Divorce can cause turmoil in a person’s emotions, relationships, and finances. Many people who are thinking about getting divorced worry that they may not be able to afford the same lifestyle or cover their bills.
Fortunately, a Tarrant County divorce lawyer could help you create a plan to separate from your spouse and secure your financial future. If you are considering filing for divorce, speak with a family law attorney today.
Legal Requirements for a Divorce
To get a divorce in Texas, at least one of the spouses must have been a resident for six months before filing. Additionally, one of the spouses must have resided in the county where the case begins for at least ninety days. If one spouse no longer lives in Texas, then the couple can only file for divorce in the state if their last marital residence was in Texas and it has been less than two years since they stopped living together there.
The divorce begins when one person files a Petition for Divorce and serves it on their spouse. The petition may ask for things like child custody or child support and can request the court to enter temporary orders for financial support. The spouse who is served with the petition must file an Answer in response, or the judge may enter a default judgment. When a person defaults on a legal case, the judge may grant every request in the Petition for Divorce without input from the unresponsive spouse.
A court in Texas cannot legally grant a divorce until at least sixty days after the petition was filed. This delay is known as a “cooling off period” and gives spouses the chance to reconcile before finalizing their divorce.
Types of Divorce in Tarrant County
A person filing for divorce in Texas can choose a no-fault divorce or a fault-based divorce. No-fault divorces are granted on the basis of “insupportability,” which means that the couple is incompatible and has no reasonable expectation of reconciliation.
Fault-based divorces are much less common. Often, divorcing spouses do not want to make the reasons for their divorce public and opt for a no-fault divorce instead. However, Texas allows divorce on grounds such as adultery, cruelty, conviction of a felony, abandonment, or institutionalization.
Divorcing spouses must also choose if they will have a contested or uncontested divorce. Uncontested divorces happen when both parties agree to all of the terms included in the divorce decree, including things like the division of property, child custody and support, and alimony. Often, parties will mediate these agreements through their attorneys to come to a mutual decision.
When parties cannot agree, their divorce is contested. Contested divorces may require several court hearings or a trial, and often take much longer to finalize than when couples can agree on terms.
Why Hire a Divorce Lawyer?
A divorce attorney in Tarrant County could help individuals work through tough issues with their former spouse. Often, it can be very emotional and draining for former couple to split up their assets or decide on child custody without the assistance of a third party. Hiring a divorce lawyer relieves some of this burden, as the lawyers in the case will negotiate with each other and the parties can limit their contact.
Additionally, an attorney could help the parties sort through some of the complicated financial issues involved in a divorce. A lawyer may be necessary to value assets in the marital estate like retirement or other savings accounts and could assist the parties in selling property like their marital home.
If the couple has children, the parties’ divorce lawyers could help them create a parenting plan and custody agreement. Texas law requires parents to pay a certain amount of child support, depending on the amount of parenting time each person has, and a judge will not approve a divorce decree that does not follow this requirement.
Get Help From A Tarrant County Divorce Attorney
Handling a divorce by yourself can be overwhelming. If you are planning to separate from your spouse, or if you need to respond to a divorce filed against you, it is important to contact a divorce attorney and protect your rights in court. Schedule an appointment with a Tarrant County divorce lawyer today to learn more about your options.