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Filing a DIVORCE IN TEXAS

DALLAS ATTORNEYS FOR DIVORCE IN TEXAS

A couple experience dramatic change in their life after filing for a divorce. A divorce brings changes to their financial arrangements, amount of time spend with children, and thoughts of uncertainty for the future. The process of any change in life is over-whelming and frightening, yet alone something as major as a divorce. The divorce proceedings also bring, thoughts and need to plan for the issues if any, involving a divorce. These issues can often be simple and basic like who will get what after dividing the property, but can often be complicated like, the battle over the custody of the children and visitation rights.

 

A couple can file either a contested divorce or uncontested divorce on Texas. When two spouses do not agree on the issues involving property, child custody, child support, and visitation, a divorce is normally called a contested divorce. But, when two spouses agree on all the issues, and are ready to end the marriage with mutual consent, the divorce is referred to an uncontested or agreed divorce. Hiring a Dallas attorney for divorce in Texas, is always a good idea, no matter what kind of divorce you and your spouse are seeking. When you hire a member of our divorce attorneys, we will help you through your contested or uncontested divorce. Our legal team has the experience of working on all kinds of divorce cases, and have helped thousands of clients over the years in getting divorce in Texas.

RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS

When filing for a divorce in the State of Texas, it does not matter where you were married. But, for filing a divorce in Texas, you or your spouse has to be a resident of State of Texas for past 6 months and/or also a resident of the county where you will be filing your divorce for past 90 days.

 

The Texas Family Code outlines divorce jurisdictions and gives provisions to such divorce as military personnel, jurisdiction for living outside of Texas, and jurisdiction for those living outside the United States. As divorce attorneys, we advise that if you are planning to file a divorce by yourself, make sure to do your research before filing to make sure that you are filing in the right county. If you failed to file in the right county, you may have to refile your divorce.

ORIGINAL PETITION OF DIVORCE

If you are planning to file a divorce in Texas, your process will start with filing original petition of divorce. This is a document that tells the Judge that you and your spouse want to file for a divorce. This document is filed with the District Clerk or the County Clerk, and it begins your 60 day mandatory waiting period. This document will briefly state the grounds for your divorce, and a brief outline of what you are seeking in the divorce, which includes: property (house or cars), custody of your children, and monthly child support payments.

SERVING THE OTHER SPOUSE WITH DIVORCE FILING

When you file for divorce, your spouse needs to receive the documents stating that you have filed for divorce. Normally, after filing for a divorce you can either take the documents personally to your spouse, or can have him served by mail or a process server.

PROPERTY ISSUES

When you file for divorce in Texas, the court cannot grant a divorce without deciding about the property that you and/or your spouse owned. According to the Texas Family Laws, any property that is earned or acquired by either spouse during the marriage is common property, and is normally referred to as “community property,” which is considered equally owned by both spouses. If you believe that you have separate property, you have to prove it with very convincing and straight-forward evidence. A separate property is defined as the one acquired by just one spouse by gift or inheritance. The court will divide all the community property between two spouses, and mostly it is on a 50-50 basis. In rear situations, court can decide the division of community property factoring in the issues like, unequal earning power and fault in the martial relationship. To get a knowledgeable opinion about the division of property and assets in Texas divorce, you should consult with an experienced divorce attorney in Dallas, Texas.

ISSUES INVOLVING CHILDREN

A divorce in Texas cannot be granted until the two spouses agree on issues involving their children. When you have children, before finalizing the divorce you and your spouse need to agree on the custody of the children and their monthly child support payments. This is an extremely important part of a divorce decree, and needs to be decided before the final divorce decree for a safe and secure future of the children.

JURISDICTION OF THE COURT

When you file your divorce in the court, the court will determine if the court has jurisdiction to grant a divorce. This is determined by the residency and domicile of one or both parties, which has to be in the State of Texas and also in the county where you filed the divorce.

FILING YOUR PETITION IN YOUR LOCAL COURT

Your divorce attorney will file your petition in your local court. We have seven (7) Family Courts in Dallas and seven (7) in Fort-Worth, and your divorce attorney will file your case in these courts depending on your residence. The filing is done in one of these courts, which attorney has no control over. In some counties there are no separate family courts, so divorce cases are filed in regular courts that handle civil and criminal matters.

RESTRAINING ORDERS

You or your spouse may feel the need court to issue orders between the date the divorce is filed and when the divorce is guaranteed. These court orders are called temporary orders that are effective during the divorce proceedings. Normally, the petitioner can request the court to issue a temporary restraining order that will require that no assets disappear before they can be divided by the court, and both spouses act respectfully toward each other, with no threats or harassment.

TEMPORARY INJUNCTION

If the court issues a temporary restraining order, there will be scheduled hearing within 14 days of the date of issuance of orders. In that hearing, the court may change the temporary restraining order into a temporary injunction against both spouses. A temporary injunction stays active until the divorce is granted. Normally, a temporary injunction is granted upon request, and both parties know about it at the time of its issuance.

TEMPORARY ORDERS

If no temporary orders were issued by the court, the respondent has 20 days plus the following Monday to file a document, called an Answer. Often, when you file for divorce, court will issue temporary orders, which will be in effect while the divorce is pending. Temporary Orders usually involve temporary custody, visitation, and child support, and also include the temporary use of property and servicing of debt. Temporary orders can also include temporary spousal support and the payment of any temporary attorney’s fees.

