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The attorneys at J Lowe have vast experience in dealing with the issues associated with getting a divorce in Texas. Below is a general summary of the procedural steps that are taken to get a divorce in Texas.
While the steps in obtaining a divorce in Texas will greatly vary depending upon the parties to the case, as well as the facts and circumstances surrounding the case, below is a general summary of the procedural steps typically taken to obtain a divorce in Texas.
- Filing for Divorce: One spouse (the “petitioner”) will file an Original Petition for Divorce and accompanying documents with the court clerk in the county where either spouse has lived for 90 days.
- Serving the Divorce Petition. Generally, the petitioner must either have the divorce papers personally served on their spouse or have the spouse sign a waiver of service and simply accept the documents from the petitioner.
- Answering the Divorce Petition and Filing a Counter-Petition for Divorce. The respondent (the spouse served with the petition for divorce) has 20 days from the date of service of the petition to file an answer to the petition. The respondent may also file a counter-petition for divorce.
- Standard temporary orders. Either spouse may ask the judge to issue standard temporary restraining orders, including orders meant to preserve the couple’s property during the divorce proceedings. Judges might also issue these orders on their own.
- Financial disclosures. If the respondent has filed an answer, the spouses must exchange certain information and documents about their property, retirement plans, and other financial matters.
- Mediation. The parties may agree on their own, or the judge in the case may order the parties to mediation, which is a non-binding settlement process where a mediator attempts to assist the parties in reaching a resolution to their case.
- Finalizing an agreed divorce. Both spouses must sign and file a Final Decree of Divorce, which could be included in the initial paperwork. After the waiting period, the court will schedule a hearing. At the hearing, the judge will review the divorce papers and, if everything is in order, will sign the final divorce decree.
- Finalizing a contested divorce. Typically, contested divorces will go through discovery, the legal process for getting evidence from the other spouse and from experts. The process could also involve motions and court hearings. If the parties are unable to reach a settlement at mediation (discussed above), then the parties will proceed to trial to have a judge or jury determine the issues in their case.
If you have questions about the divorce process in Texas, please contact J Lowe Law to speak with a qualified McKinney, TX divorce lawyer today.