Divorce in Texas can be very difficult without an experienced Austin divorce attorney to help you navigate the process. Every year, many Austin couples decide to end their marriages for various reasons. Some divorces are amicable while others are extremely tense and emotional.
Regardless of why a divorce becomes an issue, Austin divorce lawyer Abraham Kant at SSJM Family Law can help you navigate the process as smoothly as possible so you can start building your new life. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation and find out how our firm can help with your divorce.
If you need a divorce attorney, it is crucial to find one who can successfully navigate you to a favorable result quickly and with the least possible amount of stress.
Hiring the right attorney to handle your Austin, TX divorce can help ensure an equitable distribution of marital property and a less stressful experience with the Texas court system. Abraham Kant works diligently to minimize the financial toll of a divorce for clients and provide compassionate, comprehensive legal representation throughout all divorce cases he handles.
Even if a divorce seems simple and straightforward at first, hiring a divorce lawyer in Austin can help. An experienced Austin divorce lawyer can remove a great deal of uncertainty from divorce proceedings and help a divorcing spouse better understand his or her legal position. An Austin divorce attorney can help a client ensure an equitable distribution of marital property, represent the client in negotiations and trial appearances, and even handle insurance-related issues on behalf of the client. Ultimately, hiring an attorney streamlines the divorce process and helps ensure a speedy resolution.
Our firm has the resources to handle the most difficult divorce cases. We know different types of divorces entail different issues and property division rules.
These are just a few examples of the different forms a divorce may take, and having an experienced divorce lawyer is a tremendous asset in any of these situations.
Texas is one of many states to allow no-fault divorces. If a couple mutually agrees to end their marriage without one spouse being at fault for causing the breakdown of the marriage, the court will generally accept “irreconcilable differences” or similar reasoning for a no-fault divorce. While it can strengthen certain aspects of a case if you do determine fault, you can still succeed without proving direct blame.
Grounds for fault-based divorce generally include different types of abuse and mistreatment that can take place during a marriage.
Satisfying any of these requirements constitutes a fault-based divorce, and Texas courts take fault into consideration when dividing marital assets in divorce. 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. This includes 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.
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 lawyers 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. A mediator can help to encourage you and your spouse to reach agreements. The Austin divorce lawyers, 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.
Travis County has very specific rules regarding children during divorce proceedings. These rules are 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. Written consent from either the other spouse or the court is required to remove children from regular activities. 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. If you have additional questions regarding child custody in Travis County, our Austin child custody attorneys can help.
Once an agreement is reached or an order is enacted, 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. It is forbidden to destroy or hide your spouse’s property. 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. It is wise to hire a qualified Austin family law attorney to defend your interests and help you finalize your divorce as painlessly as possible while safeguarding your property and your children.
A: All property and assets gained during a marriage typically count as marital or community property. This property is subject to equitable division in divorce. Each spouse may have separate property of which they may retain ownership but proving sole ownership can be difficult in some cases. Unequal earning power does enter consideration in divorce proceedings and can influence the division of marital assets.
A: After filing a petition for divorce, it takes a minimum of 60 days to finalize the petition. The average divorce in Texas takes roughly six months to one year. More complicated divorce cases can take longer. Some divorces can take several years depending on the property and assets involved.
A: Divorce negotiations can be difficult and stressful. When a divorcing couple cannot amicably reach a mutual agreement, a mediator could help streamline negotiations.
A: Child custody determinations are often one of the areas of greatest contention in divorce negotiations. Ultimately, the court has a duty to rule in the best interests of the children involved in a divorce case. If a divorcing couple must split custody, the court will absolutely take each parent’s past conduct into account when making such a determination.
A: The court makes alimony and spousal support determinations based on several factors. The income of each spouse, the length of the marriage, each spouse’s behavior in the marriage, and the grounds for the divorce all influence these decisions. For example, a higher-earning spouse will likely owe his or her ex alimony or spousal support if the divorce leads to a drastic shift in lifestyle for the ex. Contact our Austin alimony lawyers to learn more about spousal support in Texas.
Even a seemingly straightforward uncontested divorce can involve complex issues that demand professional attention. Regardless of your feelings toward your soon-to-be-ex, hiring an Austin divorce attorney helps streamline the entire process. It also increases the chances of a fair and reasonable ruling in your divorce. If you need a divorce attorney in Austin, TX, contact SSJM Family Law today and schedule a free case evaluation. Once we review your divorce case, we can let you know how our firm can help.