Few people walk down the aisle thinking about divorce, but studies indicate that up to 50 percent of marriages sadly end in divorce.
Causes of Divorce
Money problems, sex issues, addiction, adultery and just plain boredom are some of the most common reasons for divorce. In Texas, the cause of the divorce does matter in determining how a divorce is finalized. Our North Dallas family law firm can protect your rights, no matter what caused your divorce.
A property division case starts out assuming a 50/50 split of assets. However, the cause of the divorce, earning abilities, education of the spouses and many other factors may come into play resulting in one spouse getting far more than half of the assets. Dallas divorce attorney Mark Rush Williamson routinely has 60/40 property divisions in favor of our clients, but results vary from case to case and nothing is guaranteed.
Find Out More About These Related Issues:
- Post-divorce modifications
- Dividing assets and debts
- Asset valuation and classification issues
- Hidden assets
- Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
- Child custody and visitation
- Child support
Divorce As the Last Option
Divorce is a serious decision that should not be made lightly. We sometimes advise clients to try counseling or make lifestyle changes to try to salvage a marriage. That said, if you have reached the point where divorce is your only option, we can help. During our initial meeting, we strive to come to a clear understanding of your goals. Then, we will discuss various options and strategies to meet those goals. We give straight advice and back it up.
5 Stages to a Texas Family Law Case
Stage 1 Filing the Petition
Option to file simple, non-threatening petition.
Option to request temporary orders hearing to decide immediate issues for children, financial support, and payment of bills.
Stage 2 Temporary Orders Hearing
Establishes court orders related to children - such as temporary care, temporary visitation times, temporary child support, and provisions for medical care for the children while the case is pending.
Establishes court orders related to finances - temporary possession of the residence, cars or other assets; payment of bills; and temporary financial support for the spouse.
May address temporary orders for payment of attorneys fees and other costs of the divorce litigation from community funds.
Stage 3 Discovery
Allows exchange of information to determine each party's positions and the nature and value of the marital estate.
Request for Disclosure - standard set of questions to every party requiring identification of witnesses, expert witnesses and legal contentions.
Interrogatories - limited to 25 written questions, sent to the opposing party asking about any matter relevant to the case.
Request for Production - unlimited requests to the opposing party to provide copies of documents related to the case.
Request for Admissions - statements presented to the other party which they must admit or deny.
Subpoena for documents to nonparty - request for documents from other sources, such as banks, schools, employers, etc.
Inventory and Appraisement - a sworn detailed statement completed by each party listing their assets and debts.
Oral Depositions: pretrial witness examinations taken under oath in front of a court reporter, usually in one of the attorney's offices. Any witness that has information about the case may be deposed. Deposition testimony can be used in court as a substitute for live testimony.
Stage 4 Mediation/Trial
Before trial, a mediation session usually occurs. The parties and their attorneys meet with a neutral third-party (usually an experienced family law attorney or former judge) to negotiate, compromise, and reach a settlement agreement.
If settlement is not possible, the case will be presented for trial either before judge or jury. Only certain issues may be presented to a jury, such as custody, geographic restrict of the children, and value of the marital assets. Other issues may only be decided by the judge, such as a possession schedule with children, the division of property, and amount of child support.
A trial is a formal hearing where witnesses testify live or by depositions, exhibits are introduced into evidence, and argument is made to the judge regarding the requested relief. At the end of the trial, the judge/jury will decide the contested issues.
Stage 5 Decree
The decree is the final order signed by the Judge confirming the agreements or rulings in the case. The document is usually lengthy and formalizes all of the provisions of the settlement or judgment.
You may be angry, scared or just a bundle of different emotions. Congratulations, you are normal. You probably have questions. We have answers. We invite you to talk to us for a clear explanation of your options in plain English. Contact us to find out more by calling 469.385.3305.