Is There a Waiting Period Prior To Filing for Divorce?
Divorce laws vary from state to state. When you visit a family law attorney in Spring, TX, you can receive legal guidance on how Texas family laws could affect your situation. Your family law attorney will let you know what to expect before and after filing the divorce petition. Expect to be asked a few questions about your residency. A family law attorney can only file a divorce petition on your behalf if you have lived in Texas for at least six months. It isn’t necessary for both spouses to be Texas residents.
Family law attorneys must file divorce petitions in the counties in which their clients live. Counties can have additional residency requirements. If you live near The Woodlands, you should know that Montgomery County requires a residency of at least three months before a divorce petition is filed.
After a divorce petition is filed, and despite the fact that you and your spouse can quickly resolve all issues out of court, you usually must wait 60 days to finalize the divorce. Again, this waiting period begins after the attorney files the initial petition.
Refusing to Sign Divorce Papers
In an uncontested divorce, both spouses may sign a divorce decree agreeing to the terms of the divorce, such as the division of property. Alternatively, one of the spouses may simply not oppose the terms set forth by the other spouse. Nevertheless, if one spouse refuses to sign-off on a divorce decree, then the divorce becomes a “contested divorce.” Regardless of whether you expect your divorce to be uncontested or contested, you should seek divorce advice from a family law attorney in The Woodlands. Divorce lawyers will handle your case for you, letting you move forward with your new life.
Will the Refusal Halt the Divorce?
It’s a common misconception that when one spouse refuses to sign the papers, the divorce is placed on indefinite hold. In fact, one spouse cannot hold the other “hostage” in the marriage by refusing to sign the paperwork. However, it does mean that it may take longer to finalize the divorce.
What Does It Mean to Set a Case for Hearing?
When a divorce is contested because one of the spouses refuses to sign the divorce decree, then the court will resolve the contested issues at trial. Your divorce lawyers will contact the clerk or administrator of the court to set a final hearing on the case. Shortly after setting a case for final hearing, the other party must be notified in writing of the hearing date and time. While awaiting the hearing, your divorce lawyers will conduct discovery, which is the process of obtaining information to be presented in court. This includes information about the marital assets, income, and similar issues. At court, each party has the opportunity to present evidence before the judge.
Should You Try Mediation?
Before the case goes to trial, there is still time to attempt to transition a contested divorce to an amicable divorce. Some court require mediation prior to any trial of your case. Even if a court does not require mediation, you might consider enlisting the help of a professional mediator, who is a neutral third party. Mediation can often help two parties with divergent goals and viewpoints find common ground. Mediators cannot force the parties to agree to anything. If mediation fails, then the case will go to trial.
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce
If you’re looking for divorce advice and live in Spring, TX, a family law attorney can help you. One of the questions divorce lawyers typically ask new clients is whether it might be possible to resolve family law matters amicably instead of leaving these decisions to the judge. Your answer to this question will determine whether your divorce proceeding is contested or uncontested.
Defining Contested and Uncontested Divorces
Under Texas family law, a divorce may proceed as an uncontested divorce if you and your spouse have reached an agreement about all issues relevant to your case. Such issues include matters involving property and liability allocation, child custody arrangements, and child support. A divorce may be considered uncontested in cases in which your spouse has officially been given notice of the divorce, yet fails to file an answer with the court. In this situation, the divorce is uncontested by “default.” The most common uncontested divorce, however, is the “waiver” divorce wherein your spouse agrees to step out of the proceeding by signing a statement to that effect. A contested divorce is one that involves any substantive disagreement over any issue. Even if a couple agrees to all issues but one, the divorce will be considered contested. When a divorce is contested, a family law judge will evaluate the evidence, hear arguments, and issue a ruling.
Agreeing on the Issues
It’s often preferable for spouses to make compromises in order to reach a divorce agreement out of court. If your spouse has not hired an attorney, then consider asking your divorce lawyer if he or she would speak with your disagreeing spouse to discuss the potential for mediation. Mediation may be successful even if spouses are no longer on friendly terms with each other. It involves meeting together, but with the involvement of a neutral third-party. Each spouse will then have the opportunity to discuss his or her concerns, goals, and points of view. Spouses who are willing to compromise on one or more issues may be able to have the case resolved in a expeditious manner.
