Contested & Uncontested Divorce
We’ve represented thousands of clients with legal services in divorce in Dallas, Texas. No matter your situation, we can help.
Uncontested divorces will typically be finalized in 60 days from the day we file your divorce petition. These are the most affordable divorces suited for parties who have amicably agreed on all the terms of their property division, child custody, and child support.
Our law firm has also represented countless of clients in contested divorces with property and custody issues are involved. We have the experience to guide you through the complex legal processes which in many cases can be simplified by having the right Dallas divorce attorney on your side.
Do I Need a Divorce?
In Texas, a marriage is a legal relationship between a man and a woman or in some jurisdictions between two people. To dissolve your marriage, you must file a divorce petition with a Texas court. Pursuing a divorce is a stressful event filled with difficult choices and risks. We will help you understand your rights, obligations, and other options to help you make good decisions regarding your divorce.
Where Do I Start?
A personal conference with an experienced Dallas-based divorce attorney is the place to start your divorce. Our family law firm will explain and help you understand the choices available in divorce. Most people are not aware of the benefits the legal system can do to help or to protect them. We will make certain that the choices you make are the best choices for you and your family. Your family law matter must be presented to the Court in a way that the Court is made aware what and how much each party contributed to the marriage financially, what was the party’s role with the children, how will each party provide for themselves and the children during the divorce, and what are the children’s needs.
What Choices Do I Have?
We will make sure you know how the law relates to your divorce and your situation. As experienced Dallas divorce attorneys, you will know whether you are entitled to alimony while a divorce is pending. You will understand how the law relates to a visitation of the children by the parties and the party’s financial responsibility to the children of the marriage. We will discuss and explain the matter of alimony, temporary spousal support, temporary child support, or any other procedures that will benefit your side of the case.
What if I Have a Common Law Marriage?
An informal marriage, usually referred to as “common law marriage” is usually misunderstood by most people. We will explain the law relating to your relationship if you declare a common law marriage. In general, you must satisfy three requirements. The common law requirements are that you lived or cohabitated together, that you represented yourself to others as husband and wife, and that you both believed that you were married in Texas.
Who Gets What?
Most people do not fully understand the community property laws in Texas. We will make sure you understand that when you divide your assets, you also need to divide your debts. We will make sure you know that you understand the laws regarding separate property and inheritance rights as it relates to community property. Our clients will also be informed about how the courts typically divide community property which is not a 50/50 split as widely believed by a lot of people.
Requirements to Get a Divorce
To file for a divorce in Texas, one of the spouses has to have been a resident of the state for a continuous six-month period; and, one of the spouses must have been a resident of the county where the divorce is filed for at least 90 days.
What is the Procedure to File a Divorce in Texas?
A typical Texas divorce requires the following steps:
One Spouse (the Petitioner), files an Original Petition for Divorce with the court and has the papers personally served on (delivered to) the other spouse (the Respondent). If the spouses are working together, the Respondent can sign a waiver, giving up the right to be personally served with the papers.
At the time of filing, Texas courts usually issue a standard Standing Order that:
- (a) requires that no assets disappear before they can be divided by the court, and
- (b) requires that the spouse act civilly toward each other and not threaten or harass each other. If extraordinary situations are occurring, the court may issue a Temporary Restraining Order, the court must schedule a hearing within 14 days of issuance. At that time, the court may make the Temporary Restraining Order into a temporary injunction against both parties.
If no Temporary Restraining Order is issued, the Respondent must file a document called an Answer. Either party may also request the court for a hearing for temporary orders. Commonly, the court will also consider temporary orders, which will be in effect while the divorce is pending. Temporary orders usually involve temporary custody, visitation and support of the children, and temporary use of property and servicing of debt. It can include temporary spousal support and the payment of interim attorney’s fees as well.
If the spouses believe that information, financial or otherwise, is being hidden by the other party, the parties can initiate the process of “discovery”. This is usually an expensive and time-consuming process which must be seriously considered by the party and done only if one of the parties refuses to exchange information and documents.
The next step for a party to consider if they wish to avoid expensive litigation is an out-of-court- settlement of the case, either directly or with the help of attorneys or mediators. If they can work out an agreement on everything, one of the spouses or attorneys will prepare an Agreed Decree of Divorce, which will contain all of the terms of the agreement. The spouses and their attorneys sign it, and eventually, the judge does as well. Out-of-court settlements are a lot more affordable and take less time compared to taking the case to trial.
If the spouses are not able to settle the case out-of-court, a trial date with the court will have to be set. Before the trial date, most courts require the parties to complete mediation. Mediation is an informal process allowing the divorcing parties to work with a neutral third party, known as the mediator, to negotiate and settle all terms of their conflict. If mediation fails, the case must go to final trial. At the conclusion of the trial, the court will make a ruling on the entire case. A Final Decree of Divorce will be prepared presented to the judge for signature. The Final Decree of Divorce will contain all of the court’s rulings and will resolve all issues pertaining to the divorce, and is binding on both parties.
Contact Our Family Law Firm
If you need a divorce in Dallas, Texas contact us now for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION.