Divorce Proceedings in Texas Filing vs Suing for Divorce

In Texas family law certain terms are confusing. Attorneys and judges use these terms without giving them much thought. The reason for this is that they live in the law every day. As a result, we attorneys can sometimes take these terms for granted. Understanding what a person means by using a certain term is important. Our clients at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan often have questions about these terms. One of the areas our attorneys focus on is how to help new clients understand the terminology in their cases.

In today’s blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, we are going to distinguish two concepts in Texas family law. The first of those concepts is filing for divorce. On the outside, this may appear to be a relatively simple issue to discuss. However, it becomes more complex when you take into consideration the different circumstances surrounding divorce. Next, suing for divorce there’s another topic of interest for many families. What does it mean exactly to sue for divorce? Find out that information and more in today’s blog post.

Starting a divorce

Building momentum is important. This is true both in life and in divorce. Starting something is a skill that many of us struggle with. This is true both when it comes to simple activities like yard work or in more complex activities like a divorce. Figuring out your motivation to begin a divorce is critical. Not every person begins a divorce for the same reason. Our attorneys make sure that we consider your circumstances before beginning a divorce case. We know that your case is unique to you.

Are you in a position where you believe a divorce is necessary? If so then you may also be dealing with concerns about how to start your case. A divorce is complex enough that you cannot simply march down to the courthouse and say you want a divorce. Rather, you need to have a plan when beginning a divorce. We at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan hope that this blog post acts as one of those sources to gain insight into divorce.

Did you know that the Law Office of Bryan Fagan offers free of charge consultations six days a week? We seek to provide our community with usable information about Texas family law. To further that ambition our attorneys sit down with people just like you six days a week to walk through their family law cases. These are no commitment-required conversations between you and one of our experienced attorneys. Contact us today to find out more about the services we provide our clients with.

What does it mean to file for divorce?

I am sure you’ve heard people talk about filing for divorce. What exactly does this mean? We talked earlier today about it at the courthouse. Does filing for divorce have something to do with going to court? In a way, yes it does. Filing for divorce generally means initiating the divorce process. By filing for divorce, you are trying to put a legal end to your marriage. For any of you who have been physically separated from your spouse, this is a major distinction. Since Texas does not have a legal separation in the law you would need to file for divorce to and your marriage. This does not happen automatically simply by living apart from your spouse.

Filing for divorce assumes a couple of different things. First, it assumes that appropriate documentation has been filed with the court. In a divorce case, this means filing an original divorce petition. This document sets forth the request you were making of the court, introduces the court to you and your spouse, and does the same for your children. This is not a complex document, but it is a necessary one.

Filing for divorce also allows you to begin moving toward a resolution to your case. I know that this may sound strange given that you are just beginning the case. However, it never hurts to look ahead in terms of a divorce. The more thought and planning you can put into your case the better off you will be. For that reason, filing for divorce is a critical step in the case. Having goals and working to achieve them begins with filing your case.

What to do after filing your divorce

let’s imagine a situation where you have filed for divorce. Your original divorce petition has been filed in the correct county. The district clerk has assigned your case to a particular judge. Now that you have all of this information available to you it becomes time to consider where to go from here. While filing for divorce is an important step in your case it cannot be the last thing that you do.

Providing your spouse with notice of the divorce is a crucial next step in this process. In many ways, the divorce cannot be said to have truly started until notice of the case is provided to your spouse. This notice is generally provided with a citation. The citation includes the date, time, and location of where you were served with notice of the lawsuit. Personalized service from a process server or constable occurs. The citation is then returned to the court in your case proceeds from there.

Once service has been effectuated negotiation can begin. One of the great misunderstandings about divorce is that the case involves much more negotiation than court time. Many people presume that you spend most of your time in a divorce giving in court. This is not the case. Rather, much more time should be spent negotiating a divorce than arguing in court. Cases that involve more negotiation than arguing typically are resolved sooner and with better outcomes for all parties.

Minimizing disruptions to your case

The more you and your spouse fight during a divorce the more your case suffers from disruptions. Arguing and fighting do not need to be the norm in your case. Rather, you and your spouse have a terrific opportunity to settle your case outside of court. However, to do so you must first commit yourself to learning about the other person’s case and being fair about how you approach him or her. This can be done informally or through the discovery process.

The more forthcoming you are with the information the more likely your spouse is to be forthcoming, as well. People who are honest with their spouse during divorce tend to achieve much better results than those who are purposefully obtrusive. It is possible to build trust with your spouse during the divorce. However, it takes two people to be able to do so. Maintaining a dialogue with your spells is the way to do so. 

In short, the more disruptions there are to your face the longer your case will take to resolve itself. This does not mean that you should give to your spouse at every turn. Rather, what it does mean is that you and your spouse need to take seriously negotiations throughout your case. The better you negotiate with one another the more likely you are to avoid disruptions that cost you time and money. Parents who negotiate with one another during a divorce also tend to achieve better results for their children when the case is all said and done.

