Facing a divorce can feel like a journey, and that is a good way to look at it. The outcome of your divorce will set the stage for your post-divorce future, which makes it far too consequential to ignore. While it is normal to want to bury your head in the ground when the only thing you have to look forward to is divorce, the only way to get to the other side is to move forward through your divorce and having a dedicated Round Rock divorce attorney on your side can help you do just that.
There Are No Shortcuts
A painful fact of divorce is that yours will take as long as it is going to take, and there is very little that you can do to shorten the process – other than by making it your policy to remain as civil as possible with your divorcing spouse and by negotiating in good faith for fair divorce terms that uphold your financial and parental rights. The following time restrictions apply to every Texas divorce (with very limited exceptions):
At least one of you must have lived in Texas for at least six consecutive months prior to filing.
At least one of you must have lived in the filing county for at least 90 consecutive days prior to filing.
You must wait at least 60 days after filing before your divorce can be finalized.
Further, there are certain factors that nearly universally complicate the divorce process and that, therefore, require more time to resolve, including:
Having a spouse who insists on making the divorce as difficult as possible
Owning a business
Having high assets
Owning multiple properties
Having complicated finances generally
Texas Does Not Recognize Legal Separation
In the State of Texas, there is no legal separation. This means that if you and your spouse live apart for years and years – according to whatever financial terms and child custody arrangements you have agreed upon – you remain married in the eyes of the law. Additionally, this means that if you have been diligently working on your financial independence throughout what you thought was a legal separation, all of your financial gains will remain marital property that your spouse has a legal right to pursue in divorce. In other words, it is important to address the matter of divorce head-on – rather than putting it on hold via separation. If a separation really is the better option for you, an experienced divorce attorney can help you set up a legal arrangement that comes close to imitating divorce.
The Majority of Texas Divorces Are No-Fault
While Texas laws allow for fault-based divorce, most divorces are no-fault, which helps to streamline the divorce process. The fact that your divorce is no fault, however, does not mean that the judge in your case will not take your spouse’s wrongdoing into consideration. The areas where this is most likely to play a role include the division of your marital property and spousal support.
Divorce Is Not a Good DIY Project
The outcome of your divorce will profoundly affect you and your children's lives, and for this very reason, turning your divorce into a DIY project is ill-advised. Divorce is the dissolution of a legal contract, and even the most straightforward divorce can face serious complications. If your divorce does proceed smoothly without hiccups, you will have considerable control over both the cost and the duration of your divorce.
A universal truth of divorce, however, is that they can turn on a dime. A divorce that is smooth sailing can quickly find itself in choppy water. Divorce involves major life decisions, and emotions naturally run high. This combination can lead to unexpected fireworks, and having a dedicated divorce attorney on your side from the outset can help you deal with whatever comes your way. Further, your trusted attorney will help you explore your best options and protect your interests with every decision that you make (and there will be many to address).
Primary Divorce Terms
When it comes to divorce, the division of marital property and child custody arrangements are generally the terms of primary concern.
The Division of Marital Property
The property that you and your spouse amass as a married couple is marital property that will need to be divided equitably upon your divorce. Equitably means fairly (given the situation), but your interpretation of fair may be very different from that of your divorcing spouse. Any property that either of you owned prior to divorce and kept separate throughout will remain your own, but the line between separate property and marital property is often tenuous.
Child Custody Arrangements
You and your children’s other parent will need to address both legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody determines who will be making the big-picture decisions in your children’s lives, but the everyday decisions that are the hallmark of parenting remain the task of the parent who is with the children at the time. Physical custody determines how your children will split their time between the two of you, and this typically plays out in one of two ways (or anywhere in between), including:
One of you will become the primary custodial parent while the other has a visitation schedule.
You will split your time with your children equally.
If you can come to a mutually acceptable arrangement, the court will allow you wide latitude – and you can get as creative as you would like. An important point to make is that the court very rarely denies a parent at least some form of visitation.
You Need an Experienced Round Rock Divorce Attorney in Your Corner
Attorney Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard – proudly serving Round Rock, Texas – understands how important your case is to you and your children and is dedicated to skillfully advocating for terms that work for you. To learn more, please do not put off contacting or calling us at 254-501-4040 today.