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Where Should You File a Divorce in Texas and What Are the Steps to Follow After Filing?

A divorce resembles many other goals in life that we wish to accomplish. We know our current position, and we are aware of our objective. The part we often find uncertain is how to actually achieve it. The attorneys at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, aim to guide you through the divorce process in Texas. We can’t guarantee your divorce will follow these exact steps. However, we can outline the common procedure to give you a clearer path forward.

You may have heard about filing for divorce, but what does it entail?

To get a divorce in Texas, one spouse must have lived in the state for at least six consecutive months before filing. Additionally, the county where you file must have been one spouse’s primary residence for at least ninety days before filing, as per jurisdiction requirements.

Once you establish the county’s jurisdiction over your case, you can start by preparing an Original Petition for Divorce. This document includes both spouses’ names, the divorce grounds, and basic information about any children.

If you believe a judge’s hearing is necessary for temporary custody or financial issues, you must request a hearing date from the court.

After filing these documents in your chosen county, the court will review them and arrange to serve them to your spouse. You can hire a professional process server or request a law enforcement officer to handle this task, depending on your jurisdiction’s procedures. Verify the appropriate law enforcement agency for this service.

What responsibilities does my spouse have after I file for divorce?

From the moment your spouse is served with the Original Petition for Divorce, they have until the first Monday at 10:00 a.m. after twenty days have passed to file their Original Answer. While this deadline may seem arbitrary, it aligns with our legal requirements for the responding party.

Assuming that this deadline is met, you and your spouse will likely proceed to mediation to negotiate the issues in your case or to a temporary orders hearing where a judge will make decisions related to property and child-related matters.

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan Explains Discovery and what it entails.

Discovery is the process through which both parties can gather information they may not have known or had access to regarding the opposing party. This includes documents, theories of the case, potential witnesses, and admissions. Typically, these discoveries must be provided within thirty days from the date they are served. Once both sides have had the opportunity to engage in discovery, another mediation attempt is likely to occur.

Final Orders Mediation

At this stage in the case, both parties are often fatigued by the divorce process, each other, and the associated legal costs. Considering these factors, the parties and their attorneys will collaboratively select a neutral third-party attorney to mediate their case.

The mediator will arrange separate rooms, likely at their office, for each party and their respective lawyers. They will serve as an intermediary to facilitate communication of settlement offers. If all outstanding issues are resolved through mediation, the parties can avoid going to trial.

The mediator will document all agreements in a Mediated Settlement Agreement (MSA). All parties, along with their attorneys and the mediator, must sign the MSA, certifying it as the final agreement, and neither party can back out of it.

A Trial (only if necessary)

Trials are rare due to the high success rates parties experience in divorce mediation. If all issues in a case are resolved except one, the parties may proceed to trial on that particular issue. If the parties cannot reach an agreement on any issue, a full-fledged trial will be necessary, involving witness testimony and the admission of documentary evidence into the record.

Final Decree of Divorce

After either mediation or trial, one attorney will draft a Final Decree of Divorce. This document consolidates all court orders and agreements, making them official. There is typically some back-and-forth between the attorneys to refine the wording. However, once the case reaches this stage, the end is in sight.

One party, usually the petitioner, will appear with their attorney before the judge to present the Decree and answer any questions. Once the court approves the Decree, the judge will sign the document, and the parties will be officially divorced.

Get Help from The Law Office of Bryan Fagan

For more information about your specific divorce situation, please don’t hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. A consultation with one of our family law attorneys is free and can provide significant guidance as you navigate this challenging phase in your life. We proudly represent clients across Southeast Texas and would be honored to assist you and your family.

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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Tomball, Texas Divorce Lawyers

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

A divorce lawyer in Spring TX is skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handles Divorce cases in Spring, Texas, Cypress, Spring, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, 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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