There's a lot to think about when
going through a divorce on the emotional level. Attempting to disentangle your
life and belongings from those of your spouse is difficult enough, but then you
also have to deal with the lawsuit itself. Finding an attorney and going into
the courtroom can be intimidating, especially on top of the psychological
stress. Aside from having a good lawyer, there's not much you can do to detract
from the demands of the process, but it certainly does help to be educated
about what's about to happen. Here are the basics about Texas family law – just
so that you're prepared.
Filing for a Divorce
The process begins by filing a
petition for divorce. Bear in mind that in order for Texas to recognize your
request, you've got to have a sound rationale, as per the Texas law. It's
perfectly reasonable to file for a "no-fault" divorce which simply
states that there has been a conflict or divergence of personal interest
between the two spouses. A divorce can also be filed as a "fault"
divorce, which would be the case should there be any history of abuse,
infidelity, desertation, sustained separation, crime, et cetera on behalf of
one or both parties. Giving a good reason makes the lawsuit easier to rule
fairly. After filing the petition, there are other documents required by Texas
law, such as the Marital Settlement Agreement, Financial Affidavit, and Child
Support Worksheet if applicable.
Texas is a community property state
and therefore it recognizes any piece of property earned or purchased during
the duration of the marriage belongs to the family as a whole. Any separate
property needs tangible evidence to be proven so. Family property will be
divided evenly in most cases, but in some fault divorce cases, distribution can
A large percentage of Texas divorce
cases involve children. It's important to remember that children take the brunt
of the emotional impact, and to handle the situation with care. If the parents
have not reached a mutual agreement about custody, the court will decide for
them; children 12 years or older have the option to choose. Any non-custodial
parent will have to pay child support to the guardian parent. It's important to
find a lawyer who has the resources for family counseling, such as Marshall
Davis Brown Jr
, if necessary – the psychological effects of a divorce can
be stressful on a child.
Finally, bear in mind that it will
be 60 days until you are finally legally divorced after all court procedures
have taken place. Thus, you have that time period to reconsider. For best results,
hiring an experienced, veteran divorce attorney is highly recommended.