TEMPORARY EX PARTE PROTECTIVE ORDER

This is a more specialized form of restraining order, which prevents acts of violence and is suitable if you are in an abusive relationship, and want to file a divorce to get out it. This special order will be issued by the court, after a testimony in the court about the acts of violence in the relationship.

PROTECTIVE ORDER

In extra ordinary circumstances, a court may consider issuing a protective order, which has the powers of temporary restraining order (TRO), but also have the option to involve law enforcement involved if there is a chance of violation of the order. You can opt for this kind of order, if you are filing divorce in an abusive relationship, and feel that your decision of filing for a divorce can lead to an aggressive response from your spouse.

DELIVERING “ORIGINAL PETITION FOR DIVORCE” TO YOUR SPOUSE

Once your Original Petition for Divorce is processed at the court, it must be delivered to your spouse. A Process Server, Sheriff, or a Constable normally hand the document to the spouse along with a citation. A citation is another document that tells the spouse that a divorce has been filed and he or she has limited number of days to file a response.

 

You may also deliver the Original Petition for Divorce to your spouse, but this can only be done effectively if there is no request for a restraining order or a hearing. If you have requested for a hearing and you choose to deliver the Original Petition for Divorce to your spouse, you cannot show that your spouse has been legally served with a notice to be at the hearing.

THE DISCOVERY PROCESS

The process of discovery includes a process of learning that starts with one side of the divorce case requesting information about the case from the other side. Discovery always includes a request for disclosure, which is general information about the case. Discovery also includes:

  • DEPOSITIONS – This is an oral testimony of the case, or how the events of the case unfolded.
  • INTERROGATORIES – This is a series of written questions that require a written response back.
  • PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS – These are the documents that pertain to the case, such as tax returns, bank account records, deeds, vehicle titles, loan documents, credit card statements, as well as other important documentation relevant to the case.
  • REQUEST FOR ADMISSIONS – This is a set of statements sent from one party to the other, which involves admitting or denying statements and or allegations made.

In the case that you are served with Discovery or acquire a notice that you are summoned to a deposition, it is in your best interest to hire a divorce attorney. It is the job of a divorce attorney to carefully go through all the details of the case, and help you effectively represent you during the discovery process of the case. When your attorney has all the information about your divorce case, he or she can also request the opposing attorney to disclose additional information. This gives your divorce attorney a chance to access the case information that your spouse’s attorney has. This will help your attorney to prepare a case with the knowledge of all the necessary information from both sides. If you have been served with discovery or acquire a notice that you are summoned to deposition, you should call our divorce attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case with a FREE CONSULTATION.

 

When you and your spouse have property, its division is decided during the discovery process. The division of property and debt is discussed between you and your spouse in the presence of your attorneys. You attorney will discuss the legal aspects of division, argue your demands, and explain how you want finalize the division of the property and debt. Having knowledge of what is to be divided and how it should be divided gives authorization to the preparation of a sworn inventory and appraisement, in which you are your spouse will list all property or debt involved in the divorce case. The list also includes each side’s opinion as to the value of the claim.

AFTER THE FILING OF DIVORCE

According to Texas laws, a divorce cannot be final for at least 60 days after the petition is filed. The divorce is final as soon as the judge pronounces it so in open court and signs the decree of divorce. When spouses are not in agreement over the issues concerning the divorce, it can take somewhere between 6 months to 1 year to finalize a divorce. The time it takes to get a divorce finalized depends on the complications that you have in your divorce.

HAVING AN EXPERIENCED DIVORCE ATTORNEY ON YOUR SIDE

No matter how simple or complicated your divorce is, having an attorney on your side can make this life changing experience very smooth and less stressful as compare to doing it yourself. When you and your spouse have issues regarding division of property and assets, custody of your children, and child support, it is always recommended to have an attorney to help you go through the complications and arguments. Our divorce attorneys have been helping clients around Dallas Fort-Worth Metroplex since 2000, for their contested divorce cases. We have worked on contested and uncontested divorce cases in different counties of Texas including Dallas, Collin, Denton, Tarrant, and Rockwall. Our attorneys and legal staff can help you if you are experiencing any or more of these situations:

  • Have been a victim of domestic/family violence and want to end the relationship by filing for a divorce.
  • Want to file a divorce by worried about the reaction that you will get from your spouse when he or she will be served.
  • You have just been served with divorce filing and need the help of a legal professional to determine the right course of action.
  • You and your spouse wants to file for divorce but have outstanding issues regarding property, assets, unpaid taxes, loans, child custody, and/or child support.
  • You need the help of a knowledgeable divorce attorney to represent you effectively against your spouse to resolve the disputes and protect your rights.
  • Your spouse is not cooperating with you to resolve the issues regarding finances, children, and property.
  • You have been receiving threats from your spouse after you filed for the divorce.
  • You got your divorce in the past, but need help in the modification of child support agreements.

If you or experiencing any of the situations above, you need to contact our divorce attorneys as soon as possible. We are here to protect your rights, and get you the fair share that you deserve in your divorce.

 

Our team of experienced divorce attorneys are here to help you get through the complications involved in the divorce. With a combined experience of more than 20 years, our family law attorneys have the expertise and knowledge to represent you strongly and have your rights protected. We are available for a FREE CONSULTATION to discuss your case in details. You can schedule a FREE CONSULTATION with one of our divorce attorneys in Dallas, Texas by calling 972.789.1664, emailing contact@dallasarealaw.com, or filling out the form on top of this page. We are here to protect your rights, and help you get a smooth and easy divorce. We do offer installment plans, and accept all major credit cards.



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