Once you have made the difficult decision to end your marriage , your first step should be to consult with divorce lawyers serving Spring, TX. Only divorce lawyers who are experienced in family law and know the family court system sufficiently well can make sure your rights are protected throughout the process. Over the course of a marriage, many people have children and also may have accumulated significant assets. Such matters can lead to disagreements over money, child support, and child custody. Continue reading to learn more about the steps involved in a contested divorce, including meeting with your attorney, filing the divorce petition, and negotiating the terms of the split.
Divorce lawyers advise seeking legal advice immediately after making the decision to end a marriage. After you have selected a family law firm, your attorney will sit down with you to go over the facts of your case. During this meeting, your divorce lawyer will interview you thoroughly and review documents pertaining to marital assets and children of the marriage. He or she will then advise you of what you are fairly entitled to, including child support and property rights.
Filing divorce papers, or a “petition,” is the next step in a contested divorce. Your divorce attorney will serve the petition for divorce on your spouse, who will then be given a certain time period to respond. If your spouse does not respond to the petition for divorce within 20 days plus the following Monday, he or she is in default and you may obtain a judgment of divorce without your spouse’s imput. If your former spouse does respond, the case proceeds to discovery and trial, or settlement.
During discovery, your divorce lawyers will ask your spouse’s attorneys for detailed information regarding his or her income and child care. After both sides have the requested paperwork, their divorce attorneys generally meet and attempt to come to an agreement, or settlement, before the final court date. If spouses cannot agree to divorce terms, a trial is scheduled.