Divorce

When navigating a divorce, you want someone that understands the complexities and the problems that you are facing. Working with an attorney who listens and is not afraid to jump into the courtroom to fight for you is crucial.  That is why you should call an attorney at the Presti Law Firm, PLLC to help guide you through this difficult time in your life. Whatever your particular situation may be, our legal team is here to guide you through your divorce process.

Strategy: It’s Our Number 1 Priority

Developing a game plan from the start is key to handling your divorce correctly. You don’t want to have to play games with your spouse regarding property or children, and you shouldn’t have to. We’ll work with you from the start to ensure that a game plan is developed and executed to make sure you get the most out of your divorce.

Requirements of a Divorce

Like all things law related there are timelines that must be followed and there are certain jurisdictional requirements that must be met. Read on further to discover what kind of timeline you can expect and what a residency requirement is.

What are the residency requirements?

In Texas, at least one of the spouses filing for divorce must have continuously lived in the state for a six-month period.  In addition, one of the spouses must also have been a resident of the jurisdiction (the county in which the divorce is filed) for at least 90 days.

  • State Requirement – 6 months
  • County Requirement – 90 days

Does there have to be a reason to get divorced?

  • At one-point, married couples were required to provide a reason for getting a divorce. Today, however, Texas does not make it a necessity. Sometimes, theses types of divorces are referred to as “No-Fault Divorces.” In fact, most divorces that are resolved today are due to grounds of insupportability, which is just legal jargon for the two spouses simply don’t want to be married anymore.
  • Of course, there are still reasons for divorce such as drug abuse, domestic violence, criminal convictions, incarceration, domestic violence, abandonment, adultery, living separately for at least three years, and others.

What is the process for obtaining a divorce in Texas?

  • Petition for Divorce – The first step to achieving your divorce is filing what is referred to as a Petition for Divorce.
    • After the divorce is filed there are two things that can happen:
      1. If the other spouse is not working with the one filing, they must be served divorce papers in person. We hire experienced process servers to make sure your spouse is served timely.
      2. If the other spouse is agreed and still communicating with the spouse that is filing, than that spouse can sign off that they do not wish to be formally served. This is generally known as waiving service. That same spouse can also agree to the final terms of the divorce.
    • TRO – When the Petitioner files for divorce, they may request a Temporary Restraining Order. This requires both spouses to act civilly towards one another and does not allow either spouse to get rid of assets prior to being divided by the court.
      • Many courts in Texas have Standing Orders that prevent certain interactions and dealings between clients while a divorce is pending
    • Answer – If the Petitioner does not request a Temporary Restraining Order, the Respondent (other spouse) has 20 days plus the following Monday to file an official Answer.
    • Temporary Orders (Optional) If requested, either spouse can file for a temporary order that will remain in effect from the time of filing a petition to the date that the divorce is finalized by the court. Temporary orders may include protective orders or orders for temporary child custody and child support, among others.
    • Discovery – For spouses who may think that they have not uncovered all of the information that the need from one another, they can go through the process of discovery. All important documents and any other necessary information must be exchanged during this time.
    • Settlement – From here, the spouses will have to discuss how they want to settle the case. There are two options: either the spouses agree on all matters of their divorce and create an Agreed Decree of Divorce or a trial date is set to further discuss the case.
    • Mediation – Spouses are required to attend mediation before going to trial, to see if they can potentially resolve their conflicts.
    • Trial – If the case simply cannot be resolved, the case continues on to trial. Depending on if a jury was seated or not, either a judge or a jury will decide the outcome of the case.
    • Waiting Period & Finalization of the Divorce – A Final Decree of Divorce finalizes the divorce process. The minimum waiting-period from the filing of a petition to the finalization of a divorce is 60 days.

How long will a divorce take to finalize?

  • This is a question that we get a lot. At the minimum, a divorce in Texas can be finalized only after a 60-day waiting period has elapsed. That being said, each divorce is different and make take longer depending on whether the divorce is contested, and if there are children involved.

 

There Are Many Different Types of Divorce

  • Collaborative Divorce – During this process, you and your spouse work amicably together to work out divorce issues to avoid going to court. This process helps avoid the costs of litigation and trial.
  • Contested Divorce – These are divorces where the two spouses simply cannot agree on terms such as child custody, property division, etc.
  • Uncontested Divorce – These are divorces where the two spouses are agreeable to all the terms of the divorce.
  • High Net-Worth Divorce – These are generally contested, and it requires for us to guide couples through the divorce process and involves substantial marital assets. Generally, one of the spouses owns a business, real estate, investments, etc.
  • Annulment – You may be able to a divorce all together and instead seek an annulment if certain criteria are met. Please speak with one of our experienced divorce attorneys to see if your marriage qualifies for an annulment.
  • Spousal Support – We work with clients to protect their financial interests when it comes to spousal support, whether you are the one requesting support, or expecting to pay support.

Children

            Children complicate things and that is definitely true of a divorce.  

  • Child Custody – You want to see your children and we understand. We’ll fight for your rights to ensure that you given a fair and equitable visitation schedule.
  • Child Support – The amount of child support is determined by income and is typically paid by the non-custodial parent.

Property

  • In Texas, the law states that all property (assets) earned by either spouse during the marriage is community property and therefore owned equally by each spouse. Property division of community property will be determined in a just and right manner.
  • In order for a spouse to claim that certain assets can be considered separate property, they must present clear and convincing evidence that it belongs solely to them by tracing the source of the assets. Gifts or inheritance, for example, can be considered separate property.

At the Presti Law Firm, PLLC., we put our clients’ needs and priorities first.  We work with our clients in developing the best strategy for their cases. This may include when and where to file an action, what timing will be the best, and the necessity for immediate relief or protection through injunctions and temporary restraining orders. Call us at 214-342-8900 to schedule your divorce consultation right now.