If you are anything like most people contemplating a divorce then you probably have had many people tell you that a divorce is going to be the longest, most difficult and most stressful event of your life. It’s funny how this sort of thing works.
A family member or friend will take your confiding in them as an opportunity to fill you with absolute dread about starting a divorce. It’s not that he or she means you any harm, it’s just that most people can’t help themselves when it comes to expressing just what a negative event a divorce is.
Your divorce may be entirely different. I can tell you that it is my goal to keep your divorce from being that sort of negative experience. That’s not to say that if you choose to have the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC represent you that your divorce will be anything remotely close to an enjoyable experience, but our aim is to get you through the process and to help you achieve whatever goals you set out for yourself along the way.
With that said, the vast majority of people involved in a divorce in Texas do not go through a multi-year effort of fighting and bickering only to end up before a judge who makes the ultimate decisions in their divorce. Most folks in a divorce will settle their case through negotiations- either between themselves in a setting such as mediation. Rather than settling their differences in an expensive and time consuming trial, you and your spouse will likely come to the conclusion that settling your differences is the better move for yourselves and your family.
If you are able to count yourselves among the fortunate group of people who settle your case before a trial is necessary then either you or your spouse will attend what is known as a “Prove up” hearing with your attorney. The purpose of this blog post is to bring this topic to light as I’ve found that most clients are unfamiliar with what a prove up hearing is and what your responsibilities are at the hearing itself.
What exactly is a Prove Up Hearing?
For many people who are going through a divorce, a Prove Up hearing is the only time that you will actually have to step foot in a courtroom and talk to a judge. Your judge will be more than happy to listen to you talk about your settlement that you’ve reached with your spouse but you will have to do just that in order for the judge to make sure that your agreement takes into consideration all the necessary parts of a divorce settlement.
Most courts in southeast Texas have what is called an uncontested docket in the mornings that is called prior to the array of cases on the contested docket. This means that for a short window beginning sometimes at 8:00 or 8:30, your judge will call cases where there is no opposing party but where some business needs to be taken care of. Your case is one of those cases.
How soon can your prove up hearing be scheduled?
A divorce in Texas cannot be consummated until 60 days has expired from the date your Original Petition for Divorce was filed. This means that if you filed for divorce and reached a settlement with your spouse on the following day, you will both need to wait another 60 days for the prove up hearing. Depending on your court you may not actually have to call the court in advance to set up a prove up hearing. It is wise to contact the clerk of your court to make sure that your judge doesn’t have any special rules for attending the hearing.
In Harris County, you will need to have several documents on file in advance of the hearing if you want the judge to render your divorce final on the day you attend court. Your Final Decree of Divorce will need to be filed with all signatures (you, your spouse and both attorneys) included, as well as any documents regarding child support, a wage withholding order for support purposes, as well as county specific documents detailing your and your spouse’s contact information for after the divorce. If all of these documents are filed and in the court’s system prior to the prove up hearing you will be in good shape.
The actual prove up hearing: What do you have to say?
You will appear with your attorney and approach the judge when your case is called. The judge will put you under oath and your attorney will ask you a series of questions about the settlement that you and your spouse have reached. Take a deep breath. The answer to most every question your attorney is about to ask you will be, “Yes.”
Your attorney will ask you questions about the division of property, child visitation arrangements and child support. Think about the basic portions of your divorce decree.
Your attorney will need to ask you questions about those areas to ensure that the judge is made aware that each necessary part was taken into consideration. After the questions are asked by your attorney and answered by you, the judge will review the paperwork and most likely grant your divorce that day. If there are any issues that need to be changed in your decree the judge will state those to your attorney but to hear anything from the judge but, “Good luck and thank you” is rare. Your divorce is complete.
Questions on divorce settlements and prove up hearings? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC today
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC assists families across southeast Texas with their family law issues. If you have any questions for our office please do not hesitate to contact us. A free of charge consultation is available six days a week with one of our licensed family law attorneys.
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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Spring Divorce Lawyer
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 ar Spring, TX Divorce Lawyer 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, 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.