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At SSJM Family Law, our divorce attorneys have extensive knowledge and experience handling divorce and family law cases. In fact, attorney Abraham Kant has devoted his entire career to family law. Mr. Kant understands the importance of all family cases and is willing to be aggressive when necessary to fight for your needs. He also realizes that the proceedings can have an enormous effect on your life and will respect that by working tirelessly and compassionately for you.
If you find yourself faced with a divorce or any other family law issue, contact attorney Abraham Kant at SSJM Family Law today. The right divorce attorney can play a huge role in the divorce process by giving you the peace of mind necessary to make decisions on your own behalf. Call today for a free confidential case evaluation to see how we can help.
Divorce is one of the more common types of family law matters, yet no two divorce cases are exactly the same. The process can be simple and streamlined in some, while complex and extremely contentious in others.
Texas is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that you are not required to prove that one spouse is at fault for a divorce. While it can strengthen certain aspects of a case if you do, you can still succeed without proving direct blame. Texas state law mandates a certain waiting period between filing and finalizing a divorce, with the only exceptions for cases involving family violence. In most other cases, the divorce process takes a minimum of 60 days. However, divorce cases can vary greatly in length. Some take the minimum amount of time, while others take much longer to be finalized.
Additionally, there is a residency requirement before you can file for divorce in Texas. One spouse must have been a resident of Texas for at least six months and have lived in the specific county for at least 90 days.
The first step is to file a petition with the district clerk. In Travis County, you will be assigned to a specific district court with a rotating judge. The petition you file will contain the general details of your case, including marital property, any circumstances involving your children, and the reason you are filing for divorce.
After successfully filing, you must have the petition delivered to your spouse. You do not have to do this yourself. You can have a law enforcement officer deliver it, a private process server, or have your spouse execute a Waiver of Service.
In especially difficult situations, you may want to request a temporary restraining order. This outlines various regulations about the situation between you and your spouse for a limited time, requiring that both parties be civil. It is important to note that filing a petition for divorce in Travis County comes with a specific Standing Order which protects the spouses and their children and preserves any property they each may have.
After the petition is delivered, the court may hold a hearing if the parties explicitly request it. This may include financial rules, such as putting a hold on the marital estate, deciding who will oversee paying the joint bills, and other matters. Another common factor discussed at these hearings is how custody and access to the children will work during the proceedings. None of these orders are permanent, however.
Typically, most divorce cases are resolved outside of the courtroom, through informal and formal mediation. In cases where a mutual agreement fails to materialize, the case is tried before a judge or jury for final judgments.
Travis County has very specific rules regarding children during divorce proceedings, detailed in a Standing Order given upon petitioning for divorce. Neither spouse can take the children out of Texas unless they have received official permission and agreement from the other spouse or the court.
You are also not allowed to remove your children from school or any program that they regularly attend, like day-care, without written consent from either the other spouse or the court.
If you hide the children or move homes without the other spouse or court’s awareness and agreement, you are in direct violation of the regulations.
You are also going against the Travis County regulations if you disturb the peace of the children in any way. As much as possible, they should be able to continue with their day-to-day activities during the proceedings and kept apart from the parent’s dispute.
The next step is to begin to build your case, often referred to as discovery. Each spouse may be questioned about various aspects of the relationship. You may also inspect and begin to gather documents that are relevant to your demands. Depositions may be held to gain further information about either spouse’s actions during the marriage.
Once this process is almost completed and both parties have what they need for their case, the Travis County Court, in most instances, requires both of you to attend a session where you and your attorneys try to reach a settlement without needing to go to court. This is referred to as mediation. There is a third-party present, the mediator, who can provide a more objective voice and help to encourage you and your spouse to reach agreements. The attorneys, with your participation, will negotiate and work to reach a compromise.
This is the most ideal situation for both parties, as it allows them to avoid any court proceedings and helps you both have more direct control over the decisions and regulations regarding your divorce. If negotiations reach an impasse, then the parties will leave mediation with whatever agreement they were able to reach and the case will move back to the courthouse. In these situations, you must bring your case to court and have a trial. This results in the judge or jury being in charge of the decisions regarding the terms of your divorce.
Once an agreement is reached or an order is enacted by a judge, you can finalize your divorce. This involves attending a meeting signing various closing documents that have been prepared.
During this entire process, Travis County enforces certain conduct laws to keep the proceedings civil. Neither spouse can use offensive, vulgar, or indecent language of any kind against the other spouse. This includes any language in phone calls, in writing, and in person.
You are also not allowed to threaten your spouse in any way. As with the crude language, this also includes during phone calls and in writing. Neither spouse can call the other at an unreasonable hour without cause or a legitimate reason to be calling.
You are also forbidden to open any mail that is not addressed to you and is meant for your spouse. Additionally, you cannot divert your spouse’s mail to keep them from receiving it.
Travis County has many specific rules in place regarding property and funds during a divorce. Destroying or hiding your spouse’s property is forbidden. Damaging or negatively impacting their items in any way is considered a violation. It is also illegal to conceal any property or its value from the other party. If you do not disclose everything in a truthful way, you are violating the divorce regulations. You are not allowed to do anything with any joint finances. This includes removing money from an account, terminating or limiting credit cards, or using joint funds in any way without written permission from your spouse.
Texas rules and regulations for divorce cases are complex and lengthy, so it is wise to hire a family law attorney with experience in divorce proceedings to defend your interests and help you finalize your divorce as painlessly as possible while safeguarding your property and your children.