File Your Original Petition For Divorce
You begin the process of divorce by filing an Original Petition for Divorce at the courthouse. The Petition asks for your name, your spouses name, confirmation that you meet the Texas residency requirements, the date of your marriage and separation, and other information about your marriage.
If you have minor children, own property, or have a protection order against your spouse, the Petition will require more information. Additionally, if you have minor children with your spouse, you must complete the Information on Suit Affecting the Family Relationship form. If you need help filling out your Petition, one of our divorce attorneys at The Larson Law Offices can help.
Your Spouses Answer And Counterpetition
Once your spouse has been provided with notice that you filed for divorce, the ball is in their court.
With or without an attorney, your spouse will have twenty days from the date of service to file an answer to your petition. After your spouse files an answer, he or she is entitled to be present for all court hearings in your divorce proceedings.
In addition to filing an answer, your spouse may also file a counter petition. This divorce form is similar to the original petition. The counter petition states the respondentâs grounds for filing for divorce and what the respondent would like to request from the court.
A counter petition does not require the same citation listed above but does require the respondent to send the counter petition to the opposing party.
How Much Is A Divorce In Texas Online
It depends. Online divorces, while less expensive than hiring a lawyer, do still include costs. Using an online filing service can cost over $100 and counties have their own filing fees, service fees and issuance fees.
If you cant afford the fees, dont worry you have options. Courts provide fee waivers for individuals who qualify. You do have the option of going fully DIY and filling out the forms yourself directly from the court website. However, this article focuses on how to obtain an online divorce using paid services.
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Texas Spousal Support Guidelines
The court may award maintenance for a spouse only if:
- The spouse from whom maintenance is requested has been convicted of family violence within two years before the suit for dissolution or
- The duration of the marriage was 10 years or longer and the spouse seeking maintenance:
- Lacks sufficient property to provide for his or her reasonable minimum needs
- Is unable to support himself or herself through employment because of an incapacitating physical or mental disability
- Is the custodian of a child who requires substantial care and supervision because of a physical or mental disability which makes it necessary that the spouse not be employed outside the home or
- Clearly lacks earning ability in the labor market adequate to provide for the spouses minimum reasonable needs.
If the court determines that a spouse is eligible for maintenance, the following factors are then considered in the award:
The amount of monthly maintenance can be no more than the lower of $2,500.00 or 20% of the paying spouses monthly gross income. .
Do I Have To Go To Court
Not necessarily. If you and your spouse are able to agree on everything including possession and access to the children, child support and property division, the only time you would have to go to court is to do a Final Prove Up of the divorce and even then your spouse can have that done with only your signature. However, if parties contest issues, a hearing or final trial is likely.
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How Does A Divorce Affect Debt
Your divorce does not affect a creditors right to collect a debt. So, if your Final Decree of Divorce orders your spouse to pay a debt that is in both of your names but your spouse doesnt pay it, the creditor can still seek payment from you. Ask a lawyer how to protect yourself in this situation.
Read this article to learn more: Dividing Your Property & Debt in a Divorce.
Reasons For Divorce In Texas
There are mainly two reasons of divorce in Texas those are fault and general.In order to file for divorce in Texas, the proper grounds must be established. Both spouses are involved in establishing these grounds, and both must substantiate and agree upon these, unless the divorcing spouse is trying to prove otherwise to the court.
No-fault grounds for a divorce in Texasinclude:
- The marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that has destroyed the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation or
- Living separate and apart without cohabitation for three years. .
General reasons fordivorce in Texas include:
- Confinement for incurable insanity for three years
- Conviction of a felony and imprisonment for over one year and
- Cruel and inhuman treatment. .
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Can I Get Divorced Sooner Than 61 Days
You probably cannot divorce sooner than 61 days. There are two minimal exceptions to this concept of the mandatory 60-day waiting period. But more on this in a moment. A court may waive the waiting period under section 6.702 of the Texas Family Code because:
In theory, if you meet one of the above criteria, you might get divorced sooner than 61 days. However, in practice, if you are trying to get divorced under one exception, your divorce is probably contested, which more than likely means your divorce will probably have to be handled through a trial.
If your divorce is handled in a trial, it will likely take longer than 60 days before a court will hear your case.
Looking For An Online Divorce In Texas
If youre looking to separate quickly and amicably in Texas, consider an online divorce company with the experience to ensure your filing goes smoothly.
