Waco Divorce Attorneys
Providing Compassionate Legal Counsel
Divorce is never an easy decision, and every case is different. Divorce can be a daunting and difficult process, leaving your future relationships with children (if any) in question along with the outcomes of financial stability. To help make this transition smoother, the Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard is here to provide guidance as they understand that it presents many unresolved uncertainties when filing in Waco, TX. Our team strives to exceed expectations by helping you find resolutions that are tailored towards meeting each individual's personal needs while alleviating stress throughout the divorce proceedings!
Don’t wait to call the Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard at (254) 220-4225 today to speak with our Waco divorce attorney.
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce
Whether you are considering a divorce or you’ve already filed, it is important to understand that all cases progress differently. Some spouses can settle their case outside of the court, but others may need oversight from a judge to reach a resolution.
An uncontested divorce refers to a situation where both parties agree on custody, visitation, property division, and alimony. These cases do not usually go to court, which means they take less time to settle and do not cost as much. However, spouses with highly valued assets or other unique circumstances may need the court’s help to confirm the terms of their divorce settlement.
Contested divorces are cases where the spouses cannot reach an agreement on their own. The court can provide helpful oversight in these cases by acting an impartial third party to resolve conflict over property division, child custody, and other matters of contention.
Many cases become contested when the parties disagree on child custody or business ownership. Others involve spouses with high-net-worth, including extremely valuable assets and sometimes international property that needs an appraisal to verify value. These cases often go to court to ensure that property is divided property.
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your divorce, you should always speak with a qualified divorce attorney in Waco, TX. Our legal professionals at the Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard have experience with a variety of cases and can work with you to create a strategy that meets your unique needs.
Process for Divorce in Waco, TX
The process for divorce in Waco, TX involves the following steps:
- Meet residency requirements: In order to file for divorce in Waco, TX, you or your spouse must have been a resident of Texas for at least six months prior to filing.
- File the divorce petition: The first step in the divorce process is to file a petition for divorce with the court. The petition must include information about you, your spouse, your marriage, and your reasons for seeking a divorce.
- Serve your spouse: After filing the petition, you must serve your spouse with a copy of the petition and a citation to appear in court. Service can be accomplished in person or through certified mail.
- Wait for response: Your spouse will have a certain amount of time to file a response to the petition. If they do not respond, the court may grant a default judgment in your favor.
- Attend mediation: If you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement on issues such as property division, child custody, and spousal support, the court may require you to attend mediation to try to resolve these issues.
- Attend hearings: If mediation is unsuccessful or not required, you will need to attend court hearings to resolve any remaining issues and finalize the divorce.
- Finalize the divorce: Once all issues have been resolved, the court will issue a final decree of divorce, which will officially end your marriage.
It is highly recommended that you seek the assistance of an experienced divorce lawyer in Waco, TX to guide you through this process and ensure that your rights and interests are protected.
Who Pays for the Divorce Cost in Texas?
In Texas, the costs of a divorce can be paid by either one or both of the spouses, depending on the circumstances of the divorce.
If the divorce is uncontested, meaning both spouses agree on all aspects of the divorce, such as division of property, child custody, and support, then the spouses can agree on who will pay for the divorce costs. If they cannot agree, then the court will decide who will pay.
If the divorce is contested, meaning the spouses cannot agree on one or more aspects of the divorce, then each spouse will typically be responsible for paying their own legal fees and costs associated with the divorce. In some cases, however, the court may order one spouse to pay some or all of the other spouse's legal fees, especially if one spouse has a significantly higher income than the other.
It is important to note that the cost of a divorce in Texas can vary widely depending on the complexity of the case and the amount of time spent on it by attorneys and other professionals.
Can Property Division Affect Child Custody and Alimony?
The property division process is tedious, but it is often a key factor for other aspects of divorce like child custody and spousal support. Texas is a common property state, which means that your assets are divided into two categories: communal and separate property.
- Communal property is anything purchased or owned jointly during your marriage. For example, if you invested in a house and paid for the mortgage with a joint bank account, the house would be categorized as communal property. Separate property refers to assets that are not communal, either because they were already in your possession before the marriage or you paid for them with independent funds. For example, a car that you have had since college that your parents paid off is separate property and belongs solely to you.
After your assets go through the property division process, your financial situation is likely to change. The court will evaluate your case to see if you can continue maintaining a standard of living comparable to when you were married. Based on their evaluation, the judge may set spousal maintenance (alimony) to help bridge the gap.
That said, child custody also depends on the result of asset division. If one parent cannot provide for themselves and their child, the judge may require the other parent to pay more in child support and spousal maintenance to provide a more stable financial environment for the child. If the court finds that the financial wellness of the parent is too dire, the judge may not grant them physical custody at all.
Ultimately, the judge will determine child custody and spousal maintenance based on the evidence presented and the child’s best interests.
Legal Counsel at Every Step of the Way
The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard has over two decades of experience helping clients with their divorce cases, from filing to resolution. We understand how emotional this time can be, which is why we provide client-focused, compassionate legal counsel. Our Waco divorce lawyers work with you to evaluate the details of your case, build a strategy, and help you move forward.
Please contact our Waco divorce attorneys at the Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard.
Meet Our Dedicated Team
Brett H. PritchardOur lead lawyer, Brett H. Pritchard, is a graduate from Brigham Young University and Texas Tech University. Earning an exemplary reputation as an aggressive and formidable trial lawyer, Attorney Pritchard is ultimately passionate about protecting his clients' rights.
Brent T. SykoraAttorney Brent T. Sykora has a wealth of experience in the legal realm, stemming firstly from his First Chair litigation experience in both federal and state courts, administrative hearings, and ADR proceedings.
Danah WoodsDanah Woods has a broad range of state and federal civil litigation experience including trial, discovery, and mediation and has practiced throughout the State of Texas. Danah began her career working in the insurance industry as a claims adjuster and ...
Darmeisha SlayAfter graduating from St. Mary’s University, she practiced as a Paralegal at the Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard until her acceptance into the Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston, Texas. While at TMSL, Darmeisha was accepted to practice in the pro bono Family Law Clinic where she represented indigent clients in uncontested and contested divorces.
Jeff LinickWith a background in business and finance prior to going to law school, Mr. Linick worked for several years in the insurance industry with USAA, a company closely associated with the armed services.
N.J. GauntSenior LitigatorNicholas J. Gaunt has been licensed as an attorney and mediator in Texas since 2009. He has practiced family law and criminal defense extensively in Bell, Coryell, Lampasas, & Milam, as well as Collin, Dallas, Denton, Travis, and Bexar County.
Kayla ChandlerKayla Chandler is a native of Temple, Texas. Born at Scott & White Hospital and a 2007 graduate of Temple High School, Kayla is proud to still call Temple home after more than thirty years. Kayla was raised in Temple by her mother and in Cedar Springs on ...
Andersch EtienneAndersch H. Etienne has lived most of his life in Florida. He obtained his Associate of Arts from Indian River State College with a major in Criminal Justice and, after graduating, interned with the 19th District Public Defender’s office for the summer. ...
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Killeen, TX 76543