DIVORCING IN TEXAS
- Original Petition: A divorce in Texas begins when a spouse files an Original Petition (“Petition”) for Divorce. The spouse that files the Petition is called the “Petitioner.”
- Original Answer: The other spouse is notified of the Petition either formally or informally. The other spouse will generally file an Answer within a certain timeframe or Waiver of Service. This spouse is called the “Respondent.”
- Counterpetition: The Respondent may also file a Counterpetition for Divorce. The Counterpetition identifies Respondent’s requests. Under these circumstances, the Respondent is also called the “Counterpetitioner.”
- Temporary Orders: Temporary orders address the needs of the divorce while the divorce is pending. They may include temporary use of property, how bills will be paid, child and spousal support and visits with the children. Temporary orders may be agreed upon or ordered by the court.
- Case Strategy: Every divorce has its own unique facts. To that end, cases will have different needs. We will work together to formulate and implement a strategy based on the unique needs of your case.
- Mediation: Generally, we will attend mediation to attempt to settle all issues. Unless agreed otherwise, each spouse will have his/her own room and the mediator will go from room to room. Mediation requires both spouses to reach an agreement. The mediator does not have the power to make a decision. Mediation has a high success rate; however, it is possible an agreement will not be reached.
- Final Decree of Divorce: The Final Decree of Divorce will identify the division of the marital estate, a spouse’s separate estate, a parenting plan if the spouses have children and other agreements or orders of the court. The final orders will be based upon a settlement agreement or orders of the court.