If you and your spouse have decided to divorce, and have matters that you cannot agree with, or have child custody, support, or property division issues, you will have to file for a contested divorce. This type of divorce will require an attorney in the State of Texas to represent you and ensure you get the desired outcome. When filing for a divorce in the State of Texas, that is contested and there are some steps you need to be familiar with, so you understand these proceedings.
In Texas, when you decide to file for a divorce, the process begins with an Original Petition for divorce being filed at the courthouse of the county where you live. You will have to state your reason for divorcing your spouse and provide any requests with the petition. Requests would include such items as a restraining order, or a need to have a hearing to decide temporary child support and custody.
Once your paperwork is filed, you proceed to the next step. The next step in a contested divorce is to have your spouse served with papers to let them know officially that you have filed for divorce.
Temporary Orders is the phase in a divorce that is contested in the State of Texas. You will now be required to present your evidence, along with witnesses to testify before the judge and prove you should get the outcome you are asking for. This outcome could be temporary child support, custody, or other arrangements you feel you are entitled to receive from your spouse after the divorce. IT also includes temporary use of certain property - house, car, etc.
The idea behind this hearing is to make sure you are able to pay your bills, and the children from the marriage are going to be able to see both parents while awaiting the divorce proceedings to be finalized. An experienced attorney can help make sure everything is done correctly.
Negotiations are a necessary phase in a divorce that is contested in Texas. Negotiation may include mediation, but it doesn’t have to. Without mediation usually involves an exchange of correspondence, emails and phone calls with the other party’s attorney in an attempt to reach an agreement. Personally I don't recommend mediation for most divorce cases. It can be expensive and I think only helpful if it’s a complicated divorce regarding property and debt.
If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement of terms through mediation, you will have to go to court and let a judge make the decision on the terms. Typically the areas that are contested and require a judge to settle include child support, custody, and property divisions or distribution of other assets. You can have a jury trial on some but not all issues in a divorce. Among some other issues, juries can decide which parent designates the primary residence of the child and if there will be a geographic restriction on that child’s residence.
Having an attorney working with you through a contested divorce in Texas is important. Decisions reached through this process will have long-lasting effects on your life, and you want the best legal advice possible to ensure your future and rights are protected throughout the proceedings.