Experienced Divorce Lawyer pROUDLY Serving the Areas of Tarrant County, Keller, Grapevine & Trophy Club, TX
Divorce can be an emotionally-painful experience as well as legally confusing. As a result, you will face many decisions that can significantly affect your future. These decisions can involve serious issues such as your finances, property, retirement, and children, as well as minor matters, such as who will get the family dog or other family treasures.
Resolving these family law issues can give rise to emotions, from anger and resentment to scorn and animosity. Having a steady hand and the cool head of a trusted, highly-rated divorce lawyer serving Southlake by your side is essential in moving forward as smoothly as possible.
At the Law Office of Dana L. White, our Southlake divorce attorneys recognize that you are experiencing a difficult or traumatic time. Therefore, our attorneys focus on giving you the legal guidance you need. Our main task in divorce representation is to inform you of your legal rights and to protect your interests throughout the legal process. Additionally, our Southlake divorce attorneys want you to transition through your divorce to the other side with as little stress and as much confidence as possible.
Divorce Laws in Texas
In a Texas divorce, some of your rights and interests include but are not limited to:
- Division of assets includes all marital property from real estate to bank accounts, investments, business ownership/interests, retirement accounts, and more.
- Division of debt accumulated during the marriage. These include mortgages, credit cards, medical bills, student loans, car notes, and tax debt.
- Spousal maintenance or alimony.
- Federal income tax liability.
The division of marital property and debt may be addressed before marriage in a prenuptial agreement or, after the wedding, in a post-marital agreement. These nuptial agreements set forth each party's property rights and responsibilities should the marriage end in divorce.
Such contracts are submitted to the family court throughout Tarrant County when a divorce ensues and intends to dictate how each spouse will handle the issue of marital property.
Further, if you have children under the age of 18, you may also need to address the following:
Grounds for Divorce in Texas
In Texas, divorce can be sought on both no-fault and fault-based grounds, giving individuals flexibility in choosing the basis for their divorce.
No-Fault Grounds: No-fault divorce is the most common in Texas. Spouses can simply state that their marriage has become insupportable due to discord or conflict of personalities that has destroyed the legitimate ends of the marital relationship. This essentially means they can't get along, and there's no hope for reconciliation.
- Cruelty: If a spouse has been cruel to the other, making the continuation of the marriage insupportable.
- Adultery: If a spouse has committed adultery during the marriage.
- Felony Conviction: If a spouse has been convicted of a felony and imprisoned for at least one year without pardon.
- Abandonment: If a spouse has left the other with the intention of abandonment and remained away for at least one year.
- Living Apart: Spouses can file for divorce if they have lived apart without cohabitation for at least three years.
Texas law offers these grounds to allow individuals to choose the most appropriate reason for their divorce. However, no-fault divorces tend to be less complicated and contentious. It's important to consult with a Southlake divorce attorney to understand the implications of each ground and decide the best approach for your specific situation.
Divorce Process in Texas
The divorce process in Texas involves several stages, from filing the initial petition to the finalization of the divorce decree. Here is an overview of the key steps:
- Filing the Petition: The divorce process starts with one spouse filing a petition for divorce in the appropriate Texas family court. The petition outlines the grounds for divorce (no-fault or fault-based) and requests for specific outcomes, like child custody or property division.
- Serving the Petition: After filing, the other spouse must be served with a copy of the petition and a citation, providing notice of the divorce proceedings.
- Response and Counterpetition: The served spouse can respond to the petition by either agreeing or contesting the terms. They may also file a counterpetition with their own requests.
- Temporary Orders (if needed): In cases involving child custody, spousal support, or other immediate concerns, the court may issue temporary orders to address these matters until the divorce is finalized.
- Discovery and Negotiation: Both parties exchange information and documents relevant to the divorce. Negotiations may occur to reach agreements on various issues, such as property division and child custody.
- Mediation (if required): Mediation is often required in Texas to facilitate agreement on contested issues. A neutral mediator helps the parties reach a mutually acceptable resolution.
- Trial and Finalization: If agreements are not reached, the case goes to trial where a judge decides on unresolved issues. After the trial, a final divorce decree is issued, officially ending the marriage.
The divorce process in Texas can vary in duration and complexity based on the specific circumstances of the case. Seeking guidance from our Southlake divorce attorney is highly recommended to navigate this process smoothly and ensure your rights and interests are protected.
Contested & Uncontested Divorce in Texas
In an “uncontested” divorce, you and your spouse agree to all terms. Usually, a divorce attorney serving Southlake, TX, must represent only one party. The other party does not need to be served by a process server because they will sign a waiver. This method is much less expensive, less stressful, and faster than other types of divorce but often is not possible due to issue disputes or the complicated nature of the divorce case.
Both sides will need a divorce attorney serving Southlake, TX, in contested divorces. The parties can resolve these divorce cases through informal negotiation, mediation, or, where no agreement can be reached, through a trial in family court throughout Tarrant County, Texas.
Texas provides a no-fault divorce option in which you and your spouse do not have to prove marital misconduct in court as the cause of the divorce. In addition, no proof of marital misconduct is filed under “insupportability,” in which you assert that the marriage cannot continue due to irreconcilable differences or disagreements. Texas provides fault-based divorce grounds as well.
How Our Southlake divorce attorneys can help
Divorce can be one of the most challenging periods in a person's life. The Southlake divorce attorneys at the Law Office of Dana L. White, PLLC, understand how difficult this time can be - and that is why our attorneys treat every divorce case with the utmost care and respect. Over our 25+ years of legal practice, our attorneys have successfully represented thousands of clients through their divorce proceedings, allowing them to move on with their lives to brighter futures confidently. So don't hesitate to contact us today to set up a consultation with one of our skilled and compassionate top-rated divorce lawyers.
Divorce Intake Sheet