Houston Divorce Lawyer
Dedicated Divorce Attorney in Texas
No one ever gets married with the expectation that they will one day divorce, but it is a reality for many. If you can no longer make your marriage work or your spouse already filed a petition for a divorce, you should hire an experienced family law firm to represent you throughout this process and help you protect your rights and interests. At The Pollard Firm, PLLC our knowledgeable divorce attorney in Houston can provide the assistance you need to help you effectively navigate your way through every step of your divorce, so you can begin the next chapter in your life.
Understanding the Key Issues in a Divorce
When going through the process of unlinking your life from your spouse, you will both have to resolve several key issues. If you can agree on each of them, you will have an uncontested divorce, which generally takes less time and incurs fewer legal fees. If you cannot agree on every key issue, however, you will have a contested divorce.
Here are a few of the key issues involved in a divorce:
If you and your spouse have a marital agreement, outlining how marital assets and debt must be divided, it will save you some time and a lot of unnecessary stress. Texas is a community property state, which means all marital assets are divided equally. Our experienced Houston divorce lawyer can help protect your separate property, preventing them from landing on the chopping block.
When it comes to issues pertaining to your children, a judge will always seek to do what is in their best interests, which requires an examination of several factors, including how supportive you and your spouse are of one another’s bond with the children and if you can provide a stable and loving environment for them.
What Is the Divorce Process in Texas?
Typically, a divorce involves 6 steps. Keep in mind that your particular situation may look different from the process described below, but generally, the Texas divorce process looks like this:
- Filing the divorce petition
- Requesting Temporary orders, if necessary
- Service of process, also known as “serving divorce papers”
- Negotiating a settlement
- Trial, if a settlement was not negotiated
- Finalizing the divorce judgment
If you would like to learn more about this process before proceeding, consult with our divorce attorney in Houston.
What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Texas?
Texas is a no-fault state, meaning you can get a divorce without blaming your spouse. As long as you or your spouse believes the relationship can’t be repaired, you may file for a no-fault divorce.
However, if you want to get a divorce based on fault, you may choose one of the following grounds for divorce in Texas:
- Felony conviction
- Living apart
- Confinement in a mental hospital
Texas Residency Requirements for Divorce
The Texas Family Code states that upon filing for your divorce, you or your spouse must have lived in Texas for the past 6 months. In addition, you or your spouse must have resided within the county that you file in for at least 90 days. The Code also details circumstances such as 1) absence due to public service and 2) filing from out of state.
- Absence Due to Public Service: If you and/or your spouse have been called to active duty, then the amount of time spent outside Texas state lines would apply to residency. This would be applicable to fulfilling the county requirements as well.
- Filing From Out of State: It is not uncommon for one of the spouses to move out of state once separated. If your spouse still lives in Texas, then you may file for divorce in the county in which he/she resides. Keep in mind, this would only apply if they lived in Texas for the last 6 months.
How Long Will Your Texas Divorce Take?
The length of your divorce will largely depend on the circumstances. For example, a contested divorce will take much longer than an uncontested because of the complex issues involved. These issues include child custody, support, and asset division. It is not uncommon for contested divorces to take a year or more.
Uncontested divorces are seen as the more time and cost-efficient method to divorce. However, you and your spouse must agree on 100% of the terms in order to file this way.
Regardless of which type you file for, Texas has a mandatory 60-day wait called the cooling-off period. This gives the couple the opportunity to reconcile before the Final Decree, however this does not usually happen. There are only two valid exceptions to this 60-day rule:
- If your spouse has been convicted of a crime involving family violence against you or a member of your household.
- If you have an active and valid Order of Protection that was put into place for the purpose of family violence protection.
Can I Get a Legal Separation in Texas?
No. Legal separation is not an option in Texas. However, you could explore alternatives that have similar outcomes as a legal separation. These options include temporary orders, protective orders, separation agreements, and suits affecting the parent-child relationship. Discuss your goals with a Houston divorce attorney so they can explain your alternatives to legal separation.
Contact Our Houston Divorce Attorney for a Phone Consultation
If you are preparing to go through the divorce process, you should not put off seeking skilled legal guidance to help you navigate each step of the way. At The Pollard Firm, PLLC in Houston, our experienced divorce attorney will provide the strong legal support you need to get through this emotionally charged process and help you protect your interests, so you can start the next chapter in your life on a positive note. With us on your side, you can feel confident you will always understand your rights and your best options.