If you want someone who will listen, advance your goals, solve problems creatively, and negotiate shrewdly and strategically, schedule an initial consultation now
. We can talk about your situation, answer your questions, address your concerns, and help you come up with a plan to get through this so you can move on with your life.
We can help you find the light at the end of the tunnel.
Family Law Cases We Handle
Whether you are working towards an amicable divorce or headed towards a courthouse battle, we have the experience to help you. When you’ve been in family law as long as we have, there aren’t any surprises. We’ve seen and heard everything you can imagine (and a lot that you can’t imagine).
Here’s a partial list of our areas of expertise:
- Property Division / Complex Property Issues
- High Net Worth Divorces
- Business Owner & Entrepreneur Divorces
- International Family Law
- Child Custody / Parenting Plans
- Child Support
- Relocation / Move Away Cases
- Dividing Retirement Accounts
- Temporary Orders
- LGBTQ+ / Non-Traditional Families
- Pre-Marital Agreement / Prenup
- Post-Marital Agreement / Postnup
- Collaborative Divorce
- Gray Divorce
- Military Divorce
- Alimony / Spousal Maintenance
Austin Divorce Process
I’m going to cover some of the basic divorce information and discuss the overall divorce process in Texas. To begin with, there is no legal separation in Texas. You are married until you get a divorce.
If you want to file for divorce in Texas, you must meet the jurisdictional requirements. Either you or your spouse must have lived in Texas for the previous 6 months and in the county you’re going to file in for the last 90 days. Once you’ve filed your Petition for Divorce, you can move, but you must meet the jurisdictional requirements before filing.
Grounds for Divorce
In Texas you can file for divorce based on fault grounds or no-fault grounds. Most of the divorces that we see are based on no-fault grounds or insupportability.
The fault grounds are as follows:
- Cruel treatment (domestic violence)
- Abandonment for more than 2 years
- Commission of a felony that puts your spouse in jail for 2
- Commitment to a mental institution
Adultery is probably the most common fault ground that we see used, but it’s also possible to file based on more than one ground.
If you are in the military and you are deployed, you can file for divorce based on where you lived prior to being deployed.
Filing for Divorce
You start the divorce process in Texas by filing an Original Petition for Divorce. This is basically just a request for a divorce. It’s generally a very simple 1 page to 1 1/2 page document if you’re filing on a no-fault ground.
If it’s a more complex case where there’s been domestic violence for instance, or if there is a significant amount of conflict, we may have more complicated initial pleadings.
Filing the Original Petition for Divorce starts the clock on the 60 day “cooling off” period. This means that the divorce cannot be finalized until 60 days have passed.
Waiver of Service
If we’re trying to do an amicable or semi-amicable divorce, we will usually send a letter to your spouse with a Waiver of Service. The letter explains that a divorce has been filed and asks them to sign and return the Waiver. The Waiver that we send allows your spouse to acknowledge that they understand a divorce is underway and that we do not need to have them served.
Our Waiver specifically states that the person is NOT waiving their rights to their children, their property, or to be notified of a final hearing.
It’s important to understand that not all waivers are limited like this. You should read any Waiver carefully or have it reviewed by an attorney before signing.
If there is a lot of conflict in the case, we may have to have the opposing party served by a private process server or a constable. If your spouse decides to hire an attorney to represent them, that attorney will often file an Answer which eliminates the need for them to sign the Waiver of Service.
Final Decree of Divorce
Once you have reached agreements on the issues related to your divorce, we will draft a Final Decree of Divorce. This document specifies exactly how your property will be divided, who will have possession of the children and when, who will make decisions for the children, and other details related to your divorce.
This is a very general overview of the divorce process and it’s intended to give you an idea of how it works. When you schedule an initial consultation
, we can talk about how it will all apply to your specific situation.