For married couples to divorce in Texas, they must follow a specific set of rules to prepare for the final hearing. The best way to ensure all necessary steps are taken to be granted a legal divorce, working with qualified divorce lawyers is the best choice to make. With the experienced guidance attorneys who specialize in divorce law, this difficult time in a couple’s relationship can be handled as smoothly and effectively as possible.
Getting A Divorce In Texas
Divorce lawyers advise that Texas is considered a “no fault” divorce state, meaning that any person may file a petition for divorce and not need proof to support the petition. Texas divorce law states that a person should not be forced to stay married just because their spouse does not want a divorce.
As long as at least one person of the divorcing couple has been a resident in Texas for six months or more and a county resident for at least 90 days, either spouse may file for divorce. Divorces are not final until a separation period of 61 days has passed from the filing of the petition. If the couple is expecting a child, they must wait until after the birth of that child to have the petition heard in family court, as divorce also covers custody and child support. Divorced couples cannot remarry for at least 30 days from the finalization of a divorce.
Steps To Grant A Divorce
When a couple decides to divorce, there are many laws that must be followed. It is wise to hire efficient and experienced divorce lawyers, especially if there are children involved or a family estate to be considered. Following are the steps that must be taken before a divorce can be granted:
File the Petition – The spouse seeking the divorce – known as the petitioner – must file their request in family court. The petitioner must then serve their spouse with a notice of their intent to divorce by delivering a copy of the file-stamped petition to them. If they accept the petition and agree to the divorce, this is known as “uncontested” and the process moves on to the discovery phase. If they do not accept the petition and do not agree to divorce, this is known as “contested,” which means a judge will hear the case and render a decision. Also included with the decision will be a division of assets and child custody, support, and visitation as well as spousal support if applicable.
Discovery – When requests for divorce are uncontested, the petitioner, the other spouse, and individual divorce lawyers meet to discuss items such as marital assets, children, etc. This process can be very simple if a couple agrees on how everything should be divided. It can also be very complex, requiring depositions, research into financial records, and even obtaining witness statements if necessary.
Settlement – After the discovery phase, lawyers who handle divorces work together with their clients to reach an agreeable settlement for both parties in terms of asset division as well as child custody, support, visitation, and spousal support, if applicable. Once a final agreement has been drawn up and signed by both parties, it is presented to a judge who will either approve the agreement or make changes to it as deemed necessary.
Though the divorce process may seem simple, it can be a lengthy one – especially if the divorce is contested. So it is always best to work with divorce lawyers experienced in this area of the law to smooth out the process and look out for the best interests of their client in any decisions that are made. Too often, a divorcing person feels ‘forced’ to accept what the attorneys agree on in order to get the whole process done. A compassionate and caring divorce attorney makes sure that their client has the greatest chance for a fair settlement without any additional stress, since a divorce is usually stressful enough without any added complications!