As a divorce attorney in Dallas County, Texas, the following are the most commonly asked questions our clients inquire about when calling my office and inquiring about getting a divorce. The following answers will hopefully help you if a divorce is in your near future:

How long does a divorce take?

There is a 60 day “cooling off period” which starts on the day after your divorce petition is filed with the district clerk.   The 60 day minimum waiting period is applicable if the person has an uncontested divorce.

What is an uncontested divorce?

An uncontested divorce is a divorce case where the parties are going to agree on all terms of the divorce including property division, custody, support, and sometimes division of retirement accounts. An uncontested divorce will usually also include the respondent to sign a “waiver of service” to avoid the process of service by a process server on the respondent.

Can I get a divorce now and do the custody of our children later?

No.  The Divorce proceeding must include the conservatorship, possession and support of all children born of the marriage.   The divorce disposition must include all property division and conservatorship of the children.

Does my spouse need to get an attorney?

No.  If you and your spouse are going to do an uncontested divorce and your spouse will sign the final divorce documents,  the other spouse does not need to retain and incur legal costs for an attorney as long as the other spouse understands the terms in the final decree of divorce and there is no misrepresentation in the documents that could lead to a new trial or an appeal.

Can I get married immediately after the divorce is final?

Yes and No.   A divorce is like any other judgment.  There is a 30 day appellate period for the party to appeal the judgment.   However, both parties can agree and include in your divorce decree that the 30 day waiting period to get remarried will be waived.

How expensive is a divorce?

It depends on the size of the community estate and whether or not the parties will entered into agreements.   Our fees start at approximately $1,500 for a divorce with no children, with no real property, and with the parties going uncontested. Contested divorces are billed at an hourly rate for professional services.

Can I legally change my name back to my previous name?

Yes.  A divorce does allow for a legal name change back to the previous name.

I get calls every day from people who never conceived that the word “divorce” would be uttered by them or their spouse. Unfortunately in  today’s  world, we expect things to happen quickly including dissolving a marriage. We have lost the ability to be patient and try to work through our problems in a civil and considerate way.

Most people are shocked that their spouse has even considered filing for a divorce. Even worse is when a person is unexpectedly served with divorce papers. In a split second, all love…all civility…all caring…goes out the window. Your marriage turns into a living hell where the only objective is to hurt the other person more than they will hurt you.

If a divorce will be part of your future, don’t lose sight of your life. There is life after a divorce. There is life during a pending divorce. You must maintain a sense of respect and dignity. Communication is the key. Don’t stop the channel of communication between you and your spouse. What you don’t know will scare you more than what you know.

You will get past any crisis in your life. Keep in mind that if the “situation does not destroy you…it will only make you a stronger person in the future”. With the right attitude and maybe with the right attorney, you will succeed in enjoying life again. I have been practicing law for over 30 years and have the experience and the know how to help clients pursue a practical solution to any divorce case.

Roland Barbosa, attorney and counselor at law