Legal Disclaimer: This article contains general legal information, but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation and should not be interpreted as creating an attorney-client relationship. If you have legal questions, you should seek the advice of an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.
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What If My Spouse Doesnt Live In Texas
As long as you meet the residency requirements for divorce, you can get divorced in Texas even if your spouse lives in another state.
Note: The court must have personal jurisdiction over your out-of-state spouse to include orders in your divorce that impose a personal obligation on your spousesuch as ordering your spouse to pay a debt or pay child support. The Original Petition for Divorce form includes a list of situations that give the Court personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state spouse. Check any that apply to your case. Talk to a lawyer if none apply or you have questions about personal jurisdiction.
Financial Disclosure Obligation In Texas
Texas laws stipulate that spouses must disclose to each other the type and amount of all community and separate assets and debts when spousal support is being sought. This is so the courts can accurately determine if support is warranted or not. When there is no request for support, the spouses may not need to disclose financial information, as long as they or their lawyers can work out a fair and equitable division of assets and any child support issues.
When a spouse does not accurately disclose this information, or if they refuse to exchange it with their spouse, the court may order the spouse to do so, and also make them pay any associated attorneys fees.
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Online Divorce In Texas: A Step
Are you considering divorce but worried about the expense and emotional toll of going to court? You may be interested in an online divorce. Texas recognizes this method of separation for unhappy couples who dont want to hire lawyers. Check out these answers to common questions about getting a Texas divorce online, as well as steps to take if you want to end your marriage in the Lone Star State.
Can My Attorney Represent Both Me And My Spouse
You and your attorney and his/her staff are in an attorney-client relationship. This relationship is recognized by the law, and is very special. Your attorney CANNOT have this relationship with both you AND your spouse. This would be a major conflict of interest. Your attorney and staff owe one hundred percent of their loyalty to you and your case and owe none whatsoever to your spouse . We call this zealous advocacy of our client.
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Child Custody Laws In Texas
Child custody in Texas is known as conservatorship, which spells out the legal rights and responsibilities of a parent in the state. Unless parents can come up with a parenting plan that is approved by the courts, a judge will set forth the terms of the conservatorship. In call cases, the terms of the conservatorship are determined by the best interests of the child involved in the divorce.
There are two types of child conservatorships in Texas:
A joint managing conservatorship means that both the mother and the father will share the rights and duties of being a parent. However, certain decisions and responsibilities may be assigned to one parent only. If both parents are made conservators, then the courts will decide which parent or it both parents make decisions jointly. This can become complicated when there are not equal possession and custody of a child.
Unless there are negative circumstances surrounding one parent or the other, courts will want an arrangement in which both parents are active and positive participants in their childrens lives.
The parent who is assigned primary custodial rights will generally have more power and influence over a childs life. Custodial rights are often determined by a number of things, but always with the overarching principle of what is in the best interests of the child. Other factors may include:
Judges usually place parents on a fixed visitation schedule to ensure both are actively involved in the childs life.
Different Kinds Of Indiana Divorce
When filing your petition for dissolution of marriage, you must indicate whether you are filing a no-fault or fault-based divorce.
A no-fault divorce can be either contested or uncontested. If you and your spouse agree on all issues, the divorce will be uncontested this is often the quickest and cheapest way to get an Indiana divorce. An uncontested no-fault divorce in Indiana may be resolved through summary dissolution.
For a summary dissolution, you must:
1. File the documents for a no-fault divorce
2. File the documents for an agreed divorce
3. File a written waiver signed by both parties waiving the final hearing and either
a. A statement that there are no contested issues or
b. A written and signed settlement agreement
4. Allow the passage of at least 60 days after the initial petition was filed.
If, however, you disagree on any issues, the divorce is contested. A contested divorce will require a hearing to resolve any outstanding issues, and this hearing cannot occur until after 60 days have passed from the initial filing.
Indiana also has fault-based divorces. The grounds for a fault-based divorce are:
- Felony conviction after the beginning of the marriage
- Impotence if it existed at the time of the marriage
- Incurable insanity of at least two years duration
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Ready To Speak To A Divorce Attorney
The answer to the question, Can I get a divorce while pregnant? is complicated. No law prohibits you from filing for divorce in Texas while pregnant. However, a resolution to your divorce must wait until the birth of your child. Despite these rules, pregnancy is not a permanent delay to your divorce.
