Cordell & Cordell Texas Divorce Lawyer
If you are contemplating filing for divorce or are currently involved in divorce proceedings, the Texas divorce process can involve many stages which vary depending on factors such as the court, whether the parties are represented by a Texas divorce lawyer, and whether the divorce is contested or uncontested.
Divorce Process in Texas
There are some general requirements for filing for divorce in Texas. A party may file for divorce if one of the spouses is a resident of the state for the past six months and a resident of the county in where the divorce is filed for the past 90 days.
When a spouse files an Original Petition for Divorce and serves the other spouse, that other spouse has until the Monday after 20 days to file an Answer. In the alternative, the other spouse can agree to sign a Waiver of Service, waiving the necessity to be personally served.
Discovery Requests in Texas
Once the service and answer time is complete (or simultaneously with service of the petition) the parties can serve discovery on each other, requesting certain information and/or documents to obtain any information that they feel they may need in the case.
Discovery requests can include Request for Production and Inspection, Written Interrogatories and Rule 194 Requests for Disclosure and must be completed and submitted to the requesting party within a certain period of time.
As a general rule, discovery requests must be submitted 30 days after service of the request and the discovery period ends 30 days prior to the trial setting.
Texas Divorce Settlements
If the parties are amicable, there may be a possibility of settling their case through informal settlement discussions, either directly or through their Texas divorce lawyers.
If they cannot settle their case through informal settlement discussions then they will have to request a temporary orders hearing to obtain temporary orders on the case. However, the courts prefer for parties to try and reach a temporary agreement without court intervention.
Mediation in Texas Divorce Process
Generally, courts will require that the parties attend mediation in an effort to resolve their matter. Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process using a neutral third party, the mediator, to facilitate negotiations.
Mediation may begin with a joint session where both parties and their Texas divorce attorneys meet with the mediator. Each party has an opportunity to present the relevant facts, state his or her goals, and make other pertinent comments.
The Final Hearing in Texas Divorce
If at this point, the parties have not reached a final agreement via informal settlement discussions or mediation, then the case will have to go to trial for final hearing.
The final hearing is the parties’ opportunity to put evidence (documents and witness testimony) before a court aimed at providing the evidentiary support necessary to convince the court to grant the relief requested by the parties.
Texas Divorce Lawyer
This is a general overview of the divorce process in Texas that can be further expanded or narrowed depending on many other variables, on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, the phases of divorce litigation are generally dependent upon the level of conflict between the parties and complexity of the issues.
Cordell & Cordell has offices and family law attorneys located throughout Texas should you seek additional information or possible legal representation.