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What do I need to do to file for divorce in Texas?

Starting the divorce process in the Texas courts requires individuals to meet certain conditions. In order to make sure that one is secure in their understanding of what will be expected of them and knowledgeable about the laws that will affect them, readers are encouraged to discuss their divorce plans with their family law attorneys. Legal representatives can support their clients as they end their marriages and supplement their understanding with information that can greatly improve their divorce outcomes.

First, in order to file for divorce, a person or their spouse must have lived in Texas for at least six months prior to the filing. Additionally, in order to know what court they may use, the Texas resident must have lived in the same county where the filing was submitted for at least 90 days. A pleading for divorce in Texas may allege certain types of fault as their grounds or may pursue the state's no-fault option.

Tips for protecting assets during a long divorce

Everyone wants to get through a divorce as quickly as possible due to costly court fees, emotional turmoil and the additional stress of dividing assets. However, a “quickie divorce” may cause more problems in the future.

For example, it takes a significant amount of time to divide assets between spouses. If the process is rushed, a spouse may lose or give up assets they wanted to protect. Luckily, there are ways to ensure your asset division is done efficiently and accurately.

Alimony basics during a Texas divorce

It is possible for a Texas resident to secure alimony, referred to as spousal maintenance in Texas, during their divorce. However, getting this form of financial support takes more than just asking for it. If the parties to a divorce do not agree to spousal maintenance terms in an agreement of their own making then one of the parties will have to ask the divorce court to grant them post-divorce financial help from their ex.

The first step toward securing spousal maintenance in a divorce is showing a court that the requesting party cannot pay for their basic reasonable needs. This may mean that without help from their ex the requestor cannot pay their rent or mortgage, or that they are unable to buy themselves food or pay their utilities with the money they have on their own. In marriages where one partner earns all of the money the other can be financially disadvantaged when divorce occurs.

What is legal custody of a child?

The legal custody of a child is an important responsibility for a person to accept. In Texas, parents generally have legal custody of their kids but when those parents go through divorces the status of their parental rights may be put into question. Generally, divorces will address two forms of child custody and will give parents certain rights based on what will serve the best interests of the children subject to the custody determinations.

Although physical custody involves deciding where a child will live and which parent will be responsible for their day-to-day needs, legal custody has to do with making important choices about a child's upbringing. A parent who has the right to exercise legal custody may be a part of discussions over where the child should go to school or where the child should attend religious services. A parent with legal custody can interject their opinions on whether their child should undergo certain medical procedures or receive care from certain individuals.

Marital property division rules during a Texas divorce

A Dallas couple can work their whole lives to acquire the wealth and possessions they need to ease themselves into retirement and to have enough left over to bequeath their kids an inheritance. However, if the parties to a Texas union elect to end their relationship in divorce, they may see their hard earned assets divided up and each may leave their marriage with less than they believe they should. In Texas, community property rules govern marital property divisions and this post will briefly touch on some of the property considerations individuals should make when approaching their divorces.

Community property generally means that all assets acquired by the partners to a marriage are martial unless they can be demonstrated to be separate. For example, a person may be able to show that a parcel of property should be considered separate if they owned it prior to marrying their soon-to-be ex-spouse. In Texas, personal gifts, inheritances, heirlooms, and other assets directed exclusively to one partner to a marriage may be considered the owner's separate property during a divorce.

Court considerations for Texas child custody cases

Child custody cases can arrive in Dallas courts pursuant to active divorces and on their own when parents separate or need to make changes to their existing parenting plans. Although parents can work together to prepare parenting plans that courts can approve for custodial matters, in is not unusual for courts to be tasked with creating custody schedules for families.

When a court must make decisions about the physical and legal custody of kids, it should first and foremost identify the best interests of the kids whose lives will be affected by the new custodial plan. The court can look at the needs of the children and their relationships with their parents. The court can evaluate if the parents will be able to work together to make a shared custody plan work or if the family may benefit from one parent having custody and the other visitation time with the kids.

Considering divorce?

The decision to divorce is life changing, for you, your families and your children. It is not something you want to come to regret later. You should prepare yourself for the reality of divorce: it will be difficult, and the adjustments will sting. Both partners will have a lower standard of living, and ideas and values the family once held about themselves will crumble.

What is divorce mediation?

A divorce is a legal process that undoes the legal union that two people create when they get married. In Texas, individuals have options for how they can choose to bring about their divorces. They may elect to pursue traditional methods of divorce through the courts, or they may choose to use the services of divorce mediators to find common ground with their soon-to-be ex-spouse and create their own divorce resolutions.

In a mediated divorce the parties work with a qualified third-party who counsels them on their options for divorce, but who does not make any decisions for them regarding their divorce outcomes. A mediator may explain how custody in Texas works, but the mediator may not tell the parties how they should divide their time with their shared children.

Keeping financial chaos out of divorce

You may have heard horror stories about the financial havoc that can come out of a divorce. While divorces can have many impacts financially, they don’t have to result in economic ruin. It is possible to come out of a divorce feeling good about your financial situation.

This can be seen in a recent survey. In this survey, divorced individuals were asked whether they were better off, from a financial perspective, after their divorce. Over 40 percent said that they were.

Your case doesn't have to ruin your life. We will craft a strategy focused on addressing the issues of concern most important to you. We will get you through this.

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