PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Dallas July_August 2021

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I f you want a lengthy, expensive divorce, you can have it. Just look for the ads with family lawyers who promise vengeance against the parent of your children. Fixate on having your day in court, when all wrongs will be redressed, with your ex-spouse declared the villain and you the innocent victim. Push those emotions down and stay stuck in revenge mode. Burn through financial resources and create new wounds instead of planning for a better future. You won't have trouble finding a lawyer to fight those battles. For a price. Law partners Dawn Budner and Carla Calabrese are not those lawyers. They created Emotionally Intelligence Divorce® for clients who want to make their own decisions about the future for their family—regardless of how challenging that may be. We asked the duo some of your most pressing questions about divorce. In divorce, you have the same income stream, but double the expenses to establish two households, with legal fees for both of the spouses. Do you see clients depleting their estates with all of these expenses? "The best advice I can give to a client is to stay laser-focused on the future, versus spending a lot of legal time and personal energy on the past," Calabrese says. "It sounds enticing to think that the court might make your spouse pay for his or her wrongs. The problem is the court may not see it your way, and even if it does, the litigation costs often completely outweigh any benefits." How do you keep clients focused on the best outcome for themselves and their children, especially when they are triggered by the other side's tactics or when they feel their spouse has done wrong? "Most parents say the children are their number-one priority, but they may not be aware of their own reduced emotional functioning while in the throes of divorce," Budner says. "They don't see how intense feelings impact their own thinking and behavior, much less how they impact their children, who are struggling to understand what's happening to the family. Divorce is a mental-health event for families. Nobody is immune. When clients are suffering emotionally, I advocate for getting the right support. Emotional wellbeing is foundational for making good decisions, so nothing is more important." If you are married to someone who has been secretive during the marriage, how do you uncover the truth of your community assets during a divorce? "Texas law provides tools for locating hidden assets, but it is usually difficult, time-consuming, and expensive, especially if the wealthy spouse is committed to resisting production," Budner says. "Just how difficult and expensive depends on the size and complexity of the marital estate and the nature of the assets involved. A party can subpoena tax returns and work papers directly from the CPA who prepares them. Forensic accountants NO SUGAR-COATING HERE ADVICE FROM YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD DIVORCE LAWYERS PAPERCITY ADVERTORIAL Dawn Ryan Budner Carla Calabrese 76

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