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Divorce in Texas

When it comes to beginning the divorce process in Texas it will be normal if you had more questions and answers. The idea that you could go through a divorce case and no exactly what to expect at the beginning of your case will be unrealistic. Not only is the divorce process long and complicated but it is different for every person who goes through the process. What you should expect within a case is different than what I or anyone else would experience in this divorce. Divorce is that person in that specific to the individual who's going through the process. Fortunately, we have ways to gain information that people in prior years did not.

One of the best ways to go through and learn more about the divorce process is to ask questions. Right now, you're probably thinking that you have more questions than answers. That's OK. You can take the questions that you have and put them in front of a person who has the answers that you need. As I was just saying we are in a time now more than ever where answers are available in many different areas. One of those places where you can obtain information is the Internet.

Be careful what you read about on the computer

The pandemic has hastened our shift towards traditional sources of information to the Internet and online resources. Whereas before we may have tried to learn about a subject from books or even from other people, we now go straight to the computer. You will not struggle to find information about divorce cases on the Internet. Many attorneys like our law practice have blogs and other resources made available to you. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan does its best to provide honest and insightful information about divorce from a factual perspective. We acknowledge that divorce is very person-to-person specific and you should not take any of the information we provide online as advice specifically for you or your family.

With that said, if you are in a position where you do not know much about divorce or have questions about what to expect in a divorce then there are worse places to go than on the computer. You can expect to learn a great deal about divorce just by spending some time looking through different websites and blogs. What I would tell you is that you need to be able to distinguish between good information and bad information. However, that process can be made more difficult given that you or in the search for information and do not possess any specific knowledge about divorce.

In that case, what can you do when it comes to being able to take the good information and throw out the bad? the last thing you want to do is spend your precious time looking through Article after article in a blog post after blog post only to find that the information that you have taken is not helpful. From that perspective, you are better off waiting and trying to get information directly from someone who works in that field and helps people like you daily.

One place you can certainly go for information is free of charge consultation with one of our attorneys. The benefit of working with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan is that we have a large group of attorneys including Mr. Fagan himself, who have many years of combined experience. Our attorneys are a great resource especially when you are just beginning to process of going through a divorce. You can speak with one of our attorneys six days a week in person at one of our two Houston area locations, over the phone, or even via video. Take the time to speak to one of our lawyers and you can learn a lot of information that not only applies generally to divorce issues in Texas but specifically to your circumstances.

After you manage to get some information that is specific to your life you can begin to make well-informed decisions about how to proceed with a divorce. If you are contemplating a divorce you may decide to move forward to hold off for various reasons. On the other hand, you may have just been served with divorce paperwork from your spouse. In that case, you would not have the option to hold off with the divorce. You would need to be able to make decisions relatively quickly about how to proceed with your case so that you can respond appropriately to the divorce petition and move forward.

all that said, I would like to spend some time walking you through some common questions to divorce scenarios in Texas. I do not expect these questions to perfectly align with the questions that you might have. However, I think it is a good place to start here and from there we can begin to learn more about divorce based on what you are going through. As always, I recommend that you call our office if you have any questions and would like to speak with an attorney about your specific case. If time is of the essence, then you do not have a moment to lose. Take advantage of the information on this blog post and then call our office to learn more about how we can help assist you in your family during a Texas divorce.

Do I have to get divorced if I don’t want to (but my spouse does)?

This is a tough question. Not necessarily because the answer to the question is tough to come by but because it is difficult on an emotional level. to not want a divorce but you need to go through one because your spouse is interested in one is not a fun position to be in. To think that there may be something left to salvage in your relationship only to find that your spouse does not agree with the position to find yourself in. You can go through a lot of soul searching and concern about where to go from here when you begin to understand that your spouse would like to end your marriage. It is normal to 1/2 reassess your marriage once you find yourself at the end of that relationship.

However, the truth is sometimes hard to accept that even if you do not want to get a divorce if your spouse wants to move forward then that is all that matters. He or she can get divorced from you without needing to ask your permission or without even having to specify the specific reason. Texas is known as a no-fault divorce state. This means that people can get divorced in Texas without having to specify the specific reason for the divorce. Rather, all that needs to be stated specifically is that you and your spouse have a discord or conflict in personalities that have led to a divorce. With no hope and reconciliation insight getting a divorce is much simpler than it used to be.

On the other hand, you can specify specific fault grounds for divorce if that is your choice. Specific fault grounds can be alleged to have an advantage in the divorce in terms of dividing up Community property or even in determining a possession schedule for your children. Fault grounds for divorce in Texas include adultery, cruelty, abandonment, mental impairments of various sorts as well as living apart. Not only must you allege a specific fault ground for divorce, but the judge must believe that the fault ground applies to your case.

The bottom line though is that you do not need to specify fault grounds to get divorced in Texas. All your spouse would need to do is show the judge that you all cannot live together any longer and divorce can be granted. Your best bet at this stage in the case may be to attempt to work through the issues in your marriage through counseling. Counseling can be effective when it comes to opening the lines of communication between you and your spouse. Of course, it takes two to tango in this regard. Your spouse would need to be willing to put the divorce on hold in favor of attending counseling. If you can talk to your spouse about the case this may be the best course to take.

