The stress of a divorce can make it difficult to think clearly. Ironically, it is during this time that you make some of the most important decisions in your life. These choices can affect you and your children for decades to come. 

Many decisions take time. You need to gather facts, consider different perspectives, and ponder how your actions affect the future. Here are some common areas of dispute. 

Custody

The issue: joint physical custody. Understandably, you may not want your child spending time with someone who has hurt you, especially in cases of lying and infidelity. However, Texas courts generally presume that shared physical custody is in the children’s best interest. 

The solution: focus. During your divorce, you and your spouse need to agree on a parenting plan. Focus on what is best for the children and do your best to set aside any animosity you feel toward your spouse. Do not try to limit parenting time out of revenge. 

Property

The issue: property division. You want to exit your marriage on solid financial footing. As a community property state, Texas regards most property acquired during marriage as belonging to both parties. However, getting a complete, clear picture of the marital assets can be tricky. 

The solution: knowledge. Enter divorce proceedings with a clear picture of the household finances. A professional appraiser may be able to help with assets that are difficult to value, such as retirement accounts, vacation homes, airline miles or an art collection. 

Using this approach may keep you from making the mistakes that result in long-term regret.