Austin Divorce Attorney
If you’re filing for divorce or are considering separating from your spouse, contact Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C., for qualified and compassionate legal counsel. We can provide the guidance and representation you need during this time of transition.
Our goal will be to help you understand your rights and protect what matters most during the separation or divorce process. You can reach us by phone or online to discuss your situation during a confidential consultation.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Get a Divorce in Texas?
No, there isn’t a legal requirement to hire a lawyer when filing for divorce. However, the divorce process in Texas can be complicated. It often requires assistance from someone with experience and skills in handling each step, which is why you should contact an experienced Austin divorce attorney.
Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C., has provided top-notch representation to individuals and families in Central Texas since 1963. We’ve earned a reputation as the go-to law firm for complex divorce and separation cases. We focus our efforts on meeting our client’s needs and interests no matter what. Our main office is in Austin, but we serve clients in multiple locations, including:
- San Marcos
- New Braunfels
Our hard work and results have earned us notable awards and accolades, including recognition by the Best Lawyers in America and an AV® rating from Martindale-Hubbell.
How to File for Divorce in Texas
The most important thing to know when learning how to apply for divorce in Texas is that it is a no-fault divorce state. That means you don’t need grounds to file, such as adultery or domestic violence. However, you can pursue a fault divorce if there is a specific reason for dissolving your marriage. The grounds you cite could influence a judge’s decision regarding alimony, child custody, and other terms of the divorce.
The procedure you must follow to file for divorce in Texas includes:
- Petition – Draft and file the petition with the court and pay the necessary filing fee.
- Notice – The spouse who is not filing must receive a legal notice of the divorce.
- Answer – The responding spouse must file their answer within 20 days of receiving the notice of divorce. They can also file a counter-petition and include their grounds for a divorce and requests they have for the court.
- Waiting period – The court cannot grant a petition for divorce until at least 60 days have passed since filing. However, an expedited process is possible under special circumstances like divorcing due to domestic violence.
- Mediation – The waiting period allows the couple to attempt to resolve their disputes in mediation. If they can agree to the divorce terms, they can proceed with an uncontested divorce and have more control over the decisions.
- Hearing – A contested divorce will occur if the couple cannot negotiate the terms of their divorce, requiring the judge to decide. The hearing can be held before a jury or in front of a judge. If the judge approves the agreement, the case is over.
- Divorce decree – Each party must sign the decree after the judge’s decision and file it with the court.
What You Need to Consider in a Divorce
Divorcing your spouse isn’t as simple as filing the paperwork and moving forward with your life. First, you must negotiate terms, such as:
- Child Custody and Parenting Time – Negotiating custody is vital. Different types of custody arrangements are available in Texas. For example, the parent who doesn’t reside with the kids may be allowed visitation to spend time with them on a schedule.
- Child Support – The amount of child support payments depends on guidelines set by Texas Family Code § 154.125.
- Alimony or Spousal Support – State law uses the term spousal maintenance to refer to alimony. One spouse can petition the other for payments to meet reasonable needs following the divorce.
- Property/Debt Division – The court will divide property and debts based on community property laws and contributing factors, such as the length of the marriage, the age of each spouse, and each party’s income.
Even if your divorce is amicable, you should still consider hiring a divorce lawyer in Austin to guide you through the process. While your spouse might initially agree to specific terms, they could change their mind later. To avoid this, you should discuss each topic thoroughly and include your arrangement in writing to file with the court.
Common Types of Divorce Matters Our Firm Handles
At Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C, a divorce lawyer can represent you in Texas cases that involve a range of circumstances, such as:
- Contested divorce
- Uncontested divorce
- High net worth divorce
- Divorce with or without children
- Collaborative divorce
- Post-judgment modifications
- Mediated divorce
- Divorces involving businesses
- Professional divorces
Austin, Texas, Divorce FAQs
If you are considering divorce or separation, you likely have questions about the process and what you can expect to happen next. Our attorneys are here to provide honest, straightforward counsel and help you through the process. We’ve also included the answers to some frequently asked questions here.
Because Texas is a community property state, the court divides a couple’s property based on what it deems to be just and right.
Community property is anything acquired while you were married, such as real estate, motor vehicles, and bank accounts. Separate property is property acquired before marriage or as an inheritance or a gift while married.
The law doesn’t consider or award “points” to the individual who files for divorce first. It won’t matter who filed first to determine matters such as alimony, child support, and asset division.
It depends. You must petition the court for your spouse to pay your attorney’s fees. Judges make these decisions on a case-by-case basis.
For example, if you make considerably more money than your spouse, the judge won’t be likely to order them to pay. However, if you don’t have a job and own little to no assets, the judge might rule in your favor.
Texas has a waiting period every couple must go through before finalizing their divorce. The court won’t grant the petition for divorce until it pends for at least 60 days from the date of filing. The only exception is if special circumstances apply, such as family violence or domestic violence.
However, finalizing the divorce can take months or even a whole year. It depends on the issues involved and whether either party doesn’t agree to the terms.
A divorcing couple must meet these conditions to file:
- They must live in the state for at least six months before filing the petition for divorce.
- Each person must a resident for at least 90 days in the county where the filing occurs.
Texas Family Code Chapter 6 Subchapter A establishes the seven grounds for divorce:
- Abandonment – One spouse left the other with the intention of abandoning them and stayed away for at least one year.
- Living apart – The couple resided separately for at least three years before filing for divorce.
- Adultery – The other spouse committed adultery against the petitioning spouse.
- Confinement in a mental hospital – One spouse is in a private mental hospital or state mental hospital in Texas or another state, and it appears that an adjustment of their mental disorder is unlikely, or relapse is probable.
- Cruelty – One spouse’s cruel treatment of the other renders residing together insupportable.
- Felony conviction – Either spouse received a felony conviction, served a sentence in prison for at least one year, and hasn’t received a pardon.
- Insupportability – The marriage is unsupportable due to conflict or discord of personalities that destroys the marital relationship and prevents reasonable expectations of reconciling.
Divorce can be a highly emotional and stressful time for anyone, and social media can often make matters worse. It is important to be cautious when using social media during a divorce, as what you post online can have significant consequences.
First and foremost, social media posts can be used as evidence in court. Anything you post online can be easily accessed by your spouse and their lawyers, and can be used against you in court.
Social media can be also a breeding ground for negativity and drama. Posting about your divorce on social media can attract unwanted attention and negative comments, which can only add to the emotional stress you are already experiencing.
It is best to avoid using social media during a divorce, or at the very least, be extremely cautious about what you post. If you must use social media, keep your posts positive and avoid discussing the details of your divorce. This will help protect your case, maintain your privacy, and preserve your peace of mind.
Talk to an Austin Divorce Lawyer Now
The Austin divorce and separation lawyers at Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C., will be here to guide you through the process of how to get a divorce or separation in Texas.
We understand the emotional and financial impact that divorce or separation can have on your life. Our goal will be to help you explore the best options for moving forward, and we will protect your interests at every step.
We serve clients throughout the Austin vicinity, which includes Travis, Hays, and Williamson counties. Call us today for your initial and confidential consultation with a knowledgeable and dedicated Texas divorce attorney.