Houston Divorce Attorney in Texas
Houston Divorce Attorney in Texas
With over 30 years of experience helping clients resolve their family law issues, our seasoned Houston divorce attorneys at Chargois Harper Attorneys and Counselors at Law have helped thousands of clients protect their rights in family law courtrooms. We understand that your divorce can be a very emotional and traumatic experience, which is why we take great care to make sure you understand the legal process and have all of your questions answered before filing for divorce.
If you are looking for a Houston divorce lawyer, we can help. We have extensive experience with all types of family law cases, including child custody and child support, alimony and spousal support, prenuptial agreements, parental rights and more. Call us today to discuss your situation and get legal assistance in your divorce case!
Why Do I Need A Texas Divorce Lawyer?
Not all marriages end in happy ever afters. Sometimes, getting a divorce is the best thing to do to avoid any more problems and stress. The process of ending a marriage is a big decision to make, and it can be overwhelming. It won’t just affect you; it will also affect your whole family. If you’re planning to file for divorce, it is best to have a trusted Texas divorce lawyer by your side to assist you all throughout the divorce proceeding.
At Chargois Harper Attorneys and Counselors at Law, our experienced Houston Texas attorneys can provide you with the legal assistance you need especially in filling out your Texas divorce form and petition.
What Are My Options for Getting a Divorce in Texas?
Married couples usually opt for this type of divorce if the decision to live separate lives is mutual. When both parties in a marriage agree to divorce they must:
- Not have any financial disputes (e.g. child support or spousal support/alimony)
- Both agree to the divorce (if one party doesn’t show up for the divorce proceeding, it will be seen as an agreement to the divorce by the court)
Though many factors need to be considered in a divorce proceeding, and more complicated divorces may not exactly fall inside these parameters, if both parties have no problems with the divorce such as child custody, property distribution, and alimony, then an uncontested divorce is for you.
You can start working with your Texas divorce attorney and start drafting the documents needed to obtain a divorce in Texas and sign a legally binding settlement agreement that tells the court the couple’s plan for:
- Marital property division
- Child support and child custody
- Marital debt allocation
- Other relevant terms
One of the most used methods of negotiating divorce settlements, a divorce mediation can help you and your spouse, together with your divorce lawyers, come up with a separation agreement that is mutually beneficial for both of you. Through the help of a neutral third party called a divorce mediator, you and your spouse can figure out what’s best for you and your family.
While mediation is absolutely worth trying for most couples, not every couple belongs in mediation. For example, if there’s domestic violence in your relationship or if you fought a lot during your marriage, then taking legal action may be necessary.
An uncontested divorce can also go through litigation if both spouses find it difficult to cooperate with one another, or if the other party refuses any of the terms in a divorce. This would cause them to contest their divorce and have a judge make the decision for their marital issues.
In general, during litigation, both parties would have to hire their own attorneys who will then formally request documents from the other party and present that evidence in court during the divorce trial. Spouses are often required to give their testimonies in front of the judge, have witnesses, and have experts resolve their lingering marital disputes. Our Houston family law attorneys can assist you in your divorce case.
A contested divorce may take months or even years to resolve, and a judge will make the final decision on any of the issues that the couple disagrees upon.
Going through a contested divorce can be heavy not just financially; it can also bring you physical and emotional distress. There are many benefits in getting an experienced Houston divorce attorney to help you during these hard times, so make sure to hire a lawyer who has extensive experience in divorce and family law matters who will have your best interest in mind.
What Are the Grounds for Divorce in houston, TX?
Divorce “grounds” are legal reasons by which your request to get divorced is based upon. Grounds for divorce fall under two categories: fault-based divorce and no-fault divorce.
A fault divorce may be granted when the required grounds are present and at least one spouse asks that the divorce be granted on the grounds of fault.
In Texas, grounds for a fault-based divorce include:
- Abandonment (at least one year)
- Long-term incarceration (at least one year)
- Abuse of all types
- Domestic violence
- Felony convictions
- Mental incapacitation
- Mental or physically cruel treatment
- Confinement to a mental hospital (at least three years)
- Living apart (at least three years)
Once you file for a fault-based divorce, you have to provide evidence in court about the fault you specified. If you can prove that your spouse was at fault, causing the marriage to fall apart, then this may become a factor in determining spousal support, parenting time (if you have children), and division of marital property.
A no-fault divorce is for spouses who can no longer live together due to “irreconcilable differences.” This “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage” is reason enough for you to live separate lives, and this would be your grounds to get a divorce. In a no-fault divorce in Texas, neither spouse is responsible for the separation.
