Katy, Texas Divorce Attorney
Qualified Experienced Divorce Representation in Katy Texas and the Surrounding Areas
The decision to end your marriage is a difficult one to make. When you are married, you typically share a home, intertwine finances, and often start a family with a person with whom you intend to spend the rest of your life. If your relationship with your spouse breaks down, it is usually a very difficult emotional time, and you will likely be dealing with feelings of sadness, grief, anxiety, and stress about the future.
As if these emotional issues were not enough, divorce often involves many practical considerations as well. Who will get the house? Will the children primarily live with one of you or will you split time? Will your spouse provide you with financial support or will you be required to pay alimony? The way that these and other issues that often arise in divorce are resolved can have a direct impact on your life and your future, so it is critically important to do everything possible to protect your legal rights. In almost every case, this starts with contact an experienced divorce attorney in Katy, Texas.
Requirements for a Divorce in Katy, Texas
As if making the decision to seek a divorce is not difficult enough, you also have to follow specific legal steps and meet certain requirements in order to have a divorce granted. Some couples who decide to get divorced want it to be over immediately. Unfortunately, the process can take time and some cases take more time than others. The following is some information regarding the many requirements for a successful divorce in Texas and some issues that may affect your divorce timeline.
Katy Residency Requirement
Not just anyone can file for a divorce in Texas court. Instead, at least one of the spouses must have lived in the state for six months or more before filing for divorce. In addition, that spouse must be lived in the particular county in which the court filing takes place for at least 90 days before the filing. Either spouse can file for divorce in a Texas county if the residency requirements are met – even if the petitioner is not the one living in Texas at the time.
Residency issues may be more complicated if one or both spouses are members of the military as you may be stationed in locations other than what you consider to be your primary residence. Military members who have been stationed in Texas for a period of time that meets the residency requirement will likely meet the residency requirement. Residents of Texas who are then stationed outside of the state may also still meet the residency requirements. An experienced divorce attorney can review your situation and determine whether you meet these requirements and can identify the best court for you to file your case.
Grounds for Divorce i n Katy Texas
Texas requires you to cite specific grounds for why you want the marriage to be legally ended. The following are the grounds that are available:
- Discord or conflict have led the marriage to be insupportable with no expectation of reconciliation.
- Cruelty on the part of one spouse.
- One spouse committed a felony that led to imprisonment of at least one year and no pardon occurred.
- One spouse abandoned the other for one year or longer.
- Separation without cohabitation for three years or longer.
- One spouse has a mental disorder that has required them to live in a mental health facility for three years or longer with unlikely hope for recovery.
It is important to carefully choose the appropriate grounds for divorce that applies to your specific situation. Insupportability is a no-fault based ground for divorce so it is often easier to prove and is more commonly used. If you do choose to cite any fault-based grounds, you will be expected to provide evidence to support those grounds to the court. This can often lead to a very personal and contentious battle if the other spouse fights against the grounds cited. A skilled Katy, TX divorce lawyer can help you determine the best grounds for your divorce and can help you prove any fault-based grounds if necessary.
Filing the Divorce Petition in Katy, Texas
A divorce petition will contain substantial information including personal information for each spouse, grounds for divorce, facts about residency, facts about the marriage, information about any children of the marriage, whether you will be requesting spousal support, and much more. It is essential to have a knowledgeable divorce attorney prepare your petition to ensure there are no omissions or inaccuracies that can hurt your case. Such omissions or inaccuracies can cause delays or can even affect your rights in the divorce case.
A divorce petition can also include a request for one spouse to change their name to the legal name they used before they were married. Generally speaking, a court will grant a name change request unless the judge finds good reason not to. If a court is refusing to grant a name change, our law firm can help demonstrate that a name change should be appropriate in your situation.
You must file the petition in the proper county court and must notify your spouse of the petition in accordance with Texas procedural law. On the other hand, if your spouse files for divorce, they must provide proper legal notice to you of the petition. The non-petitioner will then have 21 days to respond to the filing and provide their own requests and counter any facts or grounds stated with which they disagree. If proper notice occurred and there is no response from the other spouse, the court can grant the divorce on a default basis.
Whether you are the spouse who is filing the petition or the spouse who must file an answer, you should always have the guidance of an experienced Texas divorce attorney who knows how to protect your rights.
