A Trusted Houston Divorce Attorney
A divorce is always difficult, but the right lawyer can help ease the process. As a practiced divorce attorney in Houston, Ashley Scott encourages cost-efficient and civil marriage dissolutions. For more information about the divorce process in Texas, please call the Law Office of Ashley J. Scott at 713-255-2097.
Filing for Divorce
The initial step towards legal separation in Texas is to file and original petition for divorce in your county of residence. This documentation notifies the court of your intention to pursue a divorce. Prior to filing, either spouse must have lived in Texas for over 6 months.
The spouse filing for divorce – also known as the petitioner – must notify their spouse of their intent to divorce. If the respondent agrees to sign, required paperwork can be sent directly to the spouse. Generally, legal papers are served by a Constable or a private process server. There are also ways of serving spouses that cannot be located or are avoiding our clients.
Now, lets consider the other face of the coin: One should call a divorce attorney immediately after being served. The respondent has a limited time to take action; if a spouse fails to respond within the specified amount of time, he/she could possibly face a default judgment.
Uncontested Vs. Traditional Divorce
In some cases, not only do both parties agree on filing for divorce, but they also have been able to reach an agreement on all aspects of divorce, such as child custody and visitation, child support, and property settlement. This type of divorce, commonly known as “uncontested” divorce, can be quickly resolved.
Although the state of Texas does not require an attorney to complete an uncontested divorce, hiring an experienced Houston divorce attorney saves time and ensures that the process goes smoothly.
In these cases, spouses only need to hire one attorney. Typically, though, spouses are unable to reach an agreement on all aspects of a divorce, requiring each party to find their own legal representation.
Restraining and Temporary Orders
When the petitioner files for divorce, he/she has the option to pursue a retraining order. This should not be confused with a protective order! A restraining order outlines appropriate behavior during the interim period between the filing and the finalization of the divorce.
A temporary orders hearing can also be requested to determine important behavioral guidelines that each party must abide by until the divorce is final. Important matter, such as child custody, child support, visitation schedules, use of the marital house, payment of marital bills, and spousal maintenance, are all decided at the temporary orders hearing. It is important to note that these rules are temporary and are not informative of the final divorce agreement.
Final Divorce Trial
Before reaching the final trial, mediation can be attempted and discovery pursued. Cases are generally presented to a judge, who then makes decisions concerning contended issues, usually involving children and division of financial assets.
Texas Family Code allows for a trial by jury in certain cases involving the valuation of property and child custody. The request for a jury must be submitted in a timely fashion.
What Should I Look For In a Houston Divorce Attorney?
When it comes to something as personal as a divorce, you need a lawyer who is unyielding and dedicated, but who is also compassionate. Mrs. Scott understands that divorce can be a traumatic experience for a family and aims to make the process as painless as possible.
Moreover, the divorce process can also come with a large price tag. The Law Office of Ashley J. Scott is driven by efficiency and emphasizes reducing costs through strong work ethic and cooperation.
If you are ready to take that next step, it is best to have a trustworthy Houston divorce attorney on your side. Call Ashley Scott at 713-255-2097 to schedule a consultation.