Experienced Divorce Attorney in Southlake, TX
Experienced Dallas/Fort Worth Divorce Lawyers
Few events in life create more sweeping changes than divorce. At a time when you are under great emotional stress, you must somehow find the clarity to make major decisions regarding what you want life to look like — both while your divorce is in process and in the months and years afterward. It’s imperative to hire an experienced and compassionate divorce attorney to help you navigate this process.
At Setzer Law Firm, our Southlake divorce attorneys have helped clients throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Whether your divorce is amicable or contentious, we can help you with the filing process and court proceedings so that you end up with the best results possible. Contact us today or visit our Southlake office for more information.
Fault vs. No Fault Divorce
In certain states, you can file for a fault divorce or a no-fault divorce. In Texas, a fault divorce may be filed on the following grounds:
- Felony Incarceration (for at least one year without pardon)
- Confinement in a mental hospital (for at least 3 years with no sign of release)
It’s important to note that proving the elements necessary for a fault divorce is usually quite difficult. For this reason, it’s usually better to file for a no-fault divorce. If you believe you have sufficient proof to warrant a fault divorce, contact our Southlake divorce lawyers and we can help you determine the best way to file.
Types of Marriage Dissolutions
There is more than one way to end a marriage. Most of the time, the right path will depend on how amicable the split is. Here are some of the most common methods of marriage dissolution:
A contested divorce is a divorce where the two parties disagree on issues such as property division, alimony, and child custody. There may even be a disagreement regarding whether or not the divorce should take place at all.
An uncontested divorce is one of the easiest divorce situations. In this case, both parties agree to end the marriage. They come to an agreement on handling assets, child custody, and other major issues. That agreement is given to lawyers to be filed and made legally binding.
A collaborative divorce is only possible if both parties are amicable. In this type of divorce, both parties have their own lawyer who is trained in collaborative divorce. The divorce is handled out of court in a low-stress environment.
Divorce mediation takes the process a step further than a collaborative divorce. While a collaborative divorce involves two representatives, mediation adds a neutral third party to the equation. The third party can help settle disputes as fairly and equitably as possible.
Annulment is functionally different from a divorce. It is a legal declaration that the marriage was never valid in the first place. Annulment is uncommon in Texas, as the state requires a party to demonstrate invalidity of the marriage. Cases for annulment include incest, bigamy, being underage, intoxication, permanent impotence, fraud, or duress. If one of these cases doesn’t apply, annulment is extremely unlikely.
Legal separation is a method of defining property division and other matters during a separation. This type of marriage dissolution is not recognized in Texas. However, similar contracts can be created to define how property is divided during a separation.
High Net Worth Divorce
A high net worth divorce is the same as any other divorce. The difference is the scale of the process. The most important thing to understand is that Texas is a community property state. This means that assets acquired during the marriage are owned by both parties and will be subject to division at the time of divorce.
Military divorces may have additional considerations and laws surrounding them. The means of military divorce will depend on the type of service. Active-duty service members have different oversight than National Guard service, for instance. The most important thing in a military divorce is to have a lawyer who can help you navigate the specific rules and requirements of the process.
How to File for Divorce in Texas
Before Texas will process a divorce, at least one spouse has to be a resident of the state for a minimum of six months. Initial filing involves petitioning the county where either spouse lives. Once the initial file has been made, the process begins. There will be a waiting period for the other spouse to respond. Ultimately, when all responses are settled, there will be a final waiting period, and then a judge will finalize the terms of the divorce.
Filing the proper paperwork and properly serving divorce papers can be complicated. At Setzer Law Firm, our divorce attorneys can help you navigate this process and represent you during negotiations.
Elements of a Divorce Negotiation
Property and Debt Division
As Texas is a community property state, all property and debt acquired during the marriage is owned by both parties. This means the initial starting point in division is 50/50. That does not mean the final ruling will evenly divide all assets and debt. Ultimately, property and debt division can be negotiated by both parties, and in a dispute, a court will aim to rule in the most fair and equitable way possible.
In Texas, alimony is only awarded if one spouse has too little property to meet basic needs upon separation. If one spouse gets the house, the other may be able to qualify for spousal support, for example.
Child Custody and Child Support
Often the most disputed aspects of divorce, child custody and child support run hand in hand. Texas law assumes that being with both parents is what is best for the child. This will depend on both parents demonstrating that they are competent to care for a child. Custody is awarded based on these ideas.
Child support in Texas is awarded similarly. The non-custodial parent will be the one who pays child support. Payment amounts are based on income, and they are subject to change in the future.
Contact Our Dallas/Fort Worth Divorce Attorneys
No matter the nature of your divorce, experienced attorneys are essential to navigating the process. You need a lawyer who is both compassionate and commanding to help you get the best possible outcome from your divorce negotiations. At Setzer Law Firm, we have successfully represented clients in divorce battles throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Contact us today or visit our office for more information. Our Southlake divorce attorneys are here to help.