Divorce. Just the mention of the word causes emotions to run high and frustration to build in husbands and wives ready to end their marriages. However, knowing what to expect during divorce can help to ease the pain and worry.If you are considering divorce or ready to move forward with the dissolution of your marriage, an understanding attorney trained in divorce and family law can answer your questions and guide you through each step of the divorce process. At the law offices of Bailey & Galyen, our legal team is committed to offering personal service and customized solutions to individuals and families who come to us for help. We listen to your concerns and discuss your legal options, and we are tenacious in pursuing results that will benefit you.
At-Fault and No-Fault Divorce in Texas
In Texas, a divorce is either an at-fault divorce or a no-fault divorce. In a no-fault divorce, neither party is legally responsible for the failure of the marriage. Either party may start a no-fault divorce if the marriage has become insupportable or if the couple has not been living together for at least three years. Because of the broad definition of "insupportable," the majority of no-fault divorces cite this reason.
An at-fault divorce requires the husband or wife to declare a specific reason why he or she seeks a divorce. The most common reason for an at-fault divorce is adultery, but other reasons can include cruel and inhuman treatment, imprisonment for a felony conviction and abandonment. Another reason may be that the couple cannot agree on terms such as property division or child custody and visitation .
A Map of the Steps in Texas Divorce
Most people who have gone through a divorce can testify that hiring a lawyer makes the process easier. This is especially true if the divorce is contested and if the other party has an attorney. Even in no-fault divorces, however, an attorney can be invaluable in helping you navigate the process of moving your divorce through these steps:
1. A petition is filed with the court by a divorce attorney representing either the husband or the wife.
2. Either party may get a temporary restraining order, if it is necessary, after a divorce petition has been filed.
3. Discovery begins so each party can gather important information, answer questions and complete paperwork.
4. After the period of discovery, divorce settlement negotiations between parties begin for family issues such as spousal support, division of debts and child support .
5. If negotiations to reach agreement fail, then a judge will make the final decisions at trial. If negotiations succeed, a judge must approve the agreement.
A divorce attorney can educate you about the law and will look out for your best interests. If you prefer, he or she will attempt to end the divorce proceedings amicably through divorce mediation or collaborative divorce . If not, the attorney will do whatever is legally possible to ensure that you obtain the best outcome at trial.