Divorce can be a difficult and complicated transition. Many legal issues arise that require the assistance of an experienced and compassionate family attorney.
For nearly 50 years, the Austin divorce lawyers at Minton, Burton, Bassett & Collins, P.C., have guided parties through separation and divorce as well as the closely related matters of spousal support, property division and child custody and support. Tell us your objectives, needs and concerns and allow us to use our skill and creativity to find solutions for you.
When a marriage dissolves, whether it’s a formal marriage or a common law marriage, the first step in the process typically is for the parties to physically separate. Under Texas family law, there is no legal separation. So, you do not have to file any documents with a court. However, you should still make sure your interests are protected.
If there is no premarital (or prenuptial) agreement, then couples often reach a separation agreement that contains provisions for spousal support, property division and child custody and support while a divorce is pending. This agreement can serve as a blueprint for a postmarital agreement that takes effect once the divorce is finalized.
However, if the parties cannot agree on these matters, a temporary restraining order might need to be filed to prevent the other party from depleting marital assets or preventing contact with the children.
After the parties decide a marriage cannot be salvaged, a petition for divorce must be filed in a Texas Family Law District Court and served on the other party.
A party must be a Texas resident for a period of at least six months before filing and a resident of the county in which the petition is filed for a period of at least 90 days. This petition will state that the marriage has become insupportable because of conflict between the parties, and that there is no reasonable expectation that the parties can reconcile. In other words, Texas is a “no-fault” divorce state.
The parties will then engage in discovery, which can include depositions and requests for documents or other evidence that is relevant to issues at stake in the divorce.
After discovery, the parties will enter mediation and try to reach a settlement. Mediation is an informal process involving a neutral third party, or mediator, whose job is to facilitate an agreement between the parties.
If the parties enter into a settlement, then an Agreed Decree of Divorce is presented for a judge’s approval. However, if mediation fails to resolve their differences, then the matter goes to a hearing in Family Law District Court, where a judge will rule on spousal support, divide property and enter orders on child custody and child support.
At least 60 days must pass before a divorce becomes final in Texas. When a divorce agreement is reached in mediation, the matter tends to get resolved much quicker and with less expense. A hearing can add several more months to the process.
Contact Us Today
The Austin divorce attorneys at Minton, Burton, Bassett & Collins, P.C., emphasize mediation but also realize that not all matters can be resolved without going to court. We are skilled trial lawyers who are always ready to aggressively pursue our clients’ interests, whether it’s in negotiations or litigation before a judge. For a free consultation, contact us today by calling (512) 476-4873 or by reaching us through email or our convenient online form.
We represent clients going through a separation and divorce throughout the state of Texas, including: Travis County (Creedmoor, Elroy, Manor, Pflugerville); Williamson County (Cedar Park, Georgetown, Liberty Hill, Florence, Leander, Round Rock, Taylor); Hays County (Buda, Dripping Springs, Kyle, San Marcos, Wimberley); Bastrop County (Bastrop, Clearview, Elgin, Rockne, Smithville); Caldwell County (Lockhart, Luling); Burnet County (Bertram, Burnet, Marble Falls); and Comal County (Bulverde, Canyon Lake, Gruene, New Braunfels, Sattler, Startzville).