An Alvin Family Law Attorney Will Guide You and Advocate On Your Behalf
A family law matter might cause emotional or financial anguish depending on the conditions you are experiencing. It’s critical to have an Alvin family law lawyer on your side who can answer your questions and help you navigate the legal system. From beginning to end, we can offer legal guidance, representation, and recommendations.
An Alvin Family Lawyer Answers Common Questions About Uncontested Divorce in Texas
How Long is the Process of Uncontested Divorce in Texas?
Under Texas law there is a mandatory 60-day waiting period that is triggered when you file the Original Petition for Divorce. Nothing really happens during this waiting period, except it means the court cannot legally grant a divorce before the 60 days is up. During that time period, however, is when you get your spouse served or have them sign a waiver of service and start drafting the final paperwork for your divorce. Hopefully, if the divorce is truly uncontested, you can have your divorce finalized as close to the 60th day as possible.
How Much Does a Texas Uncontested Divorce Cost?
The filing fees for an uncontested divorce vary depending on the county that you file in. Typically, the fees average around $300. This cost could be increased if there are children involved in the divorce or if you are hiring a constable to have your spouse served. The filing fees would be in addition to the legal fee charged by the lawyer. The legal fee is based on the issues of the case and whether or not there are children involved. Call today for a free telephone consultation and a quote from Meagan M. DeKeyzer (713) 904-4004.
Do I Have to Show Up in Court?
If there are no issues getting the paperwork signed off on by both parties, then the only day you would need to show up in court would be when the divorce is finalized. This is called a “prove-up” hearing. During the prove-up hearing, your Alvin family law lawyer will ask you questions under oath in front of the judge, this is called your testimony. You will testify that you are a resident of Texas in the county in which you filed the divorce, that you want a divorce, and other questions depending on the facts of your case, etc. This takes a total of about five minutes. If everything is approved by the judge, they will grant your divorce and it will be final on that day.
What If We Don’t Have Any Property?
Even though you don’t think you have community property with your spouse, there is always community property while you are legally married. For example, all of the income you make even while you and your spouse are separated is technically considered community property (assuming there is no premarital agreement in place). Similarly, any debts incurred while you are married are also considered community debts. It is important to have your Alvin family law attorney include the appropriate language in your Final Decree of Divorce to divide your income, property, bank accounts, vehicles, debts, tax liabilities, etc. It is also important to protect any separate property you may have. Separate property is anything you owned before marriage or acquired during the marriage by gift or inheritance.
What if my Spouse and I Have Already Come to an Agreement Regarding the Divorce?
If you and your spouse have already come to an agreement, your Alvin family law lawyer can help you draft the agreement in a divorce decree and get it finalized. Your lawyer will make sure all of the proper language gets included in the decree and that your interests are protected. Your lawyer will also make sure you haven’t left anything out of your agreement that would be beneficial for you and your spouse to include. This should be a quick and easy divorce if everyone is on the same page.
What if I Don’t Know Where my Spouse is?
Once your Alvin family law lawyer files the Original Petition for Divorce, he or she will attempt to serve it upon your spouse. If you don’t know where they are located, there are resources that lawyers use to locate people and may be able to find your spouse that way. If not, your lawyer may proceed with having your spouse notified with citation by publication. It will make your divorce take longer to be finalized, but in some instances, it may be the only way to get it done.
What do I Need to Provide to my Lawyer to Complete the Divorce?
Your lawyer will need identifying information for you and your spouse, this includes the last three numbers of you and your spouse’s driver’s license and social security numbers, physical and mailing addresses. If you have vehicles, your lawyer will need at least the year, make and model of the vehicles and preferably even the VIN number. For a house or any piece of real property, the lawyer will need a copy of the deed to get the legal description. Your Alvin family law attorney will also need identifying information for any bank accounts or retirement accounts.
Can I Get Spousal Support?
Spousal support is monetary assistance paid by one former spouse to another for a certain amount of time, usually as part of a divorce agreement or court order. In many states, it’s called alimony.
According to Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 8.051, either spouse can request maintenance during the divorce process in Texas. However, the court can only award support if the requesting spouse doesn’t have enough property at the time of the divorce to provide for basic needs, and at least one of the following circumstances exist:
- The supporting spouse was convicted of an act of family violence against the other spouse or the couple’s children within two years of the divorce filing or while the divorce was pending
- The receiving spouse is unable to earn enough income to be self-supporting due to an incapacitating physical or mental disability
- The couple has been married for at least ten years, and the receiving spouse lacks the ability to earn income to meet basic needs, or
- The supporting spouse is a custodial parent of a child who requires substantial care or personal supervision due to a mental or physical disability that prevents the parent from working and earning an income.
Factors for Determining Spousal Support in Texas
Under Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 8.053 the law begins every spousal support case with a presumption that spousal support is not necessary. However, if spouses requesting support can demonstrate they have made a good faith effort to earn an income or acquire the education or training necessary to become financially independent, the court will allow a support evaluation, considering a large variety of factors.
What do I Need to Know About Property and Asset Division?
Texas is a “community property” state, where most property acquired during the marriage belongs to both spouses equally. However, each spouse gets to keep his or her separate property when the marriage ends.
How Is Community Property Divided at Divorce?
During a Texas divorce proceeding, the judge will divide their property in a manner that is “just and right;” i.e., the division of property must be equitable or fair, under the circumstances. There are many circumstances that the court may consider in determining what “equitable” is, including:
- The fault in the breakup of the marriage
- The disparity of earning power between the spouses
- Both spouse’s health
- Which spouse has custody of the children
- Each spouse’s education, and
- The future employability of the spouses
Let an Experienced Alvin Family Law Attorney Help If You’ve Facing a Divorce in Texas
If you have questions regarding family law, schedule a free consultation with an Alvin family law lawyer. We can help with any family law matter in Harris County, Brazoria County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, or anywhere in Texas.