Petitioning for Modifications
A divorce decree resolves the major issues arising from the breakdown of the marriage. However, certain family law question may be modified later. For instance, where there is a substantial change in circumstances, you or your ex may petition the court for a modification in child custody arrangements. You could also file a petition to change the existing spousal support or child support order.
How Pets Can Become An Important Issue During a Divorce
Divorce attorneys near Spring, TX regularly give their clients advice on both child custody and pet custody. In family law, pets are treated as property when a couple makes the decision to divorce.
As divorce lawyers know, couples can have a difficult time determining which partner retains custody of a pet, or perhaps how a pet is to be cared for following separation. After you make the emotional decision to divorce—and select your divorce attorneys from a family law firm—the last thing you want is to give up the love and comfort that a pet provides. Cats and dogs offer unconditional friendship and never let their owners down. If you are considering divorce and want to keep your beloved pet, seek legal advice from an experienced family lawyer.
Navigating the Contested Divorce Process
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.
How to File for Divorce
The first step in filing for divorce should be to consult a family attorney in Spring, TX. A divorce lawyer will review your situation and discuss all applicable issues with you, such as child custody, property division, and child support. When you’re ready to move forward with the petition, your divorce lawyer will prepare and file a petition with the court on your behalf. Thereafter, your soon-to-be ex-spouse will be served with the divorce papers.
For more information about family law, watch this video and talk to your child custody lawyer. This brief introduction to divorce petitions explains that both spouses may be required to submit financial affidavits and supporting documents to the court. You’ll also learn about some of the temporary orders the court may issue while the divorce is pending.
A Look at Grounds for Divorce in Texas
Although every divorce case is unique, they do tend to share some similarities. For example, many people file for a no-fault divorce, rather than a fault-based divorce. Texas family law statutes allow for both types of divorce. When you visit a divorce attorney near Spring, TX, one of the questions he or she will likely ask is on which grounds you plan to seek a divorce. If you aren’t sure, your divorce lawyer will help you make this decision.
If you prefer to file for a no-fault divorce, your divorce lawyer will prepare the divorce petition based on “insupportability.” Texas family law recognizes insupportability as having occurred when there are unresolvable differences or disagreements present in the marriage. In many other states, this concept is known as “irreconcilable differences.” If you file based on insupportability, this tells the judge that you are not blaming your spouse for any particular misdeeds, such as adultery, which led to the breakdown of the marriage.
Adultery is one of the possible grounds for a fault-based divorce. It is one of the primary “fault” grounds for divorce. Proving fault in a divorce may be preferable for some individuals because the court may favor the spouse who is not at fault when determining matters such as child custody, child support, spousal support, and property division.
Texas family law also allows for a fault-based divorce if it can be proven that one spouse is guilty of cruel treatment towards the other spouse. Cruelty can be difficult to prove and its definition can vary from state to state, and from judge to judge. However, cruel treatment is generally defined as repeated demonstrations of rage, physical attacks, the flaunting of adultery, and the intentional transmission of a sexually transmitted disease without the other spouse’s knowledge.
Conviction or Confinement
If your spouse has been convicted, your family lawyer may recommend filing for a fault-based divorce. However, your spouse must have been convicted of a felony and imprisoned for a minimum of one year. If your testimony was used as evidence against your spouse in court, you are ineligible to file for divorce on these grounds. You can also file for divorce based on your spouse’s confinement in a mental hospital for at least three years without hope of recovery.
Abandonment occurs when your spouse has intentionally left you for at least one year. You can also file on the grounds of living apart if you and your spouse have not cohabited for three years.
