Divorce FAQ 2017-04-24T19:21:11+00:00

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DIVORCE FAQS

How long will my divorce take?
In Texas, you must wait 60 days from the time you file until your divorce is final, even if the divorce is uncontested. However, the divorce cases that actually reach resolution on the 61st day are rare.

Since Texas is a community property state, can you expect a “50-50” split of assets in a divorce?
Not necessarily. Factors such as projected future earnings of the parties and who’s at fault for the divorce can result in a disproportionate division of the community estate, or a “60-40” split.

Are divorce actions matters for a judge, or can you have a jury hear the case?
Either party in a Texas divorce can ask for and receive a jury trial, a unique feature of Texas law. But as a practical matter, judges hear most divorce-related matters.

Does joint custody mean each parent having equal time with the children?
Not always. Joint custody means the sharing of parental rights and duties and not necessarily equal time.

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 after a divorce based on guidelines in the Texas Family Code, according to income.

If my spouse wants a divorce and I don’t, how can I stop it?
Once a divorce is filed in Texas and one party wants to go through with it, you can’t stop it from happening in the court system. Your only hope is to convince your spouse to consider reconciliation.

What is the first step in the divorce process?
Once you’ve decided that divorce is the best thing for you, your attorney will file the divorce petition. The petition is a general request for the Court to grant your divorce and render orders regarding custody and property division.

Is mediation required in most Texas divorces?
Many Courts require mediation before a family law case can be scheduled for trial, however the decision to order mediation is a case-specific inquiry.
Can one attorney represent both parties in a divorce?
No. An attorney can draft the documents in a divorce for both parties to sign, but he or she can’t give legal advice to more than one of the parties.

If your case is scheduled to go to court on a certain date, are you guaranteed that it will happen?
No, because 10 to 15 cases may be set on the judge’s docket the same day as your case. Another case may be heard before you and your case may be reset for another day.

I do not really want to file for divorce. Can my spouse and I just be legally separated?
Although some states recognize a “legal separation” status, Texas does not.

Where will my divorce suit be filed?
In order to file for divorce in Texas, you or your spouse must have lived in Texas for six months prior to filing suit. The divorce must be filed in a county in which you or your spouse resided for the 90 days prior to filing suit. Sometimes there is more than one county that meets these requirements.

What is spousal maintenance?
“Spousal maintenance” is an award in a divorce case requiring the primary wage earner in the household to make periodic cash payments to the other spouse for their support. There are several factors that can determine eligibility for spousal maintenance. Spousal maintenance ordered while the divorce is ongoing is fairly common, whereas post-divorce spousal maintenance is fairly rare.

When can I begin to date?
Not until the divorce is final. Adultery is a ground for the granting of a divorce based upon fault. Your legal status as a married person does not change until a divorce is granted.

My spouse and I agree on everything. Can we file for divorce without an attorney?
Parties with children should seriously consider seeking representation in a divorce case. A divorce decree is intended to cover several future scenarios and remain in place until a child turns eighteen. A comprehensive, well drafted decree can prevent disagreements or further litigation from cropping up in the future.

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