces. You have to hire an attorney if you want to make sure it is done right. If your husband hires an attorney, beware, you will need to get one on your own. Your attorney can only be your attorney. Same as your husband's can only be your husband's. If you have an attorney, the other attorney can only talk with your attorney. In Texas, alimony is based on the history between you and your husband and has absolutely nothing to do with who files first. It is a function of how long you've been married, your ability to work, etc. Of course, anything can be done by agreement. The better your attorney, the better it will be done and the most efficient. I suggest you consult with a few attorneys and decide which one is best for you. I recommend you John Haugen at the Haugen Law Firm. www.HaugenLawFirm.com. Best wishes and God bless!

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