Factors that May Influence Your Child Custody Case
Generally, it is preferable that both parents work together to develop a mutually agreeable plan of conservatorship or custody. This collaborative approach, which minimizes conflict, may be facilitated by a family law attorney . Nevertheless, when parents cannot come to an agreement, the court will establish child custody arrangements. As your divorce lawyer serving The Woodlands can advise you, the judge will make a decision based on what he or she feels is in the child’s best interests. In some cases, one parent may have significant problems such as a history of child neglect or drug abuse. Such issues can prompt a judge to grant custody to the other parent. However, in many cases, there are other subtle factors, such as the stability of the family home, which may also have a large influence on the judge’s decision.
Some family law experts suggest that judges are often influenced by the residency of each parent. This means that child custody may be more likely to be granted to the parent who will continue living in the family home. Similarly, a parent who has obtained custody of the minor children may be more likely to be awarded the family home in connection with a divorce. Attorneys will generally advise clients not to move out of the family home if custody will be at issue. However, if you have moved out of the family home, your family law attorney may advise you to arrange for permanent housing as quickly as possible, to demonstrate stability. Arranging for permanent housing in close proximity to the children’s schools, whenever possible, is ideal.
In family court, allegations made by the parents are often of a “he said, she said” nature. To substantiate your case, your family attorney may offer evidence that you have a history of cooperating with the other parent or that the other parent has a history of non-cooperation, or even a history of using derogatory language about you in front of the child. Oftentimes, a family court judge might award child custody to the parent who is most likely to cooperate with the other parent and who tries to preserve the child’s relationship with the other parent.
All children need stability and continuity for their healthy socio-emotional development. Since a divorce significantly changes a child’s life, the judges try to minimize its effects as much as possible. If one parent has been primarily caring for the children while the divorce case was pending, that parent may be more likely to be awarded custody. If you see a divorce coming, it is wise to establish yourself as the child’s primary caregiver in the months leading up to the filing.
The Basics of Filing for Child Custody
When it’s time to end a relationship with the other parent, determining child custody is a significant concern. Your first step in filing for custody is to contact a child custody lawyer serving Spring, TX. Such family law attorneys will have an in-depth knowledge of child custody proceedings. He or she will ensure that the forms are filled out properly and filed with the appropriate court to prevent unnecessary delays in your case. A child custody attorney will also guide you through the mediation process, which is often mandatory.
To hear more about working with a family law attorney, watch this brief video. This expert explains that family law varies from state to state. He also urges viewers to get in touch with an attorney for personalized legal guidance.
Answers to Questions About Divorce in Texas
The disputed divorce is often challenging, particularly because both parties must disclose their personal information, deal with the division of property, and reach an agreement regarding child custody arrangements. A divorce attorney near Spring, TX, can help make this divorce process easier, giving you all the information you need and walking you through the proceedings, step-by-step. Your divorce lawyer can also answer any questions you may have about Texas family law.
Are There Any Residency Requirements?
Yes, Texas family law requires that one or both spouses be a resident for at least six months. Additionally, the party who files the divorce petition must be a resident of the county in which the paperwork is filed for a minimum of 90 days.
What Are the Grounds to File for Divorce?
Texas is a no fault divorce state. This means that it is not necessary to prove that either party is responsible for the breakdown of the marriage. When your divorce lawyer prepares the paperwork, he or she can cite “irreconcilable differences.” However, Texas law does allow divorce on fault-based grounds. Let your family attorney know if you may be eligible to file for a fault-based divorce based on adultery, conviction of a felony, cruelty, or abandonment. Other grounds for divorce in Texas include confinement in a mental hospital and separate residency for at least three years.
How Long Will the Process Take?
This can vary widely, depending on the complexity of your case, and whether you and the other party can come to a mutual agreement. Once the divorce petition is filed, you must wait at least 60 days for the divorce to be finalized. If there are disputes regarding child custody, support, property division, liability distribution, or other issues, the process can take longer.
Is a Divorce Trial Necessary?
In many cases, both parties appear in court and a judge makes the final decisions regarding the matters of dispute. However, it is possible to reach an amicable divorce agreement. You and your spouse can meet in mediation to reach agreements on property, custody, and other matters. Working with a divorce lawyer can help facilitate the mediation process.
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