Get Answers To Your Questions About A Texas Divorce
When relationships change and marital discord reaches an inevitable conclusion, a divorce lawyer who definitively knows Texas family law can be an effective and protective guide throughout the legal process. With a wide range of experience spanning over 20 years in family law, and a thorough knowledge of how it can affect you and your future, I can help you pursue favorable outcomes to protect your rights and interests.
I am attorney Joseph Lassen, and I invite you to request a consultation about your Texas divorce. I will start by listening carefully and provide personalized answers to questions such as those below.
What are the residency requirements for filing for divorce in Texas?
At least one spouse must meet certain residency requirements. The one who files for divorce in this state must have been a resident of Texas for a continuous six-month period and a resident of the county where they file for at least 90 days.
What are typical steps taken to initiate a divorce in Texas?
- Petition: You or your spouse will file a petition with the court that identifies divorcing parties and clarifies whether there are children involved and the reason for the divorce. The court cannot finalize the divorce until 60 days after the initial court filing.
- Temporary restraining order: At the time of filing, the petitioner can request that the court issue a standard temporary restraining order to protect the parties until a final decree is issued. This restraining order may establish any combination of the following:
- Temporary possession of the residence, cars and other assets
- Access to children and their care, including temporary child support
- The payment of bills and attorney fees
- The temporary financial support of the spouse
- Requirements that the spouses act civilly and not threaten or harass each other
- Discovery: Each party exchanges information to determine each party’s positions and any information necessary to resolve issues to complete the divorce process, including:
- Information regarding children regarding custody, possession, access, child support and medical support
- The value of the marital estate – property, assets, debts, etc.
- Current and future financial standing
- Determining what assets are considered community property and which are considered separate property
How is property divided in a Texas divorce?
Texas is one of just a few states that utilize a community property system to divide marital property. Texas defines community property as any property that’s obtained during the marriage except separate property. Also, all property is considered community property unless proven otherwise. Property that’s “owned or claimed before marriage, and [property] acquired afterward by gift, devise, or descent” is considered separate property.
Even though property division grants equal ownership to property, it doesn’t mean that everything will be divided in half. An experienced divorce attorney on your side can help you pursue a solution that lines up with your goals and priorities.
What is an uncontested divorce?
In an uncontested divorce, also known as an “agreed” or “mutual” divorce, spouses come to an agreement on most issues and can end their legal relationship with few obstacles.
- Division of the marital property
- Division of debt accrued during the marriage
- Custody of your children
- Child support
- Visitation rights for the noncustodial parent
For the issues that cannot be agreed upon, a divorce lawyer can provide divorce mediation services to help a couple reach a fair solution through a suitable, private, timely and cost-efficient method where both parties can retain control of the outcome.
What is a contested divorce?
If spouses fail to agree on the terms of divorce and a divorce goes through litigation, divorce records can become very public. If you go this route, I will advocate zealously on your behalf to protect you against false claims, unfavorable legal positioning and unfair requests. My goal is to help you reach a positive resolution to your divorce process.
How does alimony work?
Alimony is a periodic payment, generally monthly, to support an ex-spouse. You may hear different terms throughout your divorce process, including:
- Spousal support: Payments to a spouse ordered by the court while your divorce is pending
- Spousal maintenance: Court-ordered payments as part of the final decree of divorce
- Contractual alimony: Payments agreed upon as part of a divorce settlement
Couples who opt for uncontested divorces or divorce mediation can reduce stress by examining and amicably deciding on what is fair. In a contested divorce, the decision of fairness is left up to a divorce court. Divorce courts may order spousal maintenance shown of: (1) $5,000 or (2) 20% of the spouse’s average monthly gross income, whichever is less. The duration of the alimony payments is generally determined by the length of the marriage, as follows:
- If married 10 to 20 years, alimony payments will be for no more than five years.
- If married 20 to 30 years, alimony payments will be for no more than seven years.
- If married 30 years or more, alimony payments will be for no more than 10 years.
Can court orders be modified after a divorce is complete?
Modifications of custody and support orders in your final divorce decree can be made when there are substantial lifestyle changes for one or both parties, such as:
- Financial status
- Job loss
- Moving out of state
- Failure to adhere to the marriage settlement agreement
- A determination that divorce orders were unfair
Property division orders cannot typically be modified, but if you discover after your divorce that your spouse hid significant assets, consult with an attorney about your legal options. Also, see a lawyer after your divorce if your ex-spouse fails to divide property as ordered in the divorce decree.
Get More Answers, Legal Advice And Help
To feel confident you’re being treated fairly and are protected, please contact me, attorney Joseph Lassen, about your concerns. Call +1-210-625-6540 or send an email request for a consultation. I will help get you through the divorce process so you can move on to the next stage of your life with a sense of security and closure.