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Brazoria County DIVORCE LAWYER

Fighting for You During Your Divorce

A couple sitting on opposite sides of a couch, both upsetWhen beginning the divorce process, it is important to put your emotions aside as much as you are able. Rather than dwelling on the past, focusing on your future will help you to achieve your goals.

At Jeff Gilbert Law Office, we provide sound advice and assertive representation to clients in divorce and related matters across Southeast Texas. Our divorce attorneys help clients make the right decisions for them so they can move forward in their lives with confidence.

Contact us now to schedule a consultation with our Brazoria County divorce lawyer!

Our family law lawyers represent clients in all aspects of divorce, including the following:

Texas Residency Requirements for Divorce

To file for divorce in Texas, you must first meet a residency requirement. The requirement states that:

  • Either you or your spouse must be a Texas resident for the six months prior to filing
  • You must have lived in the county where your divorce is being filed for at least 90 days prior to filing

After you meet this requirement, you can then proceed to file either a fault or a no-fault divorce. If you try to file without having met the residency requirement, your case may be delayed or dismissed entirely.

How to File for Divorce in Texas

When you make the decision to end your marriage through divorce, you have to officially start the process by filing for divorce. This process has a few steps and requirements that must be met, and if you are unfamiliar with this procedure then you might be confused looking at the steps. Here is what you should know about filing for divorce in Texas.

Residency Requirements

To file for divorce in Texas, you must first meet a residency requirement. The requirement states that:

  • Either you or your spouse must be a Texas resident for the six months prior to filing
  • You must have lived in the county where your divorce is being filed for at least 90 days prior to filing

After you meet this requirement, you can then proceed to file either a fault or a no-fault divorce. If you try to file without having met the residency requirement, your case may be delayed or dismissed entirely.

Forms Required

When filing for divorce, there are several important papers that you will need to put together. These items include the following:

  • Original petition for divorce.

  • Citation/waiver.

  • Decree of divorce.

  • Notice of service of process.

When you file for divorce, you may also file for a Temporary Restraining Order that prohibits both you and your spouse from doing anything that might diminish any property that both parties have the rights to.

Serving the Papers

After filing the paperwork with your appropriate county, the other party in the divorce must be notified of the divorce through an official Service of Process. In other words, your spouse must be officially notified of the divorce and cannot simply be handed the paperwork by you.

Depending on if your spouse is agreeable to the divorce or not, your spouse may sign a waiver of service acknowledging that they are aware of the filing and have received copies of the initial filing. Otherwise, your attorney can guide you on how best to proceed with this, whether through a local sheriff’s office or a private process server.

Your spouse can decide whether or not they want to file an answer to the divorce (should they want to actively participate in the case or contest the divorce). By choosing not to file an answer, this does allow you to request a default judgment which will allow the court to grant the divorce regardless of your spouse’s level of participation.

Necessary Financial Disclosures

Because of the complex nature of property division and the need to uphold Texas’ equitable distribution law, each party in a divorce should plan on submitting a Sworn Inventory and Appraisement that details their assets such as bank accounts, real estate, retirement accounts, and other simple and complex assets.

An Overview of the Process

After these steps have been completed, you and your spouse (along with your attorneys) may attempt to reach a settlement agreement without having to resort to the court deciding matters for you. These matters are common among many divorces and include the following items:

  • Property division/distribution.

  • Child custody (called conservatorship in Texas).

  • Child support payments.

  • Spousal support/alimony (depending on the unique circumstances of the case).

It is very common for a divorce to result in a settlement agreement; however, in the event that you and your spouse are unable to come to terms on these matters, court hearings will likely be held and the judge presiding over your case will decide these for you based on your arguments and evidence.

Is Texas A 50/50 State?

Texas is a community property state, meaning any property that is to be divided in a divorce must have been acquired during the marriage itself. This includes debt, assets, or even loans. All property is presumed to be community property unless the party that attempts to claim anything for personal reasons can show proof via evidence.

Community property is normally divided by a system that is considered equitable. Property will be split between each spouse based on a variety of factors including the length of the marriage, the contributions of each spouse during the marriage, and the income of each spouse.

Why Hire an Attorney for Divorce?

It is not necessary to employ a lawyer to divorce. There are options for filing and representing yourself on your own. However, it is still advisable to maintain the services of an experienced family law lawyer. A competent attorney would be able to direct you through the difficult legal problems that occur during a divorce.

A common misconception upon hiring a family law attorney is that it would lengthen and increase the cost of your divorce. All of our clients who are going through this tough time are treated with compassion and appreciation. We look at options that will help you expedite your divorce while avoiding crucial measures.

Other reasons to retain a divorce attorney include:

  • We can manage all of your extra paperwork and records.
  • We create solutions that are specific to your goals and requirements.
  • We'll advise you on which issues are worth your time.
  • We will assist you in finding any properties that your spouse might be trying to hide.
  • We'll work with you every step of the way to help you meet both short and long-term goals.

Does it Matter Who Files First in Texas?

As with every state, a judge will not show preference or bias towards the individual who files for divorce first. However, there are certain personal advantages filing first can give you.

For example, if you live in a different county than your spouse, then the county laws you reside in will be taken into effect. Also, individuals who have a child may find that the state they live in tends to favor those with a child that are still minors. Another advantage includes having the extra time to prepare for the divorce, especially if your spouse doesn't see it coming.

Compassionate & Assertive Representation

Attorneys Jeff Gilbert and Rachel Aguilar are prepared to work closely with you throughout the divorce process. We will learn about you, your concerns, and your hopes for the future. Jeff will explain your options and the recommended course of action in your family case. Most often, this will involve negotiating a settlement that is fair and resolves the outstanding issues in the most positive way possible.

When the situation calls for tenacious trial litigation, however, our lawyers can fight to ensure that your needs are met. Throughout the legal process, our lawyers keep you informed of important developments and provide you with compassionate support should you have a need for it.

Protecting Your Rights Throughout Your Divorce

In your case, the goal of Jeff Gilbert Law Office will be to achieve a successful outcome that enables you to move forward in your life. We will place a priority on protecting your rights at all stages of the legal process.

You will have the confidence of knowing that an experienced Brazoria County divorce lawyer is on your side, working to help you achieve your goals.

Contact Jeff Gilbert Law Office today – we want to help you make a successful transition to the next stage of your life.

Why Choose Us?

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  • Commitment

    Protecting what matters most to you.

  • Multi-Faceted Experience

    Adaptable and versatile to your case.

  • Attention To Detail

    Personal and proactive attention.

  • Accessibility

    Around-the-clock access to your attorney.

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