Beaumont Divorce Lawyer
Couples don’t enter a marriage anticipating that it will end in divorce. Unfortunately, recent statistics show that 50% of first marriages will end in this way. Our firm appreciates the fact that divorce can be one of the most emotionally and financially devastating events a person can go through and take care in providing effective solutions that minimize the emotional impact of the divorce process.
Whether you have made the decision to get a divorce, or whether you were served with divorce papers, finding an effective divorce attorney to represent you through your Family Law related legal issues is the first step in moving forward. The Law Firm of Galmor, Stovall & Gilthorpe has over a decade of experience in successfully helping clients in Beaumont and Southeast Texas navigate the divorce process.
Before filing for divorce, at least one of the parties must be a Texas domiciliary (i.e. resident) for at least six (6) months and a resident of the county where he or she files for divorce for at least the preceding 90 days.
Procedures to initiate divorce
Generally, one spouse hires a lawyer and files a petition for dissolution of marriage, motion for temporary orders, and a notice of hearing. This spouse is referred to as the Petitioner. The other spouse, Respondent, is served by a constable or process server with citation, copies of the petition, motion for temporary orders, and the notice of hearing. The Respondent may hire an attorney to file an answer to the petition and motion for temporary orders.
A divorce will not be granted until at least 60 days have elapsed since the petition was filed.
Temporary hearings are held before a state district judge or the court’s associate judge. At temporary orders, the court decides issues such as which spouse will retain exclusive possession and use of the marital residence while the divorce suit is pending, how property such as vehicles and vacation homes are to be used during this time, and often, when children are involved, where the children will reside during the divorce action. Therefore, it is very important to retain a divorce lawyer as soon as possible after being served with divorce papers to make sure your interests are represented at the temporary orders hearing.
Sometimes parties will agree to a divorce and independently work out issues of property division. In that case, the petitioning party may have the other party execute a waiver of citation.
Because of the waiver, the non-filing spouse will not receive service of process of the divorce petition. Additionally, the non-filing spouse does not file an answer to the original petition. The parties generally wait for 60 days from the date of filing, go to court and prove up their divorce. This is a relatively simple process with little court intervention.
A contested divorce is one in which the partners cannot work out a divorce petition independently. For example, a highly publicized “knockdown, drag out” divorce would fall into this category.
Each divorce party would hire and be represented by their own divorce lawyer. The parties and divorce lawyers would work together to create a petition that both parties can agree on. The earliest a divorce can be granted is 60 days after the petition is filed but could take much longer depending on how long it takes to reach an agreement. There is no maximum number of days in which a petition bust be finalized. Therefore, it is feasible that a divorce proceeding could last anywhere from 60 days up to several years.
Collaborative Law is a process that provides an alternative to the traditional divorce litigation. Statutes enacted in 2001 authorize parties to use collaborative law procedures, under which the parties and their attorneys agree in writing to use their best efforts and make a good faith attempt to resolve their dispute without judicial intervention except to have the court approve the parties’ settlement agreement and sign the orders required to give legal effect to the agreement.
In collaborative law, the husband, wife and both their attorneys work together, in private, to find a way to meet each individual’s needs so that the couple may make a smoother transition from being married to being single. An advantage of a collaborative law divorce is that there is no public record made of the divorce agreement. Therefore, a reporter or investigator could not go to the courthouse and get a copy of the divorce decree.
Division of Community Property a 50/50 split?
Not Necessarily. The starting point of a property division between the spouses, but very rarely the ending point, is that community property is divided equally between the spouses. However, the equal division of community property rule is subject to the court statutory right to make a just and right division of the community estate, having due regard for both parties and any children of the marriage.
Factors the court may consider in making a just and right division of the community estate include: