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What to Expect: Filing a Divorce

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Filing A Divorce In the State of Texas

Getting divorced in Texas can be a stressful process.  Our attorneys and staff at Crocker Russell & Associates will help you every step of the way.  Navigating the legal system may be overwhelming and confusing.  While we make sure that all your questions are answered, we have found that understanding the legal process helps all our clients through this time of separation.

Steps to Getting Started

In order to file for divorce in Texas, you must have lived in the state for six months prior to filing and have lived in the county you are filing in for at least 90 days prior to filing. If you have not lived here for that amount of time, you must wait for the time requirements to be met before filing for divorce.

After we have filed your divorce petition, we can draft a waiver of service for your spouse to sign or we can get our quick and affordable process server to formally served with a copy of the petition. After your spouse is served, they have until the Monday after the twentieth day to file an answer with the court. If they do not file an answer, we can proceed forward with getting a default judgment against them and your divorce will be granted.

If your spouse files an answer with the court, there are a number of different avenues your case may take. We will ask the court for a temporary order hearing which would allow us to protect your assets and address any other issues to get orders in place while you wait for your final trial date. The temporary orders may include, who has temporary possession of the marital property, child support, a possession, or access schedule for your children. We will also set the case for a pretrial conference which would allow us to obtain a scheduling order with a final trial date and other deadlines, such as a discovery deadline and a mediation deadline.

Attending Mediation

Most courts will require you and your spouse to attend mediation. Mediation is a time where you and your spouse will pick a mediator and then work on coming up with a compromise to avoid having to go through further litigation and allow you to settle the case. Mediation costs can range between $400.00 to $1,000.00 depending on the complexity and the length of time needed to complete the mediation. If the parties have a successful mediation, the mediator will file a Mediated Settlement Agreement with the court, and then one of attorneys will draft the final order and circulate it for signature. Once the Mediated Settlement Agreement has been filed with the court, it is a binding agreement, and you will not be able to make any additional changes.

If you and your spouse are unable to settle the case at Mediation, the parties will have to go to trial. During this time, the parties may conduct discovery, and participate in informal settlement negotiations. While conducting discovery, it is incredibly important to participate and give your attorney the documents they need in order to respond to the discovery requests. If you do not provide the information and documents in discovery, you will not be allowed to testify to it at final trial.

Hiring Crocker Russell & Associates

We recognize that every case is different, and everyone’s circumstances are unique.  Our attorneys will strategize the best plan of action for you and your case.  We are on your side and will fight for you every step of the way.

If you are contemplating divorce or your spouse has already filed for divorce, we are here to help.  To schedule a free consultation to discuss your options, please call (817) 482-6570.