How Can I File for a Divorce in Texas
Deciding to end your marriage can be a heavy weight on its own. Once you have reached the decision to divorce, the journey to file for divorce begins.
Facing the marriage dissolution process can be seriously overwhelming. Our skilled attorneys at The Farias Law Firm have years of experience handling cases of divorce in Texas and can knowledgeably guide you through the difficult proceedings.
It is not unknown for separating couples to successfully file for divorce without legal aid. Yet, as soon as discrepancies arise on sensitive issues such as child custody, child support, spousal support, and property distribution, a lawyer becomes essential in ensuring a fair outcome is reached.
Following the finalization of your divorce, you are legally bound to your divorce decree. A divorce can be life-altering, especially if you have minor children. The support of a family law attorney can protect your rights and interests as a divorcee.
We urge you to promptly contact us at The Farias Law Firm concerning your divorce inquiries. The quicker you pursue legal aid, the quicker we can work toward finalizing your divorce, allowing you to move forward with your life.
Don’t wait till you have filed for divorce. Contact us when you have decided to end your marriage so we can assess your case and offer personalized advice. Swiftly building a plan of action for your divorce heightens your chances for the most favorable outcome.
Discussing your case with a knowledgeable lawyer can help relieve the stress of confronting a divorce. Our legal team, well versed in family law, can guide you through the basic steps from filling out your initial divorce form to finalizing your separation.
Do you Qualify for Divorce in Texas?
Prior to submitting any divorce forms in Texas, check if you have fulfilled the mandatory residency requirements. To be eligible to file for divorce under Texas law, it is required that you or your spouse have lived in Texas for at least the last 6 months. In addition, you or your spouse must be a resident in the county where you file for divorce for the last 90 days. If you or your spouse is pregnant you will be unable to finalize your divorce until the birth of the child. However, you can begin the divorce process while a pregnancy lasts.
Filing for Divorce in Texas
Contested or Uncontested Divorce
In the circumstance that both parties agree on all orders, from child support payments to community property division, the couple can move forward with an uncontested divorce. A divorce becomes contested if either party has one or more disagreements on matters involved in the divorce settlement.
Uncontested cases can typically be accomplished with fewer expenses and less stress. Once a divorce is contested, the proceedings become more complicated. A contested divorce will likely be prolonged by further litigation.
Fault or No-Fault Divorce
When filing for divorce you are required to submit it as a no-fault or fault-based. In a fault-based divorce, it is necessary to prove that your partner was culpable for the separation. In Texas, there are recognized grounds for fault-based divorces including cruel treatment (family violence), adultery, felony conviction, and abandonment.
Concerning a no-fault divorce, proving guilt is unnecessary. The court can issue the no-fault divorce on the grounds of insupportability, separate living situations, or confinement to a mental health facility.
Approaching your divorce on the grounds of fault or no-fault can greatly influence the outcome. On at-fault grounds, a divorcee may gain a greater allotment of property or rights, whereas in a no-fault divorce all property and rights are generally divided equally.
If you find yourself uncertain whether to file for a no-fault or fault-based divorce, we recommend seeking legal advice from an experienced family law attorney.
The Divorce Process in Texas
To initiate a divorce in Texas, the spouse who is filing must submit a completed petition for divorce along with paying the mandatory court fees. This is called the “original petition for divorce.” After the petition is submitted, the court clerk will assign a number to the case.
After submitting the petition, the spouse who filed is considered the petitioner, and the other spouse is now known as the respondent. The respondent must be given legal notice that a petition has been submitted. Failing to notify the other spouse that divorce papers have been filed can invalidate the petition.
The simplest way to give notice to your spouse is through a waiver of service. This recognizes that the respondent is informed about the marriage dissolution without having to serve them. It is required for the waiver of service to be signed in front of a notary.
If your spouse is contesting the divorce and therefore in opposition to signing the waiver, the divorce papers can be served in a handful of ways. You can hire a court-authorized third party to serve your spouse or in more dire cases when a spouse can not be located, it is possible to post a publication in a local newspaper to serve your spouse.
After your spouse has been notified that you filed for divorce, you must wait for their response. The responding spouse has until Monday following 20 days after being served with citation to file an answer to the divorce petition. Following an answer, the respondent must be present for any divorce proceedings or be given proper notice of any court settings.
The responding spouse may file a counter-petition, which includes the respondent’s grounds for filing a divorce in Texas, and presents their requests from the court. It is required for a counter-petition to be sent to the original petitioner.
Texas divorce proceedings typically require at least one court hearing to come to a final decision. In the hearing you may finalize matters such as community property, child custody, child support arrangements, potential financial support or spousal support, separating marital property, and any distribution issues. Both spouses will present evidence on their behalf supporting their rights and interests.
If the separation is uncontested and both parties have reached an agreement on all relevant issues, the responding spouse may not be required to appear for the court setting.
Once all disputes are settled, the final divorce decree will be signed. The timeline to reach this final step can extend for months depending on the specifics of the case. However, in Texas, a 60-day minimum waiting period is required before a final decree can be signed.
Why Should I Hire a Texas Divorce Attorney?
It is overwhelming enough to reach the decision to end your marriage and face the divorce process. Naturally, most spouses want to minimize their suffering and finalize their separation as swiftly as possible.
While moving through a divorce quickly may seem like your best option, the long-term consequences of divorce agreements can become serious burdens.
Having an experienced divorce attorney to help you navigate marriage dissolution can ensure that your interests, both long and short-term, are being considered and fought for. Life-altering matters such as the allocation of separate property and child custody orders deserve an informed decision from you. Child custody can have a monumental impact on a family. If you are seeking joint custody, we can ensure that both parents will have a custodial role as well as periods of possession and access to the child.
Our attorneys at The Farias Law Firm can evaluate your case separately from the heavy emotions brought on by ending a marriage and separating a family. Our legal team can guide you toward decisions that consider the fullest extent of your and your family’s well-being. With years of handling divorce proceedings, our attorneys sympathize with your struggles and work to make the process easier for you.
A divorce attorney from The Farias Law Firm will take care of not only the paperwork but you as a client. Our staff will check that all forms are properly filled and submitted, avoiding potential mistakes that can further prolong and add up costs in the divorce process. Our staff can simplify the legal terminology helping you understand every step along the way.
At The Farias Law Firm, we prioritize mediation and negotiation when possible. Settling in negotiation can save time and costs by avoiding the courts altogether. Mediation can protect any children involved from the weight of the conflict and allows both parties to reach a tailored agreement for their individual needs. If negotiation and meditation fail, we will be prepared to take your case to court and fight aggressively on your behalf.
Consult with The Farias Law Firm Today
At The Farias Law Firm, we can connect you with our team of trained attorneys to facilitate your divorce process. Our experienced Texas divorce lawyers have extensive practice navigating the complexities of family law and will fight to secure your rights and interests.
Our commitment to our client’s utmost well-being sets our legal team apart when confronting divorce. We understand that every divorce is unique as the family the divorce affects. Our law firm approaches each divorce proceeding with the determination to settle in the most just and right manner. Your interests are our priority.
To consult with one of our divorce attorneys today, call 713-364-3942.