When Texas couples divorce, the first thing each spouse typically does is find a respected and knowledgeable divorce lawyer who can help them through the process.
Much of the work that goes into this course of action will involve the divorce lawyer asking their clients questions in order to obtain essential information for negotiating a divorce agreement.
Yet there are questions that clients should ask their lawyers as well.
For those just starting divorce legal proceedings in Texas or interviewing divorce lawyers to find the right one to help them, these are some of the more important questions to initially ask a lawyer to ensure everyone understands what to expect as the divorce progresses.
1. When Is It The Right Time to Divorce?
No divorce lawyer will tell anyone when they should get a divorce but rather recommend that spouses first seek counseling to put their marriage back on course.
A counselor can help a couple make the decision that the marriage cannot be saved and a divorce is the next conceivable step.
2. What If One Spouse Does Not Want To Divorce?
When one spouse wants a divorce and the other does not, a divorce can still be granted.
It can be handled as an at-fault divorce, where the serving spouse provides evidence of why it should happen or be stated that they no longer love their spouse or can no longer remain married to them.
Either case is acceptable, as the Texas family court will not force a spouse to remain married against their wishes.
3. How Long Do Divorces Take in Texas?
Texas requires a 60-day waiting period once papers are filed by a spouse for any divorce to be granted.
During this period, spouses can be working with their divorce lawyers on the division of marital property, custody agreements, and other negotiations that must be made before the divorce can be finalized.
Uncontested divorces can be granted in as few as 61 days.
On the other hand, contested divorces can take weeks and even months longer, especially if they require a court hearing.
4. What Is The Separation Period in Texas?
The state of Texas does not recognize legal separation prior to getting divorced as a condition for divorce, although it does recognize the absence of one spouse for three years or more as grounds for divorce.
5. What Are No-Fault and Fault Divorces?
A no-fault divorce is one in which both spouses agree to divorce and the grounds are simply stated to be that the marriage has become insupportable.
A fault divorce is one in which one spouse and his or her divorce lawyer file with grounds against the other that in Texas include domestic violence, adultery, physical or mental cruelty, mental incapacitation, abandonment, or felony conviction.
6. Can A Texas Divorce Be Handled Without A Trial?
Many uncontested divorces in Texas are handled without a trial or having to appear under oath in court.
Divorce lawyers often assist clients with mediated, collaborative, or arbitrated divorce to work out the details.
As long as spouses are willing and able to cooperate through the agreement process, all it may take to finalize the divorce is for one spouse to appear with his or her attorney to answer any questions the judge may ask before signing the Divorce Decree.
7. What Are The Roles Of Divorce Attorneys and Clients?
Every divorce process is the same, though some are more complicated than others.
A divorce lawyer’s role is to:
- Guide each client through the process and complete the legally required paperwork.
- Help clients build a case for their divorce.
- Negotiate with their spouse and/or attorney.
All of this is done so a divorce agreement can be drafted and presented for approval.
The client’s role is to:
- Understand the divorce process.
- Be aware of what their divorce lawyer can and cannot do.
- Honestly provide their divorce lawyer with whatever information is required.
- Maintain confidentiality throughout the process.
- Be a willing part of the divorce negotiations.
All of this will help the divorce move through the system as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Clients Getting Divorced Should Understand These Key Questions
While every divorce process is different, each Texas divorce lawyer follows the same basic legal procedure.
These answers to commonly asked questions that most divorce lawyers receive can help clients at the start of this process understand the basics.
For more specific questions and answers, anyone considering a divorce should seek the counsel of a trusted and experienced divorce attorney to help with their case.
Schreier & Housewirth Family Law
1800 West Bowie Street, Suite 200-E
Fort Worth TX 76110
Gregory L. Housewirth is a Board-Certified Family Law Specialist practicing in Fort Worth Texas. With 30 years of family law experience, Mr. Housewirth has represented hundreds of clients in divorce, custody, CPS, modification, and grandparent cases. In addition, Mr. Housewirth is a qualified family law mediator and a member of Collaborative Law Texas, a practice group dedicated to promoting collaborative divorce in Texas.