Getting divorced is never easy, but sometimes it is in the best interest of both you and your spouse. If the two of you have decided to go your separate ways, it is important to understand the divorce process in The Colony. Although you could file a divorce petition without an attorney, several legal aspects may be difficult to handle alone. For instance, if you and your spouse do not agree on some issues, an attorney could help protect you, your interests, and your property during negotiations.
Additionally, when filing, you will need to tell the court your justification for wanting to dissolve your marriage. Texas recognizes seven grounds for divorce, some considered no-fault, which makes the process shorter and less expensive, and others fault-based, such as infidelity, which you will have to prove in court. Divorces usually take from six to twelve months to complete. We understand that your circumstances are unique, and an experienced divorce attorney at our firm is available to discuss your situation at length during a private consultation.
The Original Petition for Divorce is the initial filing an attorney will draft during the divorce process in The Colony. This petition covers information about both spouses, their assets, and their children. Once filed, the court clerk will assign the case a number and to a judge.
A process server authorized under Texas law, including the sheriff, will formally serve the other spouse (in person or sometimes by certified mail) if that spouse refuses to sign a waiver of citation. The waiver saves face from being served at work.
Divorcing couples in The Colony must wait 60 days before continuing the process. However, the waiting period can be waived if one spouse has been convicted of a domestic abuse crime against anyone in the household, or if the petitioning spouse has a protective order against the other spouse for domestic violence.
The courts hope estranged couples will rethink the divorce as they wait and either go forward confident in their decision or go home together and try again. An attorney in The Colony could help sort out all issues during the divorce process.
A spouse may not answer the Petition for Divorce, which opens the door for a default divorce favoring the petitioner. If a spouse cannot be found to serve, a publication in a newspaper’s legal notices may move the divorce forward. Most estranged spouses hire attorneys who answer the petition and can file a counter-petition outlining the Respondent’s position and grounds. Both parties and their attorneys can now participate in all court hearings during the divorce process in The Colony.
The first court hearing is for temporary orders, which sets rules for issues the parties may not have settled. These are in place to memorialize spousal duties before the marriage is dissolved. Some of the issues include:
Mediation may be ordered before a temporary orders hearing. If the spouses cannot agree on these issues, they will argue their positions later before a judge. During this process in The Colony, both spouses’ divorce attorneys can submit discovery requests for documents or other information in dispute.
In Texas, most divorces are settled at the second mediation held before going to trial. If issues are not settled, a contested trial before a judge will be held where both spouses present evidence to support their positions. The judge will then determine the final orders.
In The Colony, the last step in the divorce process is that the parties use the mediated settlement or the trial judge’s orders to create the final decree. The spouses’ rights and duties are reduced to this writing, including property division, the fate of the marital home, matters concerning the children, and monetary support.
We understand that getting divorced can be an extremely difficult and emotional process, and we support your choice if you know you are making the right decision. A dedicated attorney at our firm could guide you through the process of filing, answering petitions, figuring out assets and strategies, and making sure your children are protected.
We are here for you if you are feeling overwhelmed about what to do next, whether you are the Petitioner or Respondent. We will do everything in our power to help you move on to the next chapter of your life as quickly and smoothly as possible. Contact one of our experienced attorneys today to guide you through the divorce process in The Colony.
Our Law Firm’s approach to your case is based on individual circumstances. Whether it is a simple negotiated settlement, or it requires an aggressive approach, we will protect and defend your best interests.