A no-fault divorce is the most common type of divorce out there, and there are a few reasons for this. First, since you don’t have to prove that your spouse did anything wrong to cause the divorce, there’s essentially less tension and anxiety while going through the process of divorce. Second, it’s a big plus if you have children. Also, since you don’t have to prove fault, your petition for divorce will be processed more quickly.
The Divorce Process in Houston, Texas
Chargois Harper Attorneys and Counselors at Law helps Houston families in their legal concerns. In our experience, a typical contested divorce in Texas can take anywhere between 4-12 months to process. However, each case is unique, and how long your divorce will take depends on many factors, including the extent of your properties, whether you can reach an agreement with your spouse, and whether you have children.
The Discovery Phase
After you file your divorce petition, Texas requires a waiting period of 60 days before your divorce can be finalized. This applies to both contested and uncontested divorce. During this period, you or your spouse have the freedom to file temporary orders to create boundaries while the divorce is being processed. Once these are established, both parties may engage in discovery. Both parties may obtain testimonies during the discovery process by writing a request. They may also request other relevant information such as tax statements, witnesses, financial documents, or real estate documents.
Our Houston divorce attorneys can help you secure and study these documents to help you address issues such as child custody, child support, and spousal support. We can also help you send formal requests for additional evidence to help support your case.
Divorce Proceedings in Texas
During a divorce, one of the most common issues is the division of community property. Our Houston divorce lawyers can guide you through this complicated process and help you reach an agreement that is beneficial to both.
If you and your spouse have children together, our family law firm can help you address issues for creating an effective parenting plan that would be best for your children. This includes child custody, visitation, and child support.
Mediation is the formal negotiation process between you and your spouse. This may occur at the beginning of the divorce, during discovery, or before trial. In some cases, the court may require mediation to take place before a temporary order hearing, while others may require mediation before proceeding to the final hearing. Many settlement options are available to divorcing couples in Texas, and our attorneys can help explain these options to you. Schedule a consultation if you want to know what settlement options are available.
Remarrying After Divorce
Once a judge enters a divorce decree, Texas laws state that you nor your spouse can remarry for 31 days. The only exception to this rule is if the divorced couple wants to remarry to each other.
If you want to remarry sooner than the 31-day waiting period, you may ask an attorney to waive the waiting period as long as you can prove that it is for “good cause.” You can show good cause in different situations, such as military duties or showing that you’ve already incurred expenses for a wedding date that is within the waiting period.
FAQs About Divorce
Should you file for divorce first?
There can be advantages if you choose to file for divorce first. If you’ve already decided that you can no longer save your marriage and you think that your spouse might file a divorce, then filing a divorce first may be ideal for you.
If you’ve already been served divorce papers, our Texas divorce attorneys aggressively ensure that your rights are protected.
What is a “Community Property” State?
In a community property state, both spouses equally own all assets acquired during the marriage. These include earnings, properties bought using those earnings, and all debts incurred during the marriage.
Any assets acquired before the marriage are separate property. This means that the original owner only owns those properties. However, if one spouse contributes to the maintenance or repairs of the other spouse’s property, then that spouse may claim reimbursements for those expenses.
What is the difference between legal separation and divorce?
Legal separation ends a relationship and is judicially recognized as the separation between spouses. However, the marriage remains intact, and the spouses cannot remarry nor enter into a domestic partnership with another individual.
On the contrary, a couple seeking divorce asks the court to dissolve the marriage, usually on the grounds that both parties have irreconcilable differences that have ultimately resulted in the dissolution of the marriage.
What happens to my child custody case while my divorce is pending?
The pending divorce will need to be sorted out before it can be determined whether temporary custody is possible for the parent who wants sole or primary custody of the child. However, because of the time and possible messy conflict, both parents usually have a joint type of full custody without a set arrangement already in place. At Chargois Harper Attorneys and Counselors at Law, our attorneys are dedicated to providing the best results possible for your family. We know how stressful it is to go through divorce, that is why we’re here to help.
How Our Houston Texas Divorce Attorneys Can Help
Going through a divorce is stressful, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Find a divorce attorney who will not only give you legal representation but also give you support and guidance during this extremely stressful time. Here at Chargois Harper Attorneys and Counselors at Law, our Houston TX attorneys can give you personalized legal representation and help resolve all your legal concerns regarding family law such as child abuse, neglect, and modifications. Contact us today for your initial consultation.
You can count on us to protect your interests and resolve your legal concerns in Texas & Illinois.
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