What steps do I need to go through to get divorced?

Getting a divorce is an intensely personal matter. Your experience in divorcing your spouse will not be like any other person that you know- including your spouse. The reason for this is that the circumstances that you are facing- both now and after the divorce- are unique to you. With that said, the overall divorce process itself is the same for you as it is for anyone else who divorces. The same timelines, rules, and general case flow look similar across the board no matter what is involved in your case.

It is normal to be a little confused about what you are facing as you get into a divorce. Clear information can sometimes be hard to come by when it comes to a divorce. You may have some general knowledge gained through having spoken with a friend or family member who has gotten divorced but not much beyond that. No problem. Now is the best time to learn about divorce. Take into consideration this information about the basic process of a Texas divorce and you will be better equipped to move forward with your case.

To begin with, you or your spouse will need to file an Original Petition for Divorce. The Original Petition for Divorce simply informs the judge that you (or your spouse) intend to divorce your spouse. Your names, the names of your children (if under 18) as well as any specific relief that you are requesting that the court grant to you in your divorce will be specified in the Original Petition. It is not a long document- much of the time it is only five or six pages in length. However, it covers the essential bits of information and gets your case into the county or district court that covers divorces in your home county.

From there your spouse (or you) would need to file an Answer. The Answer is an even shorter document than the Petition for Divorce. Frequently the answer is no more than two or three pages in length. It answers the allegations made in the divorce. If the answering party wishes to ask the court for specific things within the divorce a counterpetition may be filed, as well. These documents must be filed within twenty days (approximately) from the date on which you are served.

A document called a citation is provided with the Petition for Divorce. This will cover all the necessary information including the date and time that the petition was served. The process server or constable will return the document to the court to certify that the service was completed. This triggers the beginning of a case. If you or your spouse fail to answer the petition within the amount of time, I just mentioned a default judgment can be issued against you. This means that there can be a decision issued without your knowledge. It is better to participate in a divorce even if you disagree with having to do so.

Temporary Orders? What are those?

The next step in a divorce is typically a temporary orders hearing. A temporary orders hearing involves going to court and submitting evidence to a judge so that the judge can issue temporary orders. Think of temporary orders as your marching orders for the duration of your divorce. Evidence can be testimony, documents, and things of this nature. The temporary orders hearing is like a mini-trial in terms of its importance for your case.

It is important to bear in mind that just because it is called a temporary orders hearing does not mean that you necessarily must go to court. Yes, if you are not able to settle your case in advance then you will need to go to court. That is how things work in a divorce case. However, you will also be given ample opportunity to settle your case before having to submit your case to a judge. This is since most family court judges nowadays will require you to attend at least one session of mediation before your hearing. Mediation is a process whereby you and your spouse will have the opportunity to meet with a neutral, third party to determine if a settlement can be reached in your case.

The mediator will help you and your spouse to discuss constructively the important issues related to your case. Things like the division of your community estate and permanent custody orders will be discussed in final orders mediation later. However, temporary orders mediation was more frequently dealt with subjects like determining how deals are going to be paid throughout your divorce and what a temporary visitation and child support structure will look like.

Mediation is a much less stressful environment where you and your co-parent can negotiate with one another without having to be in the same room. For many people, this can be the most stressful aspect of a case given that communication with your spouse may be difficult at this time. Mediation allows you to communicate with your spouse constructively without having to be in the same room as him or her. The sole focus of your attention, your spouse’s attention, and the mediator will be on settling your case. This is a unique environment that is unusually situated in set up for settlements to occur. Statistically speaking you are much more likely to settle your case in mediation rather than to have to go through with a contested hearing.

Whether you and your spouse can settle your case in mediation or need to go through with a temporary order hearing the result will be that temporary orders we'll be drafted by one party and signed off on by all parties in the judge. From there, you and your spouse will be expected to follow those temporary orders until the conclusion of your case. Disagreements or disputes on temporary orders are typically handled between the two of you and your attorneys. However, significant disagreements may have to go before a judge again to have temporary orders clarified. For this reason, you must be able to understand what the temporary order state as far as the responsibilities of you and your spouse. Having experienced counsel to help guide you in this step is also extremely important.

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. These consultations are a great way for you to learn more about the world of Texas family law as well as about how your family circumstances may be impacted by the filing of a divorce or child custody case.

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Other Articles you may be interested in:

  1. What is and Why do I need to do Discovery in my Texas Divorce?
  2. You've filed your Divorce... now what? The "Discovery Process" and why it's important
  3. 6 things You Need to Know Before You File for Divorce in Texas
  4. I Want a Texas Divorce but My Husband Doesn't: What can I do?
  5. Am I Married? - Marital Status in Texas
  6. Can I sue my spouse's mistress in Texas?
  7. 6 Tips - On How to prepare for a Texas Divorce
  8. Roadmap of Basic Divorce Procedure in Texas
  9. 6 Mistakes that can Destroy Your Texas Divorce Case
  10. Does it Matter who Files First in a Texas Divorce?

Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Spring Divorce Attorneys

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 Spring, TX Divorce Attorneys right away to protect your rights.

Our divorce attorneys in Spring TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact the 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, and 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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