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Texas Divorce Lawyers - Guiding Houston Families Since 1985

Couple Getting Divorced

Once you have decided to go through with a divorce, it is essential that you retain the services of a skilled lawyer. A Houston divorce lawyer from Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny has the vast amount of experience needed to successfully complete the divorce process. Because so much can depend on the way the divorce process is completed, our firm recommends retaining a qualified legal advocate to represent your rights and best interests.

Contact our Houston divorce lawyers for assistance with your petition for divorce in Texas. We have 30+ years' experience and are ready to use it for your case!

How Do You Prepare for a Divorce?

If you and your spouse can agree on the terms of a divorce in advance, it can save you both a lot of time and money later. However, if you don’t think the process will be that simple, there are a few things you can do to prepare for the process.

Step 1: Budget and Save

If you don’t have a large income, divorce costs may seem excessive to you. In Texas, the average divorce will cost around $15,600. The bulk of this will come from attorney fees, but the court will charge some filing fees as well. Likewise, children will increase the cost of the divorce, as you and your spouse might need to go to court to decide child custody and child support.

In addition, you will live on half of the income you may be used to. If you stay in the marital home, you will have to pay for the cost of the mortgage on your own. If you move out, you will likely need to afford rent. Make sure you plan an effective budget to help you survive on your own.

Step 2: Collect Documents

If you plan on asking for spousal support, you will need to accumulate documentation. Sometimes courts will grant spousal support in cases where the couple comes to expect a certain standard of living. Likewise, if you have a low income, or you stayed home to take care of the kids, you will need documentation to prove your potential for earning.

Step 3: Document Your Life with Your Children

Sometimes courts will split physical child custody between parents, meaning the child will live equal amounts of time with both parents. However, if you want more time with your child, it will help to collect documentation regarding your relationship with him or her. Find pictures or collect video of you spending quality time with your kids.

Step 4: Research Attorneys

While people do represent themselves in court, it can be risky to do so if you have a lot at stake. If you think your spouse will fight you throughout most of the divorce, you need an excellent legal advocate on your side. Research the divorce lawyers in your area, check what they charge for their services, and see if they have any positive reviews from former clients. You want to be sure you can trust your family law attorney.

Navigating the Texas Divorce Process

The divorce process is much more complex than some people may assume. There are a variety of steps that must be completed before it can be finalized and the marriage can be fully dissolved.

They include the following:

  • Petitioning for divorce - To start the process, one spouse must petition for divorce at the court clerk. The petition must include the reason for the divorce, which can be based on fault or no-fault (insupportability).
  • Serving the divorce papers - The spouse who did not petition must receive the divorce papers. This can be done by personally giving it to them, mailing it to them, having a sheriff complete the delivery, or even publishing it in a newspaper.
  • Responding to the petition - After being served, the spouse has 30 days to respond. This means they must use this time to get a lawyer, contest any terms in the divorce, or send an agreement.
  • Temporary hearing - There may be a temporary hearing before the formal court trial, which may decide things such as child custody, alimony, child support, and division of property.
  • Final hearing - The case is taken to court and all the final arrangements are decided. After this is completed, the divorce is finalized and the marriage is officially dissolved.

Types of Divorce the Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny Handles:

There are two main types of divorce in Texas: contested and uncontested. Depending on which type of divorce you proceed with, your experience can be very different. A contested divorce occurs when one or more of the terms outlined in the divorce papers are unacceptable to either spouse. An uncontested divorce is one where all the terms are acceptable to both spouses and they agree.

Other types of divorce we handle include:

  • High net-worth divorce - Without the protection that legal experience can afford you, you are likely to lose some important property.
  • Collaborative divorce - A relatively new method of divorce that allows for cooperation and avoids litigation.
  • Mediation - Can be used to save time, money, and bypass a good deal of unpleasantness.

Have questions? Contact The Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny to speak with a trusted divorce attorney in Houston or submit a case evaluation form today!

Things to Keep in Mind During the Divorce Process

  • Alimony / Spousal Support - An attorney can help fight for a more favorable outcome in your favor.

  • Division of Property - We can carefully account for all the assets and property you own and fight for you to keep them.

Think of the Children

If you are considering divorce, think about your children too. For divorces with child custody, the process can include agreeing on matters involving not only child custody, but also child support payments, and making visitation schedules. Make sure your rights and the future of your family is protected by retaining an experienced divorce attorney in Houston. Keep in mind that modifications to orders (support, visitation, or custody) should situations change post-divorce as well.

When Is My Divorce Final?

Texas requires a minimum 60-day waiting period before any divorce can be finalized, meaning the shortest time it could take to finalize a divorce is 61 days. Our state is a “no fault divorce state,” meaning that a spouse does not have to prove the other spouse has done anything wrong to obtain a divorce. You cannot be hold in a marriage simply because your spouse refuses to sign the petition or participate in the divorce. The court will enter the divorce even if they refuse. If parties are not in agreement, the time needed to finalize the divorce may be longer, but it all depends on party conduct, attorneys, and court schedules.

In certain situations, such as domestic violence cases, the 60-day rule can be bypassed. On average, however, the time period is more likely to run between 90 to 120 days in an uncontested divorce; as the result of crowded courts and the time it takes counsel to draft the necessary legal documents and obtain the agreement of both parties regarding the final divorce petition. Other complex issues, such as restraining orders, psychological evaluations (in custody cases), trial and appeal, division of marital assets and child custody can make the divorce process last anywhere from several months to a few years to complete.

We Can Help Make the Divorce Process Easier. Call Today!

Though this process may seem easy to handle, especially in the case of an uncontested divorce, it is always a good idea to get legal support. You need an advocate who is an informed, experienced professional supporting you through the crucial phases of a divorce and ensuring that your future will proceed smoothly after everything is completed.

The Houston divorce attorneys at the Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny are willing to offer the caring, effective advocacy that you need during this trying time. From changing your name after the divorce to understanding how to make the divorce process easier for yourself, connect with our lawyers today to get the help you truly deserve.

Call (713) 936-2300 to get in touch with a Houston divorce attorney from the Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny today!

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