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Divorce is difficult. It can take an emotional, mental and financial toll on you and your family.
However, you know that it is the right decision at this time in your life. You want to ensure that your divorce process goes as smoothly as possible, whether it’s a no-fault divorce and you and your spouse are separating amicably, or it’s a fault divorce and you need to prove this to the court.
When deciding if you should hire a Houston divorce lawyer, it’s helpful to learn about what exactly is involved in the process.
The Divorce Process in Texas
In Texas, you’re legally married until the divorce process is complete. Then, you become legally divorced. There is no such thing as legal separation in Texas. You can read more about this in our comprehensive article on the Texas divorce process.
You and your spouse can file for divorce after residing in the state of Texas at least six months prior. In addition, you’ll need to live in the county where you’re filing for divorce at least 90 days prior.
If you and your spouse agree that you’d like to divorce and nobody was at fault, then you’d file for a no-fault divorce. However, if there is one spouse at fault for the divorce – in Texas that means there was infidelity, abuse or abandonment – then a fault divorce would need to be filed.
In a no-fault and fault divorce, there is a $250 to $300 filing fee, as well as a 60-day waiting period before the court can finalize your divorce. During the divorce process, the spouses may be prohibited from doing things like closing down bank accounts, traveling with children or taking them out of their school. Some temporary orders could be filed before the divorce, such as temporary child and spousal support and determining who lives where.
Overall, the divorce process in Texas could take at least 10 months. Typically, it could take longer if the spouses do not hire legal representation.
Factors in a Texas Divorce
Whether you’re filing for a fault or no-fault divorce in Texas, you may need to factor in things like:
- Child Custody: Who gets the children? How much time will each spouse spend with the children on a weekly basis? Who will have them on holidays or for vacation? What are the rules for taking them out of the country?
- Child support: Who is going to pay it, and how much will the monthly amount be?
- Spousal maintenance: Will one spouse have to pay the other following the divorce? Do you deserve spousal maintenance because you gave up your career to raise children, and will need to go back to school or start in an entry-level position to get back into the workforce?
- Marital property division: Who gets the house, the bank account and the retirement money? Who acquires the debt? Since Texas is not a 50/50 community property state, who is at-fault and needs to hand over more of their assets?
- A high net worth individual: What happens if one spouse goes after the other because they have a high net worth? What happens to money one spouse had prior to getting married?
- Domestic violence: Was one spouse abusive to the other?
- Restraining order: Does one spouse need to place a restraining order against the other out of fear of violence? This is known as a protective order in Texas.
- Pets: Who gets custody of pets? Could spouses have equal time with their dogs, cats and other animals?
- Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements: Did the couple sign any prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement? If so, what were the terms and stipulations?
Keep in mind that in order to prove something like domestic violence or decide who gets the property, a spouse would need to have evidence, relevant documents and possibly even witnesses to prove their case.
How Much is a Divorce in Texas? There is no exact number or way to predict how much a divorce in Texas is going to cost. It all depends on whether you’re filing for a no-fault or fault divorce, as well as factors like children, spousal maintenance and valuable assets at stake, to name a few.
However, according to a Lawyers.com survey, the average cost of a Texas divorce is $15,600. The total average cost without kids, for example, is $15,300, but with kids, it’s $23,500. It’s going to cost more to go to trial, which is why the experienced Houston divorce lawyers at Boudreaux Hunter & Associates LLC will help you try to avoid that scenario and pursue mediation instead if that’s the best course of action.
Why Hire a Houston Divorce Lawyer? Every type of divorce can be complicated, even if it’s no-fault and there aren’t children in the picture or there isn’t property either spouse needs to worry about. No matter what situation you’re in, filing for a divorce and going through the process is not simple in Texas. This is why you need a divorce lawyer to help you navigate it.
Why should you hire a divorce attorney? Here are just some of the many reasons:
- An experienced divorce lawyer in Houston knows the laws inside and out. Relying on secondhand information from friends, family or Google isn’t always accurate, and may make the process more confusing and longer.
- Someone will be on your side and fight for your interests. While your friends and family can provide emotional support, you need representation who is going to hear you out and stand by you even when things get tough or overwhelming. It’ll give you peace of mind to have an experienced lawyer helping you.
- You’ll have a better chance of getting what you need and deserve. You may not know how to stick up for what you want or what arguments to make during the divorce process. A lawyer will know exactly how to approach it and do their best to guarantee you get what you want and need from the divorce.
How to Find the Best Divorce Lawyer in Houston, TX
Once you decide you need to hire a divorce lawyer in Houston, Texas, then you’ll need to find the best one to represent you. Along with asking trusted family members and friends for recommendations, you should seek out a lawyer who has several years of experience in this field. You want someone who knows the laws thoroughly, is familiar with the local courts and has dealt with similar cases in the past.
It’s also advisable to hire a divorce lawyer whose law firm exclusively handles family law. That way, you’ll know they are dedicated to this area of practice and it’s not just another one of their many, unrelated services, like it is at other law firms with multiple focuses.
It’s a good idea to interview at least 2-3 divorce attorneys before you make a decision on whom to retain. Your lawyer should make you feel heard as well as secure in your case, so don’t settle for anything less.
Hiring Boudreaux Hunter & Associates, LLC for Your Texas Divorce
Our family law firm is dedicated to guiding families through divorce, which can be an emotionally overwhelming and tough journey for everyone involved. With our years of experience providing support to Houston TX families going through divorce, you can rest assured that you’ll have the best representation on your side. To learn more and see if we can help you, call us at (713) 333-4430 or contact us today to set up your confidential consultation.
Our Houston divorce attorneys can help you resolve all aspects of your divorce, including:
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Talk to Our Attorneys Before Filing for Divorce in Texas
In some cases, divorcing spouses can reach an agreement about all relevant issues without a court hearing. This is often accomplished through mediation. In contentious cases, however, this is not possible. When a couple is unable to work out these issues on their own, their only option is to litigate the case in court.
You Don't Have to Face This Difficult Time Alone
Are you ready to discuss your case with an experienced divorce lawyer in Texas? If so, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We understand how difficult it can be to go through a divorce, even if you are the one who made the decision. Our entire staff is here to offer the support, guidance, and compassionate representation you deserve.