Essential knowledge to have prior to Filing for Divorce in Texas

If you are taking the time to read a blog post with the above title, it’s safe to say that you are either considering filing for divorce or you are holding divorce paperwork in your hands that has just been delivered to you from your spouse. This is not an easy time. This is not a fun time.

This is also not a time for you to sit on your heels and think that the situation will solve itself without any action or knowledge on your part. Hiring an experienced family law attorney, like those at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, is a good place to start.

There is no substitute for basic knowledge of the process that you are about to enter into. The purpose of this blog post is to offer a little know-how as to what to expect and how to best handle your affairs during a divorce in Texas.

Filing for Divorce – No Reason is Necessary

For starters, it is not necessary to have a specific reason as to why you are filing for divorce. Texas is a “no fault” State, and as a result you do not have to prove to a judge that your spouse did anything wrong to you or your family in order to have a divorce request ultimately granted.

Most divorces that the Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles are granted on grounds of discord or conflict of personalities- meaning that the parties just couldn’t get along with one another.

Standing Orders or Temporary Orders

Next- depending on what county you file for divorce in- the Court will either implement what are called Standing Orders or the parties will need to have Temporary Orders installed.

Standing Orders

A Standing Order are orders from the Court that go into effect upon the filing of the divorce.

Their purpose is not to create new scenarios for the parties to deal with, but rather to “maintain the status quo.” Basically, the counties that have these standing orders seek to avoid one or both parties from:

  1. cutting off access for the other spouse to bank accounts (or closing them outright),
  2. cancelling insurance agreements,
  3. removing the children from school or daycare or
  4. denying access for the other spouse to their vehicle or residence.

If the parties to a divorce cannot agree on the terms that will govern them during their divorce, commonly known as Temporary Orders, the spouses and their attorneys will head to Court where a judge will make the decision(s) for them.

Temporary Orders

Subjects that are covered in a temporary orders hearings are akin to those described above:

  1. who is going to live in the marital home,
  2. who is going to care for the children primarily and
  3. who will determine their primary residence,
  4. a visitation and possession schedule for the children,
  5. child support and
  6. who will pay what bills.

If you’re the spouse who was the primary bread winner and bill payor, it is likely that you will retain that role for the duration of the divorce. In the same manner, if you were the parent who was used to getting the kids out of bed each morning and into bed each night, you have a good chance at being named the primary conservator for the children in Temporary Orders.

Mediation

Prior to heading to court under any circumstances, it is likely that mediation will be attempted. For those that do not know what mediation is, it can best be described as the parties involving a third party, independent attorney to help resolve whatever issues are in play.

The parties will mutually agree on a mediator then typically they and their lawyers will go to that mediator’s office to attempt to forge a resolution. The mediator will act as a go-between for the divorcing spouses- ping-ponging from the Husband’s room to the Wife’s room and vice versa to communicate settlement officers and troubleshoot the issues with them in a friendlier and more inviting atmosphere than a district or county court room.

In fact, mediation is so effective at resolving disputes and cutting down on costs associated with divorces that many counties in the State of Texas require mediation before ever heading to Court. If child custody is an issue then it is the norm in Southeast Texas courts to go to mediation to attempt am amicable resolution.

Texas is a Community Property State

As far as property is concerned, Texas is a community property State. This means that all property that is earned during a marriage in Texas has the presumption of being part of the community estate.

Income from your job, investment income, retirement contributions and real property bought and the equity earned on a property during the marriage is considered community in nature. This community property is subject to division by the Court.

Separate Property

If you own any property that you consider to be separate property (meaning that you don’t think your spouse has a right to claim any portion of it), you will have to prove by clear and convincing evidence that this property is in fact your separate property.

This is commonly done by a method called “tracing”. Tracing involves going through the history of how you came to have an interest in any given piece of property and determining if that history involves your spouse.

Examples of those property items that are considered separate property under Texas law are:

  1. gifts made specifically to one spouse during the marriage or
  2. an inheritance acquired by one spouse
  3. Property owned by one spouse prior to the marriage.

While each divorce has its own unique identifiers and characteristics, the above pieces of information will assist any person who is about to enter into a divorce. Being able to know what to expect and having the ability to handle the day to day stresses are different matters, however.

To best handle a divorce and to protect your rights effectively requires experienced and knowledgeable representation. The Houston Divorce attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan offer clients a wide breadth of specific legal experience in Texas family law. Our office prides itself on strong advocacy and a client first attitude. Please contact our office today with any legal questions you may have in order to learn more about how we can assist you.

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Other Articles you may be interested in:

  1. Roadmap of Basic Divorce Procedure in Texas
  2. How Can I Get My Spouse to Pay My Attorney's Fees in a Texas Divorce?
  3. How am I going to Pay for My Texas Divorce?
  4. Should I Hide Money from my Spouse to Get Ready for my Texas Divorce?
  5. 7 Important Ways to Financially Prepare for Your Texas Divorce
  6. 6 Tips - On How to prepare for a Texas Divorce
  7. What are the Steps of a Contested Texas Divorce, and How can I Prepare for Them?
  8. Can I get child support while my Texas divorce is pending?
  9. 6 Mistakes that can Destroy Your Texas Divorce Case
  10. 6 things You Need to Know Before You File for Divorce in Texas

Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Spring Divorce Lawyers

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with one of our Spring, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.

Our divorce lawyers in Spring TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles Divorce cases in Spring, Texas, Cypress, Spring, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.

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