In most cases, a divorce in Texas actually consists of two family law issues that are consolidated into a single case. Assuming that there are children and property, the first and most important issue that’s addressed involves the best interests of the children of the parties to the divorce.
Don’t Delay After Service
In nearly all cases, the petitioner must serve the respondent with a Petition for Divorce. The respondent then has 20 days to answer or otherwise plead to the petition. If you’re served with such a petition, you must read it carefully. Aside from a divorce, additional temporary relief might be sought, and any hearings on temporary relief might be set for a hearing date before the 20-day deadline. Be aware of the fact that if you fail to file a response to the Petition for Divorce within the prescribed time, an order of default could be entered, and the petitioner can proceed against you. Don’t try to represent yourself in any court proceeding. Contact this office for an appointment. You can then express your concerns, and we can discuss how to best approach your divorce.
Two Different Approaches to Divorce
In the context of child custody, visitation and division of property, two approaches are often used that might avoid the burden and expense of litigation. Keep the fact in mind that the judge presiding over your case knows nothing about you, you and your children or your assets and debts. That judge also has a very busy schedule. Unless it’s absolutely necessary, you don’t want to give somebody who doesn’t know anything about your life control over what happens to your children and finances. Agreements between the parties are encouraged in Texas divorce courts. That’s why judges prefer that the parties resolve family and financial issues between themselves and then have it reduced to writing.
Another approach to divorce is the collaborative divorce model wherein the uncertainty of how a judge might rule can be eliminated. In this approach, the parties each have their own attorney, and sometimes assistance from other family professionals might be sought. The parties will identify mutual goals and prioritize issues to be resolved. With the help of attorneys who are trained in collaborative divorce, custom tailored agreements can be reached on issues that operate to serve the best interests of the parties and their children.
For More Information About Divorce, Contact an Experienced Dallas Family Law Attorney
To schedule a free initial consultation with a Dallas Family Law Attorney, contact Paula Lock Smyth Law Offices at 214-420-1800. She also handles cases in all surrounding counties and throughout the State of Texas.