Navigating Divorce: Your Path to a Fresh Beginning

Divorce can be a daunting journey, but you don't have to navigate it alone. At our law firm, we're here to provide you with the support and guidance you need to navigate the complexities of divorce. Whether you're just beginning to consider divorce or have already made the decision, there are crucial questions to address: What steps should you take first? What can you expect throughout the process? How long might it take? How can our firm assist you? We understand the challenges you're facing, and we're dedicated to helping you find the answers and solutions that work best for your unique situation. Our experienced lawyers are ready to provide clarity, insight, and a tailored plan of action to guide you through this important transition.

Divorce

Divorce processes can vary significantly based on individual circumstances, and the duration of a divorce can range from several months to even a year or two to complete…

Where do I start?

Talking about divorcing or just thinking about filing for a divorce can be an overwhelming prospect. Before taking the next step to pursue a divorce make sure you know: 

-how much the divorce may cost;

-what you can/cannot do during the divorce process; and

-what are your goals/ desired outcomes for your divorce

Our lawyers can answer your questions and help guide you through the start of this process.

What can I expect?

No two situations are the same and therefore no two divorces are the same.

We tell our clients that they need to be prepared emotionally and physically to take on what, is more likely than not, going to be a very contentious process that may take up to a year or two to complete.

Our law firm is here to guide our clients, step-by-step, through the divorce process. 

How long will the process take?

The unique facts of your case will impact what actions need to be taken in your case, such as:

-temporary orders;

-discovery;

-appointment of an evaluator or amicus; and

-mediation

All of these various steps will extend the lifeline of the case, so it is important to understand what steps you will likely face through your divorce process.

How can your firm help?

One of our lawyers will want to discuss the specific facts of your situation to get a better assessment in order to discuss with you a tailored plan of action for your divorce. We will also guide you through what to expect through the process, including what the court and alternative dispute processes look like.

Want to know more?

Divorcing in Texas

An original petition for divorce is filed by a spouse, the filing party is called the “petitioner”. The original petition for divorce contains what the party is asking the court to do or award in the divorce process.

The other spouse has a right to receive notice of the filing and a copy of the original petition for divorce. This is done through serving the other spouse who is called the “respondent”.

Once the original petition for divorce is served, the respondent files their response to the lawsuit through an "original answer" or a "counter-petition".

Divorcing in Texas

In the "Original Petition for Divorce" or "Counter-Petition for Divorce" the moving party can request a divorce based on “fault” or “no fault”. Most people pursue a “no fault” divorce and ask the court to be allowed to divorce based on “insupportability” or the parties have been “living apart” for at least three years. This option is generally the least expensive route and least timely route to pursue.


The Texas Family Code provides that an individual may seek a divorce on “fault” grounds for the following reasons:

 

· Cruelty

· Adultery

· Conviction of Felony

· Abandonment

 

Pursuing a divorce solely on the grounds of fault will require that the spouse alleging the fault will be required to prove that there was in fact cruelty, adultery, conviction of a felony, or abandonment.

This proof requires a hearing that requires the party to prepare and put on evidence. The benefit to pursuing this sort of action is that a Judge may decide to divide the community property disproportionally depending on the finding of fault.

It is important to understand that divorces take time. Texas law requires that after filing for divorce, the parties to the case must wait a minimum of sixty (60) days before they can finalize their divorce. There are exceptions to this rule, and it is important that you talk to a lawyer about the facts specific to your case that may serve as a waiver to this waiting period.

Generally, there are immediate issues that need to be addressed in a divorce. In order to get some sort of temporary resolution, the parties will need to set what is called a “Temporary Orders Hearing” which allows a court to immediately decided matters such as:

 

Which spouse will temporarily pay certain bills?

 

Which spouse will temporarily remain in the home?

 

Which spouse the children will temporarily live with/ possession and access of the children?

 

Whether there should be temporary child support?

 

Which spouse will temporarily keep possession of certain property (ie: vehicles)?

The parties can come to an agreement on their own about these issues, but where there is no agreement, the court will need to rule on these issues.

It is impossible for an attorney or party to know all of the “evidence” that the other party may have that is relevant to the divorce proceeding. The law provides for a process called “discovery” which is how the parties get to request documents and responses from the party about particular matters.

This is a crucial part of building up a case and finding existing evidence to support your position.

This is the hearing at which all of the issues are heard regarding the divorce. This is also when the Judge (or Jury) will decide all relevant issues including:

· Rights & Duties to Children

· Possession and Access

· Child Support

· Division of Assets

· Division of Debts
 

To get to this final hearing, each county is slightly different:

Divorce cases in San Antonio (or Bexar County) may require mediation when the parties request a jury trial and also may require the filing of a sworn Inventory and Appraisement where the parties are requesting that there be a division of the assets and liabilities.

Contact Us

Want to find out more? Contact us now to schedule your consultation.

Specializing Attorneys on this Area

Jessica Estorga

Attorney, Shareholder

West & West, Greer & Estorga

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