Waiting Period after Filing
After a petition is filed, judges in Texas family court generally may not grant the divorce for at least 60 days. This waiting period applies even if you and your spouse agree on all relevant issues and no one is contesting any part of the divorce. The major exception to this 60-day waiting period is if one spouse has a protective order against the other due to allegations of domestic violence or if one spouse has been convicted of domestic violence regarding the marriage or family.
After the divorce is granted, there is still an additional waiting period that you must observe. For 30 days following the divorce judgment, neither spouse may marry anyone except the former spouse.
While the above waiting periods apply to all divorce cases, some divorce cases can take much longer if the spouses cannot agree on one or more important issues. Some divorce cases can drag on for months or even years. With the help of a committed Texas divorce law firm, you can hopefully obtain your divorce in the most efficient manner possible so that you can move on with your life.
Protecting the Legal Rights of Individuals Involved in an Uncontested Divorce
There are some lucky divorcing couples who are able to end their marriages amicably and agree on all of the issues that need to be resolved before the divorce is finalized. This type of divorce is often referred to as an “uncontested divorce,” as neither party is contesting any of the issues that need to be resolved. If you are in this situation, you may be tempted to not retain legal counsel in order to save money or simply because you think it is unnecessary.
Failing to consult with an attorney during the divorce process can jeopardize your legal rights and wind up with you needing to spend more on legal fees in the future trying to undo the issues that you inadvertently created. Divorce is a complicated matter, and many people are unaware of the fact that the way that matters are resolved could have a significant impact on your financial and personal life for years. Some of the ways that an attorney can be of assistance include the following:
- Make sure you are aware of your rights
- Ensure that the agreement that you come to accurately reflects your wishes
- Review the documentation that you are submitting to the court for accuracy
- Walk you through the legal process of getting a divorce
Because of the significant rights that can be affected by a divorce, it is always advisable to speak with an attorney prior to taking any legally binding action
Committed to Favorably Resolving Contested Issues in Divorce
Unfortunately, not every couple who decides to get a divorce is able to agree on the way that issues related to their divorce will be resolved. In fact, if you have decided to get divorced, it is possible that your relationship with your spouse has degraded to the point that you are unable to communicate in a productive way. In acrimonious divorces where the issues are contested, it is crucial that each party retains a skilled and experienced Katy divorce attorney in order to ensure that their rights are protected.
At The Vendt Law Firm, PLLC, we regularly work with clients with disputes related to the following:
The way in which the community estate is divided can have a significant impact on your life. As a community property state, Texas courts have discretion in determining how to divide property among a divorcing couple. Some of the factors they consider include the relative ages of the parties, their level of education, the amount of separate property each party owns, business opportunities, health, and importantly, marital fault. Due to the level of discretion that courts have in dividing property, it is extremely important for anyone involved in a property dispute to speak with an attorney immediately.
Contested Child Custody
Child custody disputes are among the most difficult disputes to resolve in a contested divorce. When Texas courts determine child custody, they are required to consider the best interests of the child and are allowed to consider any factor that they deem relevant to that determination. An attorney can have a significant impact on the way child custody cases are decided.
Spousal maintenance, or alimony, is a payment made from one spouse to another in order to allow the receiving spouse to meet his or her needs. Texas courts have significant latitude making determinations about maintenance, so if you are seeking maintenance or are opposed to paying it, you should retain an attorney who will present your case it the best light possible.
Providing Ongoing Representation in Katy, Texas
At The Vendt Law Firm, PLLC, our representation does not necessarily end when your divorce is over. The way that issues related to child custody, child support, and spousal maintenance are resolved at the time of your divorce are based on the circumstances that exist at that time. As we all know, things change as we go through life, sometimes dramatically. Our lawyer is available to help our clients who are seeking to modify or prevent modification to court orders related to support and custody and have the skill and experience necessary to resolve your case as favorably as possible. Some of the events that may warrant a modification to a court order related to a divorce include the following:
- A job offer
- A health crisis
- Evidence of drug or alcohol abuse on the part of the other parent
- Physical abuse
Contact a Katy Divorce Lawyer Today to Discuss Your Case
Going through a divorce is difficult. The good news is that you do not have to do it alone. Our attorney is dedicated to providing individuals in the area with compassionate and effective legal representation that takes their needs and goals into account. To learn more about how we can help you, call our office today at 832-276-9474 or send us an email through our online contact form.