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Humble Divorce Attorney

Providing Strength & Guidance Through Your Divorce

At Sherry D. Tavel Attorney at Law, we understand that divorce can be stressful on you and your children. We are dedicated to providing compassionate, professional, and personalized legal services to help you make the right decisions and move forward with your life. With more than 30 years of legal experience, our Humble Divorce Attorney is well-versed in the state’s family laws and have excellent relationships with local judges. We can guide you through the process and find solutions that serve your family’s needs now and in the future.

We can help clients resolve divorce-related issues such as:

  • Classifying and dividing marital property
  • Child custody orders and visitation plans
  • Child support
  • Alimony and spousal support
  • Modification of support and custody orders

Whether you are having difficulty agreeing on property division matters or facing a highly contested custody dispute, we are here for you.

Schedule a free consultation with our Humble Divorce Attorney for guidance through this difficult time.

Divorce Basics in Texas

How do I start the divorce process?

  • To start a divorce, you must file a formal petition called the “Original Petition for Divorce.” The initial petition must include information about the parties and any requests for relief from the court, along with the basis for this request. If anything in the petition is inaccurate or you left something out, you will need to make the correction and re-serve the other party.

Where do I file my divorce petition?

  • Your divorce must be filed in a court that has jurisdiction over all the parties, which is typically the County where the couple lives. If you and your spouse are living in different counties, consult an attorney to determine which attorney you should file a case. If there are children involved, you must file in the county where your children live. Our Humble Divorce lawyer will help you navigate these details!

What are the requirements for filing a divorce in Texas?

  • To file a divorce in Texas, you must be a resident of Texas for the past 6 months and a resident of the county where you want to file your case.

Texas Divorce FAQs

What is a Divorce?
Divorce is a legal procedure to end a legal marriage relationship. It is available in traditional marriages as well as common-law marriages.

Where Does My Divorce Case Get Filed?
Your divorce must be filed in a court that has jurisdiction over all the parties. Usually, this will be a court in the County where both of you live. If you live in different counties, your attorney can determine where to file the case, unless there are children. When there are children, the case must be filed in the county where the children reside. Also, if you have a court order in effect regarding the child (May with the attorney general), the court where that was filed has jurisdiction and may need to be transferred to the new county where the children reside.

You must be a resident of Texas for the last 6 months and a resident of the county where you want to file your case for the last 90 days.

* If you live in different counties most of the people we work with prefer to file their case first, before the other spouse does so you can attempt to avoid having your case handled in another county far away.

What Do I File to Begin My Divorce Case?
Every divorce case begins with a formal pleading titled “Original Petition for Divorce.” The initial pleading must contain enough information to establish that the court where you file it has jurisdiction over the case and the parties involved. In addition, it must include a request for the relief that you are asking from the court as well as the basis for that relief. If you leave something out on the Original Petition and need to correct it later on you may be forced to re-serve the petition on the other party.

What If There Are Mistakes in My Original Petition?
The Original Petition for Divorce is an important pleading because it puts the other party on notice concerning which claims you are making and the relief you are seeking. If you leave something out of the Original Petition then the judge may not allow you to argue a specific claim or present evidence on an issue. Do it right the first time.

What Are the Filing and Other Fees?
The filing fee is determined by the county in which you for a divorce. Most of the fees can be found by going online to the county website under the district clerk tab. In addition, you will have to pay the process servers fee to complete service of process which varies with the person you choose but is generally $75. If you request a temporary restraining order with your divorce petition the filing fee is $284.

Do I Need an Attorney?
You are not required to have an attorney protect your rights and interests in a divorce case.

Many people end up finding some of the advantages of having an attorney are:

  • Getting on the court’s docket faster while pro se trials are currently set about 1 year from filing according to Judge Gilbert of the 418th District Court.
  • Having everything in acceptable form when you do need the court to rule on the divorce or a pretrial motion. Judge Gilbert recently revealed he refuses approximately 50% of the self-represented divorce decrees that people ask him to grant because they do not meet the legal requirements of enforceability.
  • Protecting rights you may not even know you had (Is the child support figure accurate? Are you in a position to enforce a breach of the divorce settlement? Are you walking away from a property that you have a legal right to? Is all of the community property divided in the decree? Is Alimony correctly determined?)

Can One Attorney Represent Both of Us, If We Agree?
No. One attorney can never represent both parties to a divorce, even if you agree. A divorce is litigation where one spouse is suing the other spouse to divide property and determine legal rights and responsibilities towards each other and children. An attorney representing both sides in a divorce would be the same as representing Coke and Pepsi in a lawsuit between the two companies.

I've Been Served with Divorce Papers, What Now?
If your spouse had you served with his or her divorce petition it is critical that you and your attorney file a written Answer to the petition within the deadline, usually the Monday following 20 days after you are served. If you do not file a valid Answer before the deadline, then your spouse may obtain a default judgment against you and the judge may decide on your case without ever hearing your side. The clock is ticking once you are served; contact Sherry D. Tavel Attorney at Law immediately so we can begin to prepare your case.

What If We Are Already Separated?
That is great, but it does not mean much in a Texas divorce court. You may be living separately for 2 months or 20 years but the State of Texas does not recognize legal separation in any form. All the property and income you’ve accumulated during the time you believed you were separated can be brought into the final property division as presumed community property.

How Long Will It Take Before My Divorce Is Final?
There is a minimum 60 day waiting period from the date of filing before a divorce can be finalized in Texas. In a simple divorce where there are absolutely no disputed issues or unusual circumstances that need to be addressed a divorce can be finalized on the 61st day if the court has room on its docket. However, very few divorces are finalized on the 61st day. If children are involved, or as the amount of property that has to be divided increases it generally takes longer to reach a settlement agreement. If you intend to go to trial, you will generally not receive a trial date until 6 months after your case was filed. In addition, there may be delays due to discovery or other issues that develop during the course of your case.

What Is an Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce is generally used when the parties have already maintained separate residences for some time and divided property. If there is any negotiation remaining that you need your attorney to be involved in then your case probably does not qualify as uncontested.

What Is a Collaborative Divorce?
A collaborative divorce is not the same as an uncontested divorce and is generally only used when the parties need to maintain a parenting relationship with each other after the divorce is final, there are complicated business assets that need to be divided, or both parties want to maintain their family's’ privacy. Collaborative divorce is a process through which you and your spouse, and each of your attorneys, commit themselves to resolve all issues of the divorce by negotiated agreement without resorting, or threatening to resort, to costly court proceedings. Collaborative divorce uses informal methods such as voluntary production of financial documents, four-way conferences, negotiation, and where needed, outside professionals such as accountants, financial planners, and family counselors.

What Is a Contested or Litigated Divorce?
A contested divorce does not mean one party objects to getting the divorce. In almost all contested divorces both parties want a divorce, but they have not resolved the vital issues of custody, support, and property division. One quick way to tell if your case is contested is if your spouse had you served with a divorce complaint then odds are your divorce is contested.

Discuss Your Case with an Experienced Divorce Lawyer

Although divorce can be tough on you and your children, we can help make the process easier and reduce the anxieties that people often face during this time. Sherry D. Tavel Attorney at Law is here to protect your rights throughout the divorce process.

Schedule a free consultation with our team today by calling (281) 377-1348!

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