Family and Divorce Attorney in Fort Worth Fighting for What Is Yours
A Divorce can be difficult for you and your family. It can impact you emotionally and financially. During a divorce, problems involving divorce, child custody, child alimony, and property division may occur. Some divorce cases may be tricky to resolve on your own. If you believe your divorce may cause issues with child custody, child support, and the division of property, you may want an attorney from a law firm that is experienced in family law to defend your case in court.
What Are Some Possible Types of Divorce-Related Cases?
There are many types of divorce-related cases you and your family may be burdened with. These are some of the most frequent types of cases that divorce lawyers must contend with:
- Child Custody – Dealing with child custody can be the most challenging problem you have to deal with during a divorce. The heartache of not knowing if or how often you can see your child may impact your everyday life during the divorce period. Having a Fort Worth family law attorney on your side can help you deal with the emotional burden of your case and help achieve a result that is not only in the best interest of you but of the child or children.
- Settlement Agreements – The division of property can be one of the most contentious parts of a divorce. There may be a doubt as to which party has the right to certain assets and properties, including your home. Divorce attorneys help guide you through the process of sorting out who gets what and fights to make sure you do not end up with less than you are entitled to.
- Child Alimony – Even after you have been officially divorced by law, issues may arise involving child support. Your ex-spouse may ask for increased child support due to newly developed circumstances revolving around your child or children such as educational needs, health issues, and loss of income. Connecting with the law office of a divorce lawyer in Tarrant County may benefit you by having someone on your side to navigate the rough waters of fairly aiding your child or children.
Who Gets Custody of a Child After a Divorce?
Child custody cases can vary depending on the terms of a divorce. If a marriage dissolves due to domestic abuse or violence and there is a child involved, having a family law attorney can be largely beneficial to maintaining custody of your child or children. Even if your marriage ends on good terms for both parties, navigating a child’s custody is an important part of the process that you want to make sure benefits the child. Consulting with an attorney in Tarrant County that practices family law can be a good way to ease the transition of child custody for you and your family.
How Do I Claim What Is Mine When Dividing Property During a Divorce?
The process of claiming property during a divorce can be a complicated process. For example, any property obtained by either party prior to marriage is considered separate property for each individual and may not be divided when the time comes. Likewise, there are certain types of properties – like inheritances and gifts – that were obtained during the marriage that can be considered separate property as well. Having a divorce lawyer from Tarrant County on your side to sort through and battle for what is rightfully yours may give you peace of mind during this complicated process.
Where Do I File For Divorce?
Simply put, a divorce petition may be filed in the county where you or your spouse live, so long as either one of you have been domiciled in Texas for at least the past six months, and a resident of that county for at least 90 days. If you or your spouse satisfy this general residency rule, you may file for divorce in that county.
How Long Before I Can Get Divorced?
In Texas, there is a mandatory 60-day waiting period, often referred to as the “cooling off” period. The time begins at the time the suit for divorce is filed. After that period has expired, the parties may obtain their divorce. However, unless your divorce is uncontested, it is unlikely your divorce will be finalized at or near day 61. An exception to the waiting period is when it is shown that family violence has occurred.
In most cases, it is very difficult to predict exactly how long a divorce will take. Many factors are at play, the most important being the complexity of the issues involved in the case. If a divorce is not settled and is set for a final trial, a date for the trial will be scheduled. That date will depend on the court’s docket and availability. A very rough estimate may be anywhere from six months up to a year.
What Do I Need To Prove In Order To Obtain A Divorce In Texas?
Nothing. Because Texas is a “no-fault divorce” state, a spouse seeking a divorce has no burden to prove fault. This means that if a spouse wants a divorce, that spouse can obtain a divorce. In the majority of filings, the divorce petition simply alleges “insupportability” as grounds for divorce. The language commonly used is, “The marriage has become insupportable because of a discord or a conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.”
What Is Community Property? What Is Separate Property?
Texas is a community property state. The presumption is that all property acquired during the marriage is community property. It encompasses all the property that the spouses own. Therefore, any property obtained by either spouse after the date of marriage is subject to division on divorce. This presumption applies regardless of whether ownership of property reflects the name of only one of the spouses. Property may include real estate, personal property items, cash, accounts, investments, etc.
The community property presumption applies equally to debts.
Conversely, any property obtained by a spouse prior to the marriage is presumed to be that spouse’s separate property. Separate property may also include property acquired during the marriage by gift, devise, or descent. It also may include property obtained with that spouse’s separate property money. In this case a spouse must overcome the community property presumption by clear and convincing evidence. This may involve the daunting task of “tracing” the source of those funds.
Can I Obtain A Greater Share Of The Property?
The standard for dividing community property in Texas is based on principles of fairness and equity. Specifically, a court will divide the property in a manner that it deems is “just and right.” A “just and right” division can mean different things to different folks. The Texas Family Code does not mention a 50/50 split, although it is a fair starting point when beginning the process of property division. The parties may divide their property however they see fit, but a court will consider certain factors in making its decision, such as:
- Fault in the breakup of the marriage
- Disparity in earning power and potential of the spouses
- Amount of separate property of the spouses
- Health of the spouses
- Unusual gifts and waste of community assets by a spouse
- Fraud on the community estate committed by a spouse
Who Is The Petitioner In A Divorce In Texas?
The petitioner is the term used for the spouse who begins the divorce proceedings by filing an Original Petition for Divorce.
Who Is The Respondent In A Divorce In Texas?
The Respondent is the other spouse who responds to the Original Petition for Divorce. The respondent will file an answer and typically file a counter-petition for divorce. The purpose of the counter-petition is so the spouse has pleadings on file with the court which ask for relief.
What Is A Waiver Of Service In Texas?
Like any lawsuit, principles of due process require that a spouse be served with a copy of the divorce petition. The most common method of service is by personal service, whereby a process server delivers the petition to the spouse. If that fails or is not possible, the Texas Family Code allows for alternate methods of service, as well as service by publication in some cases.
Sometimes traditional service is not necessary. When the other spouse agrees to accept the petition for divorce without service, that spouse may sign what is known as a “waiver of service.” Once the waiver is properly executed and on file with the court, the divorce proceedings may begin. This happens often in uncontested divorce cases.
What Happens If I Am Unable To Locate My Spouse?
You may still obtain a divorce. However, a spouse in a divorce proceeding must always be served. Where the address of a spouse is unknown, traditional service by a process server is impossible. In this case your attorney will ask the court to allow service by publication. This rule will allow you to effectively “serve” your spouse by filing a notice in an appropriate section of a newspaper.
The court will then appoint an attorney to stand in as legal counsel for the missing spouse. That attorney will attempt to locate the missing spouse and notify the court and make a report. When the court is satisfied that all procedures have been followed, the court will then be able to grant the divorce.
What If My Spouse Does Not Want The Divorce?
The fact that your spouse may object to the divorce has no effect on your legal right to obtain a divorce. Because Texas is a “no-fault” divorce state, it is simply a matter of pleading insupportability, or irreconcilable differences, which is sufficient for a judge to ultimately grant the divorce.
Are You Getting Your Fair Share of Rights During Your Divorce?
Going through a divorce can be a large undertaking without proper guidance. If you are going through a turbulent time in your marriage, you may want to seek a family law attorney that will work tirelessly for you to get you what is fair.
If your marital situation is giving you cause for concern, contact our law firm Hardy Law Group, PLLC at (817) 222-0000 for a free consultation that will give you more context about what your next steps may be. Our law firm is experienced in family law, making sure you are always in good hands. Hardy Law Group, PLLC is dedicated to representing your needs and making sure you get fair treatment throughout your case.