Q: Is There A Waiting Period Between When A Divorce Is Filed And When It Is Final?
A: Jurisdictions usually have a waiting period. This serves either as a cooling off period or as a time to adjust your affairs to single life. Even if the divorce is uncontested, in Texas, you must wait 60 days from the time you file until your divorce is final.
Q: Are Divorce Actions Matters For A Judge, Or Can You Have A Jury Hear The Case?
A: Either party in a Texas divorce can ask for and receive a jury trial, a feature unique to Texas law. As a practical matter, judges hear most divorce-related matters. Further, jury decisions binding on the court are limited. We will provide you guidance in the decision as to whether to request a jury.
Q: What Are My Chances Of Gaining Custody Of My Children?
A: It depends on the facts of your case. Joint custody is preferred in this state. If both parents were involved with the children during the marriage, joint parenting will be the presumption going into the case. There are many misconceptions about joint custody and it is very important to understand them before making a decision.
Q: Does Joint Custody Mean Each Parent Having Equal Time With The Children?
A: It doesn’t always. Joint custody means the sharing of parental rights and duties and not necessarily equal time.
Q: Will I Have To Pay Child Support?
A: The parent who does not have primary custody of the children will, in most cases, pay child support to the primary custodial parent. The Texas statutes provide a guideline for the amount of child support based upon net resources.
Q: If My Spouse Wants A Divorce And I Don’t, How Can I Stop It?
A: Once a divorce is filed in Texas and one party wants to go through with it, you can not stop it from happening in the court system. The only way is to convince your spouse to consider reconciliation.
Q: What Is The First Step In The Divorce Process?
A: Once you’ve decided that divorce is the best thing for you, your attorney will file the divorce petition. The petition contains certain factual information about the parties, as well as grounds for the divorce. Due to Texas being a no-fault state, the reason for the divorce usually is Insupportability. This means the parties have different interests and have grown apart and this condition is irreconcilable.
Q: Is Mediation Required In Most Texas Divorces?
A: In most cases, yes. Texas has the most intensive and progressive use of mediation in the country. In 1987, four of the seven family district court judges in Dallas County began to order mandatory mediation in all divorce cases. Since then, most Texas courts have begun to require mediation before a family law case can be scheduled for trial. All Rockwall County judges require mediation before a case will be set for trial.
Q: What’s The First Thing I Need To Do To Build A Winning Divorce Case?
A: Beside hiring an accomplished matrimonial law attorney, the most important thing you can do is to secure three to five years of financial records and anything else that might become relevant evidence in your case.
Q: How Often Is Spousal Maintenance Awarded In Texas?
A: Although the Texas Legislature passed a spousal maintenance statute in 1995, even today very few people qualify. Unless you have no significant assets or means of support or you or a child for whom you owe obligations has special circumstances, there will not be significant long-term spousal maintenance once the divorce is final. However, parties may agree to contractual alimony.
Q: Can One Attorney Represent Both Parties In A Divorce?
A: No. An attorney can draft the documents in a divorce for both parties to sign, but that attorney can not legally advise more than one of the parties how to proceed in the divorce.
Q: If Your Case Is Scheduled To Go To Court On A Certain Date, Are You Guaranteed That It Will Happen?
A: No, because 10 to 15 cases may be on the judge’s docket for the same day as your case. Another case may be heard before you and your case may be reset for another day.
Q: How Much Will Child Support Be?
A: The Texas Family Code has guideline percentages which apply to the first $8,550.00 of the non-custodial parent’s net income as determined by statute. If the child has proven special needs, then additional support may be warranted.
Q: What If The Person Who Should Pay Child Support Is Not Working?
A: The Texas Court will still order child support based upon minimum wage.
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