The process of getting a divorce has continually been rated as one of the most stressful events a person can go through in their life. Here is a basic overview of what to expect in a Texas divorce case.
To file for a divorce in Texas, you must first meet the requirements of jurisdiction. To meet the requirements of jurisdiction, either you or your spouse has to have lived in Texas for a total of 6 months before proceeding with the divorce and within the county you are choosing to file for divorce in for the last 90 days.
Grounds for Divorce
In Texas you now have the option to file for a divorce based on either fault, or no-fault grounds. Most divorces are commonly on no-fault grounds or insupportability. However, the following list outlines some of the fault divorce options.
- Cruel Treatment such as Domestic Violence
- Commitment to a mental institution
- Commitment of a felony that puts your spouse in prison for 2 or more years.
- Abandonment for more than 2 years.
It is possible in Texas to file for divorce on more than one ground.
Filing for Divorce
To begin the divorce process, you will file an Original Petition for Divorce which requests the courts for a divorce. These petitions vary in length and can either be short 1 page when filing under no-fault grounds, or very lengthy if the facts of the case are very complicated.
In Texas, once the Original Petition for Divorce has been failed, there is a mandatory 60-day wait period before the divorce can be finalized.
Waiver of Service
If you believe your spouse will be amicable, a letter may be sent to your spouse with a Waiver of Service. This letter will explain that a divorce has been filed and if they understand that a divorce is underway, no formal service of process will be needed. Upon signing this Waiver of Service, your spouse will not need to be formally served.
However, if the divorce is expected to be very contentious, a formal service of the divorce may be required.
In the time before the divorce is finalized, there is usually a need for Temporary Orders. Temporary Orders are exactly as they sound, temporary. These orders will generally lay out responsibilities for the parties, such as who will pay which bills, which party will stay in the current household, which parent will watch over the children, amongst many other things.
Temporary Orders are important, and having a lawyer on your side during this period aids you in the long run. If current temporary orders are seen as working, many courts will try and keep final orders as close in line to the temporary orders as possible to preserve the working balance.
Although Temporary Orders are not necessary in all cases, some parties are able to come to agreements without formal orders, they are a very important step in the divorce process, and having an experience lawyer by your side is a definite advantage.
After the Original Petition for Divorce has been filed, the divorce enters into the phase known as Discovery. At this stage, both sides start to gather information about the parties to determine what property may be deemed community or separate property, whether there are grounds for reimbursement, and what the bests interest of the children may be.
It is during this stage that both sides start seeking out information and disclosures have to be made.
The Final Divorce Decree
Once final agreements have been made regarding the divorce, a Final Decree of Divorce will be drafted. This document will specify all of the agreements made between the two parties. These agreements will include topics such as property division, child custody, child support, alimony or marital support, amongst many other details related to the divorce.
This overview is supposed to give the potential client a general idea of the divorce proceedings and in no way includes every step of the process. Each case will have distinct facts, and because of this each case may be handled differently.Talk to one of our lawyers at Duckworth & Ray LLP today and find out how best to proceed with your divorce today.