Divorce Lawyer In Arlington W
hether divorce has been brought to your doorstep suddenly or has been brewing for some time, it can be an immensely upsetting, frustrating, and confusing experience. The person you loved and trusted may have broken your trust; you may not even be speaking. The end of your marriage has effects throughout your life, and can affect your children, career, relationships, and financial stability. For many people, it is simply one of the most difficult phases of their adult lives – whether the divorce is their choice or not.
At our initial consultation, our immediate concern is to determine your needs and goals in the divorce. For example, you may need help securing a source of income while the case is pending, or need immediate possession of a home, vehicle, or tools of your trade — to simply have a residence and to maintain your job and source of income.
Our first task is to use all legal means to ensure your immediate stability in the short term. Often, this is accomplished with the use of the court’s standing orders or temporary restraining orders, to ensure that harmful behavior by your spouse – including hiding or destroying assets – is kept to a minimum. A quick court hearing for “temporary orders” is typically scheduled within a few weeks of the filing of the divorce petition, to set rules in place concerning your property, residence, temporary spousal support, and resolve any immediate issues concerning children.
After the initial temporary orders hearing, the issues in your divorce case are often clarified and aspects of possible agreement are identified. Some cases settle completely at this stage. Others require substantial additional work, information gathering, court-ordered settlement conferences (“mediation”), or final trial to the court.
A divorce case ends in one of three ways – by a voluntary dismissal and reconciliation, an agreement, or a ruling by the court. The case is ended by the entry of a final decree of divorce and associated court orders for the disposition of particular assets such as real estate, business interests, and retirement accounts.
If you have children under 18 from the marriage, all child custody matters must be incorporated in the divorce. Please see our separate child custody page for information on these matters.
Divorce Frequently Asked Questions
- What is community property? Community property consists of all property earned or acquired during the marriage, other than gifts and inheritances. This includes all income earned during the marriage, even if it was earned from a separate property source. Property owned or acquired prior to marriage is separate property and is not divided by the court in a divorce.
- But what if the property is in my name? The name in which a property is owned does not determine whether it is community or separate, only when ownership / title to the property was obtained. We call this the “inception of title” rule.
- What if community and separate property is mixed or commingled? In such cases, the spouse seeking to establish an asset as “separate” must “trace” separate property (through any changes or transactions) to prove its separate character. This usually requires going through past records and sometimes involves an accountant.
- Is there a waiting period in a divorce? Yes, a divorce cannot be finalized until 60 days after the filing of the divorce petition, absent a family violence finding by the Court.
- Is there a remarriage waiting period? Yes, you must wait 30 days after the entry of the divorce decree before marrying anyone other than your ex-spouse.
- How long do I have to live here to file a divorce here? You must be a Texas resident for 6 months, and resident of the county in which the case is filed for 90 days.
- How do child custody cases interact with a divorce? Generally speaking, child-related matters related to children of the marriage are consolidated into the divorce proceeding, and must be resolved in the divorce.
- What is a “child of the marriage?” Any child born during the marriage (or soon thereafter) is presumed to be the child of the husband. Children adopted by the spouses are also children of the marriage.
- Is there alimony in Texas? In certain circumstances Texas law provides for “maintenance,” which is a payment for a fixed term to one of the spouses. The amount of maintenance is based on the spouse’s assets, “minimum reasonable needs,” not their lifestyle needs. The duration of the payment is based on the spouse’s needs and the length of the marriage.
- Is Texas a no-fault divorce state? Yes, the standard divorce is granted on the grounds of “insupportability,” meaning that the marriage is irretrievably broken and there is no possibility of reconciliation. However, in extreme cases the “fault” grounds of adultery, cruelty, and abandonment may be pursued as well.
- Is a 50-50 property division a certainty? No, although it is certainly the starting point for most courts. There are many factors used by the court to determine a “just and right” property division, including length of marriage, fault of the breakup of the marriage, the parties’ education and work experience, the parties’ earning capacity, and other factors.
- Can I change my name in a divorce? A spouse has the right to change their name as part of the divorce, usually to their birth surname or prior married surname. It is the choice of each respective spouse to keep or change their name.
- How are businesses handled in divorce? If a business is community property, often the most important step is valuing the business. Often this requires the use of a expert business valuator.
- How important is valuation of property in a divorce? It’s very important, because the court can only award property in a “just and right” fashion when it can identify and properly value it. This sometimes requires the use of expert appraisers, third-party valuation sources, and account statements in the case of financial assets.
With nearly 25 years of experience, Gene Sollows is prepared to handle any family law problem, no matter how deep the conflict or complex the issues. He will work with you personally to gain an understanding of your situation and to guide you to the best possible outcome.
Get In Touch With An Attorney Who Understands And Can Help
We handle a broad range of family law matters for clients in Tarrant, Dallas, Collin, and Denton Counties and surrounding areas. To arrange your initial consultation with an experienced Arlington divorce lawyer, please contact our law offices online or by telephone at 817-548-5696.