- Time to Answer
- Divorce With or Without Children
- Facts About Divorce in Texas (How Long Will It Take to Get Divorced?)
- Divorce Laws in Texas
- 5 Must-Know Facts About Divorce in Texas — Texas Legal
They can also try to settle the case at this point, either alone or with the assistance of a lawyer. The law requires mediation for both parties before the trial begins. Once the trial is over, an attorney prepares a Final Decree of Divorce for the judge to sign. This document will contain all of the rulings that the court has made. In Texas, the courts presume that all property and income that either spouse obtained during the course of the marriage belongs equally to both spouses.
On the flip side, the state will also evenly split all debts incurred during the marriage between the two spouses. The judge will determine what property is separate property — that is, property that belongs only to one spouse, not both. Property acquired before the marriage falls into this category.
A party to the divorce can also argue that certain property obtained during the marriage is separate property. However, the spouse must present clear evidence in order for something to be declared separate rather than community property. In Texas, the court can distribute community property however it sees fit. Remember, all property acquired during the marriage is communal in Texas.
Time to Answer
For instance, cars purchased by one spouse during the marriage are still community property. Parties can agree to property division during mediation.
Otherwise, the court makes these decisions. Q: What factors will the court consider when determining how much alimony to award to a party? A: The court will consider the needs of the requesting spouse and the ability of the other spouse to pay. The court will additionally consider the health and age of the parties, ability to work, responsibility for children, availability of funds and the length of the marriage, among other factors.
Q: On what basis does the court decide how marital property is divided? A: The court starts with a presumption that all the property earned or acquired by either spouse during the marriage is community property, owned equally by the spouses. If you have separate property you may have to prove it by tracing it with "clear and convincing evidence. For example, you might show that you inherited some money from your grandmother and always kept it in a separate account with only your name on it. The court divides community property between the spouses in a "just and right manner.
Divorce With or Without Children
In some cases, however, factors such as unequal earning power and fault in the marital relationship can affect the division of property. Q: Is the "separate property" of one spouse subject to being divided up? A: The question here is whether property "belonging to" one of the parties should be included in the marital estate for purposes of an equitable division.
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Generally, separate property acquired before the marriage or by gift or inheritance during the marriage may be excluded from the marital estate. Q: What if the parties occasionally use an item of separate property for the benefit of both parties? A: The property may be subject to division depending on the circumstances. Q: Can I get medical insurance benefits through my ex-spouse's employer after the divorce? A: Under federal law, you might be entitled to keep your medical insurance benefits under your former spouse's group plan.
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of created what are commonly known as COBRA benefits, which are available to the former spouses of people who work for employers who have 20 or more employees. In general, this law provides that employers must offer "continuation coverage" for the first three years after the termination of the marriage.
Facts About Divorce in Texas (How Long Will It Take to Get Divorced?)
To obtain COBRA benefits, contact your former spouse's employer directly and request the appropriate forms. You must file your application with your spouse's employer no later than 60 days after the termination of your marriage. If you miss that deadline, you will not be able to get these benefits. Q: Should I hire an attorney? A: Some people try to represent themselves in divorce court referred to as "pro se" in legalese , which of course they are entitled to do.
If there are no children and the divorce is truly uncontested All issues have been agreed to by both parties , DIY do-it-yourself divorce may be worth trying.
A bad divorce decree can affect a person for the rest of their lives. It's especially important to have a good lawyer if your spouse has hired one, plans to contest the divorce or has threatened you with physical harm. To find a good attorney, see our video on this subject. Q: How can I reduce the cost of my divorce? A: Preparation.
Divorce Laws in Texas
Even if you try to pursue a DIY divorce, preparation is important. At Patricia L. One of the best ways to do this is to make a list of all your assets and properties. Include bank accounts, stocks and bonds, retirement and investment accounts, insurance policies, cars, real estate and any businesses owned by you or your spouse, jointly or separately. Also list your income and your spouse's, and provide paycheck stubs if you have them. List all your marital debts. Include jointly held credit card debt, mortgages, any outstanding loans and financing.
5 Must-Know Facts About Divorce in Texas — Texas Legal
List payment amounts, who is paying and how often. You will also need copies of your income tax returns. Prepare a list of all the questions you have in advance of your meeting with an attorney. For answers to all of your divorce questions, contact our law office at or toll-free at Please enter a valid email address. Please enter a valid phone number. Please verify that you have read the disclaimer. The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form. Menu Contact. Discovery is a legal process that is available to litigants to uncover important information that is not otherwise available to them. The tools of discovery have specific notice and deadline requirements often as long as 30 days.
These notice and deadline periods will obviously add on days, weeks or even months of delay in your case. Discovery may take the form of interrogatories which are detailed written questions that are served upon the opposing party who must provide written answers under oath. These questions and answers not only become public records but are expensive and time consuming to both parties.
In some hotly contested cases additional discovery may occur such as depositions. A deposition is a legal proceeding usually held in the office of one of the attorneys. A court reporter is present who administers an oath to the person or witness to be questioned by the attorney who noticed or convened the deposition. The questions, answers and any objections are recorded verbatim by the court reporter who then prepares a written transcript of the proceedings which also consumes more time.
Depositions often take a couple of hours or more to complete which will add to both parties cumulative legal fees and costs. Court reporters and written transcripts are costly.
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Contested cases with complex issues may also require expert witnesses to analyze and render opinions about the value of certain assets. These experts may be accountants or asset evaluators who have special training and experience. Sometimes medical or psychological experts may be necessary to provide opinions about parental fitness or other relevant issues in your case.
A qualified expert is also expensive and using one will add more time to your case. If the parties cannot agree on using one expert for a particular issue, both sides may retain their own experts which could double the time and expense involved. Sometimes even a contested case can be resolved by agreement of the parties once discovery has been completed. In such a situation, your case may proceed to conclusion as a default case which follows the same procedure explained earlier.