This post gives answers to common questions asked about divorce.  Have other questions not covered in this post, call me!  No charge for the initial consultation.  Get answers about divorce!

Is there a waiting period after a divorce is filed before it is final?

Most jurisdictions have a waiting period. The purpose of a waiting period is to serve as a cooling off period or to allow time to adjust your affairs to single life. In Texas, you must wait 60 days from the time you file until your divorce is final. This Texas waiting period applies even if the divorce is uncontested.

Since Texas is a community property state, will there be a “50-50” split of assets in a divorce?

Not necessarily. Property in a divorce is divided in a manner a judge deems “just and right.” Some factors considered include:

  • Projected future earnings of the parties,
  • Who is at fault for the divorce
  • The ability to Pay
  • Age of the parties
  • Attorney’s fees
  • Children
  • Relationship to creditor
  • Education
  • Employability
  • Fault
  • Fraud on the community
  • Health
  • Length of marriage
  • Liabilities
  • Liquidity
  • Maintenance costs
  • Nature of the property
  • Reimbursements
  • Size of separate property
  • Taxes

Does a judge decide divorce actions or can you have a jury hear the case?

Either party in a Texas divorce can ask for a jury trial. The reality is that judges hear most divorce-related matters. Also important to know is that most jury decisions are not binding on the judge.

What are my chances of gaining custody of my children?

The issue of who gains custody of the children depends completely of the facts of your case. Joint custody is preferred in Texas. If both parents are involved with the children, joint parenting will be the starting point in this decision. There are many misconceptions about joint custody, how it works and what it means. If you want joint custody, it is important to understand what it means and how it works.

Does joint custody mean each parent having equal time with the children?

It can but not always. Joint custody means the sharing of parental rights and duties. Joint custody does not necessarily mean equal possession time of the children.

Will I have to pay child support?

The spouse who does not have primary custody of the children will, in most cases, pay child support to the primary custodial parent. How much child support will be paid is based on guidelines in the Texas Family Code. The amount paid is based on the income and other factors of the person paying child support.

If my spouse wants a divorce and I don’t, can I stop the divorce?

When your spouse files a divorce and wants to go through with it, you can’t stop the divorce from happening.

Can a prenuptial agreement avoid messiness at the end of a marriage?

“Prenups” have become a very popular way to avoid the struggle over assets when a marriage ends. These agreements have historically been used to deal with assets that are not divisible, such as an interest in a family owned business or a large tract of real estate. Now people with relatively modest holdings use prenuptial agreements to make a split less messy.

Question #9
What is the first step in the divorce process?

Once you’ve decided that divorce is necessary, your attorney will file the divorce petition. The petition contains certain basic information about the parties, the grounds for the divorce and identifies issues the court needs to address.

Question #10
Is mediation required in most Texas divorces?

Yes. Most Texas courts require mediation before a family law case can be scheduled for trial.

Question #11
Why would I ever need a team of attorneys instead of just one divorce lawyer working alone?

Some cases are just too complex for one attorney, no matter how gifted, to handle flawlessly. If you have a family business, a child custody problem or an aggressive lawyer on the other side, you may benefit from the knowledge base of a large number of attorneys.

Question #12
What’s the first thing I need to do to build a winning divorce case?

Besides hiring an accomplished & skilled divorce lawyer, the most important thing you can do at first is to secure three to five years of financial records and anything else that might become evidence in your case.

Question #13
How often is alimony awarded in Texas?

Not many people qualify for alimony (called spousal support in Texas). Unless there are no significant assets or means of support, unless the parties agree to it, there will be no significant alimony once the divorce is final.

Question #14
Can one attorney represent both parties in a divorce?

No. An attorney may draft the divorce documents for both parties to sign. An attorney cannot legally advise more than one of the parties about the divorce.

Question #15
If your case is scheduled to go to court on a certain date, are you guaranteed that it will happen?

No. Normally a judge has 10 to 15 cases set on their docket the same day.  Another case may be heard before you and your case may be reset for another day.

Question #16
If you want to avoid the anger and bitterness a divorce produces, are there alternatives?

Most divorces are settled out of court by mediation or simply attorney-to-attorney settlement. The newest method of settlement, that completely avoids the courthouse, is collaborative law. Both attorneys and the divorcing parties agree beforehand to do everything possible to reach a settlement. Sessions are private and the process eliminates the anger and bitterness a divorce produces.

Questions on getting a Texas divorce? If you have other questions, concerns or you need more information? Call me. No charge for the initial consultation.

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866-566-9529 or 972-772-6100.