From a procedural perspective, divorce in Plano follows the same big picture road map as divorce in any other city in Texas. It goes something like this: one spouse files for divorce, the other files an answer with the court, the spouses exchange information relevant to the divorce, and they negotiate an agreement and present it to the judge to sign. For a relative few, they will have a trial and let the judge decide how their assets will be divided and who will see the children when. But there are other considerations Plano residents might keep in mind when deciding to divorce.
For a suburb of a major metropolitan city, Plano is a large city in its own right. The population was reported to be over 286,000 in 2017. That’s larger than 37 of our state capitals in the United States. But in many respects, Plano can feel like a smaller town, or a collection of smaller towns. This may be driven by the way Plano’s school system is organized around three senior high schools, and maybe in part by the way the city is wedged between Dallas and suburbs north of it. Why is this information important to the issue of divorce?
Many people in Plano prefer to stay north of the PGBT toll road and south of 121 to avoid traffic. For those in the midst of a divorce, they don’t want to have to sit in traffic or stray too far from home while the kids are in school to meet with an attorney. With the population it boasts, the good news for those divorcing couples is that there are a number of excellent divorce attorneys within the Plano city limits. This includes attorneys trained in the Collaborative Divorce process. There is no need to drive far from home to find well qualified attorneys to represent you.
Now let’s turn to that smaller town issue. For many, divorce is something they feel they have to hide from others. No one goes into a marriage thinking they are going to divorce. As a result, when divorce is inevitable, they feel like they have failed and want to keep it quiet for as long as they can. (This is a topic for another week, but regardless, it is a commonly felt emotion.) If someone, particularly a divorcing parent, does have this feeling, they may have a fear of finding an attorney too close to home. What if that parent and the attorney have children at the same school? What if you shop at the same grocery store? If you are concerned about whether your children and that of your attorney’s may know each other, or bumping into one another while out and about, talk about it in the consultation. It may not be an issue at all. Keep in mind that an attorney who lives in the same city or town as you may understand your situation better. That attorney may have a better appreciation for the schedule your life revolves around, and that knowledge may help you when weighing options for an agreement.
One final point… If you and your spouse decide you will continue to live in Plano after the divorce, the city may feel small if you live close enough to one another. And if you have children together, you likely will want to live fairly close to one another. Using the Collaborative Divorce process to reach an agreement on your divorce is an excellent way to keep the animosity out of your divorce so that you are both able to move forward with as much peace as possible and preserve a positive co-parenting relationship for your children. You don’t want your children feeling like they are caught between the Hatfields and McCoys, and a Collaborative Divorce can help to avoid that.
Rhonda Cleaves is a Plano divorce attorney. She has received Credentialed distinction for her work in the area of Collaborative Divorce and works with clients throughout the DFW metroplex. To schedule a consultation, you can reach her at (972) 403-0333.