Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce In Texas
Many people have questions about what to expect in their divorce. Below are some curated answers to the most common questions that clients bring when they meet with attorney Jeffrey S. Lynch.
1. Do I Need An Attorney For My Divorce?
Some people will suggest that you can get a divorce without an attorney, and that is unfortunately not the case in the overwhelming majority of divorces. Family law attorneys have years of training and decades of experience that allow them to quickly and efficiently manage divorce petitions for their clients. Divorce can be a very emotionally distressing and stressful process, so handling this on your own would be a very poor choice. An experienced divorce attorney such as attorney Jeffrey S. Lynch can help you focus on your family while they are representing you.
2. How Long Does A Texas Divorce Take?
While every divorce is different, what can be expected is that even in the best-case scenario it will take a minimum of 60 days to process your divorce petition. In an especially contested divorce, it may take six months or more to complete all of the court filings and negotiations, however, in some cases, the process can drag on for longer than a year.
3. Am I Legally Separated If I Have Already Moved Away From My Spouse?
If you have moved out of your shared residence with your spouse or if they have left you, you are still considered to be legally together. Legal separation is not a legal doctrine that Texas recognizes, so the only way to be legally separated from your spouse is if you have had an official divorce.
4. Do I Need To Prove Fault In Order To Divorce My Spouse?
In Texas, a no-fault divorce means that the spouse who has filed the divorce petition is not required to prove that their spouse has committed any wrongdoing or other act that would be considered a breach of the marriage. Texas applies this principle to all divorces, not requiring any fault to be proven, however, if there is fault on the part of one side the divorce court is permitted to take that into account as they work with the parties.
5. How Are Assets Divided In A Divorce?
This can be a complicated question, and you may need to speak with an attorney to get a more accurate answer, but there are some broad answers that can address this. As a community property state, Texas views almost all assets acquired during the course of a marriage as joint property of the married couple. When a divorce is filed, this marital property will be jointly divided between the parties, with the parties negotiating over exactly which assets they wish to keep or sell off, or whether a certain individually owned property was converted into a marital asset. Talk to Jeffrey S. Lynch to get answers if you have a complex, high-asset divorce and you need assistance.
6. Will I Have To Pay Alimony To My Spouse?
In Texas, there is a limited alimony system that is established by statute to allow spouses who cannot support themselves to apply for spousal support. This is not a broadly applied remedy, and in most cases is limited to about three years of support. Texas law also prohibits spousal support from being set above $2,500 or 20% of the supporting spouse’s gross income on a monthly basis, applying the lower number to the individual case.
For example, if your spouse has a mental or physical disability, or is caring for a child with such a disability, they may apply for spousal support. If your monthly gross salary is $5,000, then your support payments would be capped at no more than $1,000 per month, and for less than three years.
7. How Much Can A Divorce Cost Me?
Generally, a divorce is going to cost you several hundred to several thousand dollars. Many factors go into how much it will cost you in total, depending on the length of the divorce, how contentious it is and the attorney you hire. In an uncontested divorce, you may only pay the minimum in court fees and be done, however, if you are involved in a contentious and adversarial divorce then you could pay between $15,000 or more for your divorce.