Most people who divorce have never done it before and didn’t expect to ever go through it. They have no idea what to expect. If you are considering a divorce or have been served with divorce papers, here are some basics you should know from the lawyers at the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., in Ft. Worth.
1. There Must Be Grounds for Divorce in Texas
Texas isn’t a “no-fault” divorce state. That means that in order to get a divorce in Texas, there must be a reason (“grounds for divorce”). The reason can include things like adultery, abandonment or conviction of a felony. Most divorces cite “insupportability” as the reason, which means that the marriage cannot continue due to conflicting personalities.
2. Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce
Divorces come in two types: contested and uncontested. Many people think that they have an uncontested divorce because they generally get along with their spouses. However, the definition is stricter. To have an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse must agree on every issue in the divorce. Otherwise, you have a contested divorce. Sometimes, divorces that start as uncontested divorces end as contested ones.
3. You’ll Need to Resolve Four Major issues
Each divorce is different, and not all divorces involve children. Generally speaking, though, there are four major issues to consider in a Texas divorce:
- Child custody: Texas courts divide child custody into conservatorship and possession/access. Conservatorship is the ability to make major decisions about the child’s life. Possession/access is where the child lives.
- Property division: There are two types of property in Texas: community property and separate property. Community property is things you and your spouse have collected during the marriage – like your savings accounts and real estate. Your debts are also considered. Community property is usually split 50/50.
- Child support: Courts order child support according to a series of Texas Child Support Guidelines that consider several factors.
- Alimony: Courts can sometimes order alimony for a limited time when the receiving spouse is not able to earn enough income.
4. You Only Get One Chance to Do Your Divorce Right
It may sound harsh, but you only get one chance to decide the major issues of your divorce and make sure your interests are protected. It is possible to appeal a divorce in some cases, but it’s much easier to do things right the first time.
Talk with an attorney before making big decisions. Start by taking steps to get as much information as possible. Call the Arlington office of Schneider Law Firm, P.C., at 817-755-1852.