Fighting For You During Your Divorce
In our experience, when beginning the divorce process, it is extremely important to put your emotions aside as much as you can. Focusing on your future, rather than dwelling on the past will help you 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 aim to help clients make the best decisions for them to move forward in their lives with confidence.
Contact us now to schedule a consultation with our Brazoria County divorce attorney.
Our divorce lawyers represent clients in all aspects of the divorce process, including the following:
- Child Custody and Visitation
- Property Division
- Child Support
- Spousal Support (Alimony)
- Post-decree modifications
- Prenuptial agreements
Our divorce lawyers also understand that every divorce action is unique. We are equipped to assist you in any type of divorce proceedings, including, but not limited to the following:
- Uncontested v. Contested
- High Net Worth Divorce
- Same Sex Divorce
- Military Divorce
- Collaborative Divorce
How To File For Divorce In Texas
When you make what is often the difficult 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. If you are unfamiliar with this procedure, then you might be confused and overwhelmed just looking at the steps. We provide you with the basics of what you should know about filing for divorce in Texas.
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 before anyone files.
- 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 what is called 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.
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
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 right 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 whether your spouse agrees to the divorce or not, they 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, it allows you to request a default judgment, which will allow the court to grant the divorce regardless of your spouse’s level of participation.
Do You Need Grounds For Divorce In Texas?
No, you do not need grounds for divorce in Texas. Texas is a “no-fault” divorce state, meaning you can file for divorce without proving that your spouse did anything wrong. Instead, all you need to do is show that your marriage is irretrievably broken. This can be done by showing that you and your spouse have lived apart for at least 60 days or that you and your spouse have been separated for at least one year, and there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation.
If you and your spouse have been married for less than 60 days, you may still be able to file for divorce on the grounds of fraud or duress. However, these grounds are difficult to prove, and it is generally easier to wait until you have been married for 60 days before filing for divorce.
Suppose you are considering filing for divorce in Brazoria County, Texas, it is essential to talk to a divorce attorney to discuss your options and to get advice on how to proceed.
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.
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:
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 for 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 about hiring a family law attorney is that it will 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 who 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 And Assertive Representation
Attorney Jeff Gilbert is prepared to work closely with you throughout the divorce process. He 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 divorce 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 attorney is on your side, working to help you achieve your goals.