Answering 10 Frequently Asked Questions about Divorce
The decision to divorce may bring much chaos in the lives of the separating couple. Whether the partners mutually agree for a divorce or the divorce is initiated by one of the spouses makes no difference to the state laws in Texas or elsewhere in the US, as the court follows the complete process involved in a legal separation. A divorce proceeding involves several factors, including the financial and custodial agreements. Filing a divorce is not as simple as it may seem, and needless to elaborate, most people always have an array of questions regarding the process and applicable laws. Therefore, this blog post discusses ten of the most frequently asked questions regarding divorce proceedings. Let’s begin.
1. What are the requirements to file a divorce?
The Texas family laws, until recently, mandated furnishing a reason for divorce; however, after a revision of the guidelines, now it is a discretionary requirement. Any of the partners can still opt for quoting a reason, such as a drug abuse, domestic violence, or adultery, which may help turn the case in their favor, especially when it comes to sensitive matters such as child custody. Besides the usual paperwork, the only thing required to file an intent of divorce in Dallas is a proof of residence.
2. What are the precise residency requirements?
To file a divorce in Texas, at least one of the spouses must be a resident of the state for a continuous period of 6 months or more. Additionally, one of them must also fall under the jurisdiction where the divorce is being filed.
3. How long may it take to finalize a divorce?
Texas State Laws require a couple to wait for a minimum period of 60 days after filing a divorce petition. While some cases undergo a trial straightaway, certain cases may result in considerable waiting times for the petitioners, even after the trial period of 60 days has elapsed.
4. Is it mandatory to prove the fault of one spouse?
Faults of one of the spouses, such as adultery and domestic violence, may provide additional strength to the divorce petition; however, it is difficult to comment on its exact role in the divorce settlement.
5. How much can a divorce cost?
The cost of a divorce depends on a number of factors, such as the length of the trial, intricacies involved in financial agreement, child custody, and the attorney’s experience, as it is sure to reflect in their service fee.
6. What factors govern the disbursement of spousal maintenance?
A person can be entitled to pay or receive a spousal maintenance under the below mentioned conditions:
- When there is a finding of family violence within 2 years from the marriage.
- If the marriage lasted 10 years or more, and the spouse seeking support does not have enough property to sustain his/her minimum reasonable needs or cannot get employment because of a physical or mental disability.
- The spouse who asks for alimony is the sole custodian of a child with a debilitating physical or mental disorder, and therefore, they can’t seek employment.
Spousal maintenance typically lasts for 3 years, with a few exceptions stated by the Texas divorce laws.
7. Is a court visit mandatory?
A court visit is not a mandate if both the parties mutually agree on the terms of financial settlement and child custody. The spouses need to visit the court only for the final disposal of the case. A divorce is granted once both the parties queue up for a prove-up hearing. During the prove-up hearing, the judge or the attorney asks standard questions about the decree, and the judge signs the final version of the decree. If the terms of the divorce are unacceptable to any of the parties, the next step is the final trial in which the parties call the witnesses and testifying evidence, based on which the jury decides the terms of the separation.
8. How is child custody decided?
Child custody remains the discretion of the court; however a child above 12 years can sign a “Choice of Managing Conservator” that documents their choice of the preferred parent. This however, does not guarantee that their preference will be honored, as the court reserves the right to decide what’s best for them, and therefore, select the better qualified parent.
9. What is the status of common law marriage in Texas?
There are two ways to form a common law marriage in Texas. A couple can either sign a declaration of marriage under section 2.402 of the Family Code, or agree to marry and continue living in Texas as a married couple. In such cases, if any, couples may file a divorce if they decide to part their ways.
10. Do I need a divorce lawyer?
Hiring a lawyer is not a requirement to obtaining a divorce. However, a lawyer is necessary in complex divorce cases or cases that involve child custody or property disputes.
The Bottom Line
Divorce battles can be overwhelming, especially for those who are unaware of the laws applicable in their state. Therefore, whether it’s about property distribution, child custody or calculating alimony, it is advisable for couples to hire the best divorce lawyers possible after a thorough research. If you or someone you know is going through or planning to file for a divorce and needs an experienced divorce lawyer, 123 Divorce Company is here to help. Feel free to contact us for a round of no-obligation consultation. Simply call 214.599.9979.