Suing for divorce

Suing for divorce can be distinguished from filing for divorce in the following ways. First, suing for divorce refers to the overall divorce process. Filing for divorce relates more to the act of initiating the divorce. After all, filing for divorce assumes that certain documents are relevant and need to be filed. On the other hand, suing for divorce may assume that certain documents are involved. However, using also has a connotation related to trying to win things in a legal matter.

For the party who files a divorce, this means asking for relief in your original petition. If you are the party who is this bonding to the divorce, then your original answer is the first document filed in the case. This document allows you to respond to the original petition. However, if you want to make requests of the court yourself you would need to file a counter petition. This counter-petition allows you to make allegations of your own and requests for relief.

In this short amount of time, we have discussed already multiple concepts and documents related to divorce. It is normal to feel overwhelmed sometimes about the information involved in your case. To learn more about the divorce process in Texas please contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our experienced family law attorneys will walk you through what it means to get divorced. We do so in a way geared towards providing you with practical health straightforwardly and understandably. In other words, we seek to put the cookies on a shelf where we all can reach them.

What to do in a divorce once the case is filed

Once your divorce case has been filed there are multiple directions you can choose to go in. Without a doubt, the people who achieve the best results are those who maintain an open line of communication with their spouses throughout the process. This does not mean that you and your spouse must be best friends with one another. All it means is that the two of you need to commit to sharing information and being open to negotiation. With so much at stake in your case, it is not a good idea to try and save negotiation for one day.

This is the problem that many people run into. For example, consider the potential impact on your case if you were to try and negotiate only on the day of mediation. Mediation is a formalized settlement negotiation process. It involves a third-party mediator in the possibility of entering into a mediated settlement agreement. The mediated settlement agreement contains all the agreed-upon terms from mediation. It does so in a way that can be broken down into court orders by the attorneys.

While mediation is a great opportunity to settle your cakes it is best to have negotiating before mediation. Trying to save all your negotiations for one day puts a lot of pressure on you and your spouse. Instead, keep open the lines of communication throughout the divorce process. Doing so provides you with an outlet to engage in constructive dialogue. While it is unrealistic to expect that you will accomplish something every day in negotiation it is possible to build on these discussions.

Important issues in child custody

For those of you with minor children topics related to child custody invariably are important. Understanding how to build a life for your child after the divorce is a challenge. So much of your child’s life is going to change because of the divorce. On top of that, your child LAX the experience we as adults must process change. With that said, you need to be aware of how these challenges will shape your child. Having a plan related to this topic matters a great deal. 

Consider that a possession and visitation schedule is of particular importance. Being able to build a relationship with your child means taking into consideration their needs. The best interests of the child’s standard is one that guides families. This is also how a court makes decisions on issues related to child custody. Fortunately, there are many ways to structure a visitation and possession order. Consider the age of your children, where you and your spouse are going to live, and your work schedules. All these different components allow you both to build a functional visitation order.

Conservatorship rights and duties are another major component of a family law case. So much time Is spent in a divorce focusing on how to gain parenting time however, the rights and duties concerning a child are just as critical in the long term. Understanding how the decision-making in the family law case impacts your child is an important step to take. Areas of your child’s life like their health and education are greatly impacted by the conservatorship rights you have. Mona comes to spending time with your child the ability to determine the primary residence of your child matters tremendously. All of this is to say that how you structure your parenting plan will determine the future of your relationship with your child.

Important issues in the property division

Texas is a community property state. This means that property acquired during your marriage is typically subject to division. It does not matter whose income was used to purchase the property. The name on a receipt or title document also is not important. What matters most is when the property was purchased. In this way, you can be a spouse who has never worked and still stand to walk away with a considerable amount of property. This is how community property works in Texas.

There is much more to a discussion on community property than this basic overview. Community property is also impacted by other circumstances in your life. This would include your specific educational level, health status, and job history. Also of great importance is any fault ground that you are asserting in the divorce. Successfully proving a fault ground for divorce allows you to receive a disproportionate share of the community estate.

Just like with child custody issues, it is important to have a plan when determining how to divide your community estate. Being able to retain as much community property as possible is dependent upon a range of factors. Thinking about these issues before your case puts you in the best position possible as far as planning is concerned. Going into a property division negotiation without a firm understanding of your finances is a mistake. Instead, be sure to prepare an overview of your finances ahead of time that covers your retirement savings, cash on hand, and your marital home.

Final thoughts on divorce

Whether you refer to it as filing for divorce or suing for divorce, the general point is the same. You seek to begin your divorce and to build a life coming out of that case. Filing for divorce refers more to the initial documents created to begin the case. Suing for divorce has more to do with the actual legal process involved with divorce in Texas. Whatever questions you have about that process, or these documents please contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Thank you for choosing to spend part of your day with us today.

Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan    

If you have any questions about the material contained in today’s blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free-of-charge consultations six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. Interested in learning more about how your family is impacted by the material in this blog post? Contact us today.

Categories: Divorce

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At the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, the firm wants to get to know your case before they commit to work with you. They offer all potential clients a no-obligation, free consultation where you can discuss your case under the client-attorney privilege. This means that everything you say will be kept private and the firm will respectfully advise you at no charge. You can learn more about Texas divorce law and get a good idea of how you want to proceed with your case.

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