Divorce can be complicated. Let our knowledgeable attorneys at Holland McGill Law guide you through this process, taking the time to explain the process so you fully understand each step and know what is coming.
Filing for Divorce in Texas
Texas allows spouses to file for a "no-fault" divorce. This means both spouses recognize that their relationship has gotten to the point where it can no longer be fixed. Texas also allows for a fault divorce, meaning one spouse was the main reason breakdown of the marriage. Fault divorce grounds include adultery, abuse, or abandonment. Fault divorce does not require a separate procedure; the "fault" most likely will comes into play when the property is being divided.
Before filing for divorce, one of the spouses must have continuously lived in Texas for at least 6 months and continuously lived in the county where the divorce is being filed for at least 90 days. The next step in the process is for the other spouse to file an "answer" and either acknowledge or take issue with the original divorce claim. The "answer" must typically be filed within 20 business days of the initial filing. During this time period, however, the court may issue temporary orders for custody and support for spouses and children.
The next phase is a discussion and discovery period for the spouses to agree on property division, confirmation of separate property, and provisions relating to any children. If this cannot be done, the spouses will likely go to mediation either by agreement or by court order. The goal of mediation is to attempt to resolve these issues before the matter must go to a trial. Cases that settle at mediation can save both spouses thousands of dollars by avoiding a final trial.
If mediation fails, and the spouses are unable to come to an agreement, the divorce will then move onward to an evidence and argument-based trial. Having an experienced attorney at this stage is absolutely crucial, as court hearings demand knowledge of court-specific rules of argument, evidence, and conduct.
Our experienced family law lawyers will be able to provide the necessary legal knowledge, insight, and guidance for spouses going through a divorce.
Additional Issues Pertaining to Divorce
Any individual who has personally experienced divorce or knows someone who has, knows that the dissolution of a marriage is never as simple as just ending the marriage. In fact, there is much more to divorce than what the spouses themselves even consider. A family law attorney knows the always evolving law, the pertinent case law, and has the experience to target issues and deal with them appropriately. Our experienced lawyers are the key to protecting your interests.
In Texas, some spouses may be able to get temporary spousal maintenance while the divorce is pending. This is because income during marriage is community property. The higher earning spouse may have to pay the lower earning spouse some spousal support. In most cases, the court seeks to equalize income between the parties while the case in pending.
Post-divorce alimony or court ordered spousal support are much more difficult to get in Texas. There are a multitude of factors that a court may consider to determine if a spouse should receive spousal support. Before a court can even consider spousal support, the parties must have been married at least 10 years.
Post-divorce alimony is money that is paid to a former spouse as a result of an agreement between the spouses. Alimony is enforced under contract law principles. Alimony is also relatively uncommon, but there are cases where a one spouse may agree to pay alimony for a limited time.
Our lawyers have the knowledge to assist you with determining the likelihood of receiving post-divorce spousal support.
Texas courts must divide community property in a just and right manner. Property possessed by either spouse during marriage is presumed to be community property. Some spouses are concerned that their spouse will take everything. Rest assured this scenario is very uncommon in Texas. An experienced attorney will help you understand the likely outcome of your property division case. It helps to have an attorney on your side who is compassionate and understands your needs as a client.