In Texas, once a person files for divorce, there is a 60 day waiting period before a divorce can be finalized. In reality, due to many factors, a divorce often takes longer to finish than 60 days.
A divorce in Texas involves several issues, such as the divorce itself, division of property accumulated during the marriage, possible last name change of one of the parties (usually the wife), and issues relating to the children, such as conservatorship, possession and access, and child support.
Most divorces in Texas are no fault, meaning the parties don’t get along and there is no reasonable chance of reconciliation. Fault grounds such as adultery and cruelty can also be alleged in a divorce.
Divorce can play out in the legal system in a number of ways. Divorce can be a relatively inexpensive, low-key affair where the divorcing parties agree on most issues and the divorce is finalized at the end of the 60-day waiting period.
An attorney is still recommended for such uncontested divorces due to the complexity of issues regarding children and the division of marital property.
Contested divorces can take many forms, from cases where:
- The parties work out an agreement through communications between attorneys without the aid of a mediator;
- A temporary orders hearing involving property and/or children is held but after both sides produce documents and prepare inventories, the case is later settled at mediation or an informal settlement meeting with an agreement between the parties; and
- to knock-down, drag-out, highly expensive cases that involve both sides producing documents, depositions, use of experts and other third parties, and take more than a year or years to be tried before a judge or a jury.
Even a divorce without children and minimal property can be a wrenching process due to the emotions stirred up by the dissolution of the marriage.
My advice is to do everything possible to conduct the divorce in the most businesslike fashion possible while still taking strong stands to achieve your goals.
Divorce is not a forum to work out a person’s issues or retaliate against the spouse in response to various grievances and hurts.
While I will always be a strong advocate for all of my clients, and recognize that many cases are stressful and involve difficult and contentious issues, I am not a jerk and will not be purposely difficult to opposing parties or counsel.
Most family law attorneys are great people who went to law school to help others, and operate the same way.
While as an attorney I can provide some moral support and perspective, I don’t have the skills to act as a professional counselor to help a person through a wrenching divorce process.
Using your attorney as your counselor adds to the costs of your divorce, and is not in the attorney’s primary skill set. It’s OK and very helpful to seek help from a counselor or psychologist during the process.
While I always strive to keep costs low and get a person through the divorce process as cheaply as possible while achieving a person’s goals, the fact is divorce is an expensive process and an attorney can’t control the other side and actions they may take that increase costs.
I am an advocate of coparenting and believe that both parents should pay an active role in their children’s lives if they are fit to do so.
I am advocate of using mediation and other alternative dispute resolution processes to help parties reach agreement and resolve their differences.
While I have the skills to succeed as an attorney in court, and I really enjoy going to Court, contested hearings and trials can damage the relationship between the parties and make it difficult for them to coparent.
Call the Fox Law Office at (469)322-9238 for a free consultation to discuss your divorce case.