If you have questions about a divorce while pregnant in Texas, contact The Larson Law Office today for a free consultation. The attorneys at The Larson Law Office provide custom, quality representation to all clients. We answer all questions from our clients personally and promptly. If you hire Erik or Diana as your divorce attorney, you only ever speak to Erik or Diana about your divorce.
The Larson Law Office commits to highly personalized representation, so no client ever feels left in the dark about their case. A divorce represents a deeply personal and emotional event. We support our clients through this transitional time and help you turn toward a brighter future for you and your family.
We dutifully represent clients in Houston, Texas, and surrounding metropolitan areas. Contact The Larson Law Office online, or call us today at for a complimentary case review regarding a divorce while pregnant in Texas.
When Should I Avoid Filing For Divorce In Texas Without A Lawyer
While getting a divorce in Texas without a lawyer might seem like the best option, its highly recommended that you consult with a divorce attorney if the following is true:
- You are afraid for your or your childrens safety
- Your spouse hired a divorce lawyer
- Your spouse plans to contest the divorce
- You need spousal support
- You and your spouse own real estate
- You need assistance with child support issues
- You are dividing retirement accounts
- You are dividing other investment accounts
- You want financial disclosures done by your spouse before reaching an agreement
- You suspect money or assets have been hidden by your spouse or
- You want help navigating complicated visitation, and rights/duties issues.
If you have more questions about the divorce process in Texas, our team of divorce attorneys can help. Erik and Diana Larson each have over 20 years of experience practicing law in Texas and can use that expertise to your benefit. Contact our office today for a free consultation.
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Contact A Lawyer To Set A Pre
If you want to speed up your divorce in Texas, it is essential to set a pre-trial hearing at the very beginning of your divorce proceedings. Many divorcing couples do not realize that setting a pre-trial hearing is important to put deadlines in place and obtain a quick divorce in the long run.
Contact an experienced divorce lawyer who will help you prepare your pre-trial motions and ensure that you can get a pre-trial hearing as soon as possible. As long as you have your records and paperwork organized, there is no point in delaying the divorce process.
Getting Help With The Texas Divorce Forms
If the process of tracking down the right forms and filling them out properly is dauntingor if you just don’t have the time for thatthere is another option besides hiring a lawyer to handle it for you. You can use an online divorce service, which will provide you with the correct, completed forms based on your answers to an online questionnaire. Some of these services will even file the forms for you, usually for an additional fee.
However, if your divorce is a contested one, you won’t be able to take advantage of either online divorce or the forms available from Texas Law Help. Many people in this situation hire lawyers to handle their divorce case. If that’s completely out of reach for you, you might be able to find help through a legal clinic or volunteer lawyer.
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What If I’m Afraid Of My Spouse
Divorce can be a dangerous time. If you are concerned about your safety or the safety of your children, call the National Domestic Violence 24-Hour Hotline at 800-799-SAFE . They can refer you to help in your community.
For legal help, you can also call:
Find out more in the Protection from Violence or Abuse section of this website.
Can An Adoption Order Be Challenged
An adoption order can only be challenged within six months after it has been filed. Once all parties have signed the final agreements, and six months is passed, the order is final.
An adoption order can only be successfully challenged if it can be shown that, at the time of adoption, the right conditions were not met. For instance, if a biological parent did not give consent or if the adoptive parent did not meet the required conditions, the adoption process may in jeopardy. Otherwise, the adoption order is final.
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Does Texas Have A Waiting Period For Divorce
In Texas, a judge may not grant your final divorce until at least 60 days have passed after you filed the divorce petition. The only exceptions to this waiting period are in cases involving domestic violence, when the petitioner has an activefamily violence protective order against the respondent, or the respondent has been convicted of a a domestic violence crimeagainst the petitioner or someone else in the household. .)
Although your divorce will be final when the judge signs the divorce decree, neither you nor your spouse may marry someone else until another 31 days have passed. .)
Does Texas Grant Divorces Based On Marital Fault
es. Marital fault grounds for divorce in Texas include: adultery, cruelty, felony conviction and abandonment.
Adultery means one spouse has committed adultery. Cruelty means that one spouse treated the other in such a way that the marriage and living together was insupportable. Abandonment in Texas requires that one spouse has left the complaining spouse with the intention of abandonment and remained away for at least one year. Felony conviction requires that the other spouse be imprisoned for a year.
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