ABC’S OF DIVORCE

Starting the Divorce Process

Whether your divorce is high conflict or uncontested, proceeding through the courts or through alternatives to litigation, all divorces start with filing the Original Petition for Divorce.

This document includes certain basic facts necessary for the court to grant your divorce and can let the court know what you want in the divorce.

The Original Petition for Divorce can also be used to send a message to your spouse on how you intend to proceed with divorce. That message can indicate a desire to keep things amicable, can let your spouse know that you are ready to fight for what is important to you, or can fall somewhere in between.

The divorce lawyers at Mims Ballew Hollingsworth will strategize with you on what type of message to send based on your specific goals.  Under most circumstances, at least 60 days need to pass after filing the Original Petition for Divorce before the court can finalize your divorce. Even if both spouses agree on everything, this 60-day waiting period must pass before you can be divorced. However, if everything is not agreed then your divorce will often take more than 60 days to finalize, and there are many different routed in which your case may proceed before you are ultimately divorced.

Letting your spouse know that you filed for divorce usually takes place shortly after you file by providing them with a copy of the Original Petition for Divorce. Although there is no set time period for when you need to provide notice, and there are different ways for how you can provide notice. You could have your spouse served the same day you file and do it at their place of employment through a process server; you may want to get the 60-day waiting period started but wait until after an upcoming event to inform your spouse that you filed, such as a child’s birthday or holiday; or you may not want to have your spouse served at all and instead provide them with the opportunity to waive service and voluntarily accept the divorce papers.

Just how the Original Petition for Divorce can send a message to your spouse with what you choose to include in the document, the way you provide notice to your spouse can send a message as well. Our divorce attorneys are committed to working with you to develop a custom gameplan for your case each step of the way.

No-Fault or Fault-Based Divorce?

In Texas, our courts accept both no-fault and at-fault grounds for a divorce.

No-fault divorces are granted when one spouse simply desires to no longer be married to their partner due to a discord or conflict of personalities and there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation. Neither spouse is required to prove that the other is in the wrong for a no-fault divorce.

A no-fault divorce does not mean an uncontested divorce though. Most divorces in Texas are considered no-fault divorces but remain contested for issues such as child custody4, property division, and alimony.

Fault-based divorces on the other hand specifically allege that one spouse’s actions have led to the divorce. Common fault grounds include adultery, cruel treatment, and abandonment.

While a finding of fault by the court may be uncommon, alleging fault can be worthwhile in seeking a disproportionate share (more than 50 percent) of the division of marital assets. The behavior of one spouse can be considered in how a court divides property. If a spouse had an affair the court can consider this fault and award the wronged spouse a greater share of assets. If as part of the affair a spouse wasted money on travel, hotels, meals, and gifts, this can also give rise to a claim for wasting marital assets.

Uncontested or Contested Divorce?

There is no legal standard to differentiate between uncontested and contested divorces. Instead, these are terms of art that refer to the way spouses proceed with finalizing their divorce.

Some couples reach a mutual understanding that both are ready to end their marriage and would like to do so in an amicable way with a low level of conflict. In order to have an uncontested divorce, both parties must agree on all terms for their divorce, such as asset division, child custody, and child support.

An uncontested divorce can help avoid the emotional and financial toll that often comes with a contested divorce.  Spouses oftentimes have differing opinions on how to finalize their divorce, such as who will receive the martial residence and how much will be paid for child support.

When a couple cannot agree on everything needed to finalize their divorce it becomes a contested divorce. However, this does not mean divorce has to be an ugly battle. There are ways a contested divorce can remain amicable and never require litigation in court, such as through collaborative law or mediation.

And some divorces become extremely high conflict. This can happen when couples are faced with important decisions on how to divide their assets and raise their children. If you find yourself in a high conflict divorce you need an experienced attorney that will represent you aggressively to protect your future.

Whether your divorce is uncontested, contested while remaining amicable, or requires aggressive litigation, our divorce lawyers will help you through your divorce in the manner that is most beneficial to reaching your goals. The team at Mims Ballew Hollingsworth will work together with you to develop a strategy that is custom-tailored for your divorce.

What Happens After the Divorce is Granted?

The judge has granted your divorced and signed the final decree. However, your case may not end there, especially in high-asset divorce cases. There may be several steps remaining to effectuate your property division.

If you were awarded property in the divorce you need to ensure that you actually receive that property. Often separate orders to divide retirement accounts must be signed by the court and sent to the financial provider. There may need to be transfer forms completed for dividing investment accounts or exchanging vehicles. If you received a home, you want to ensure that it gets titled in your name.

If you were awarded child support then you want to ensure you receive that monthly support, and fast. Notice will need to be provided to the child support office to set up your account, and a withholding order may need to be sent to the other parent’s employer to garnish their wages and ensure child support is received.

Our representation does not end with your divorce being granted. At Mims Ballew Hollingsworth our divorce attorneys will stand by your side until the end to ensure that your future secure.

Contact Us Today!

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    817-900-8330

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      I highly recommend this law firm. I have had Brian and Kelly both represent me in now three seperate cases. They are men of integrity that are very prompt to answer questions and get back to you on important matters. They have always been well organized and stayed on top of the important information relevant to my cases. ...

      Loyd Camp
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      Timothy Alexander did an exceptional job handling my divorce case. He was extremely prepared, very informative, and he made sure I was always kept in the loop. His professionalism, guidance and empathy tremendously helped during what could have been a much more difficult time. I was so pleased with the final outcome and ...

      Donna DeTomaso
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      Highly recommend this law firm. Andrew McAlester goes above and beyond for his clients. He’s very resourceful and prompt in communication. I always refer Mr. McAlester to my family and friends in their time of need because I trust his judgement and I know he has his clients well being at the forefront of everything.

      William Hawthorne
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      Tim Alexander represented me during my divorce. His compassion, empathy and communication during the process helped keep additional stresses out of an already stressful situation.

      C Grucza
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      I highly recommend this firm. I mainly worked with Andrew McAlester. Andrew was super helpful and courteous during a very stressful situation that I found myself in. Thanks for everything!

      Dante Martinez
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      Timothy Alexander is an amazing lawyer. He helped me with everything I needed to do to get my divorce final in a very short period of time. I always try to refer to him when anybody asks for a divorce lawyer. Thank you for everything you’ve done.

      Autumn Colson
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      Kelly & Brian helped us in our child custody case and I am very pleased by their work. Our case ended up last almost 2 yrs due to COVID, however they were very easy to communicate with and constantly kept us up to date on our case and the courts. I would highly recommend them if you are needing a great custody lawyer ...

      James Homerstad
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      Mr. Alexander was the utmost professional. He was timely in his communication and very thorough in his answers. His approach helped make a difficult situation tolerable. One thing I greatly appreciated is that he did not just tell me what I wanted to hear. He would offer suggestions and allow me to make the final decisio ...

      Heather Varon
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      Kelly & Brian were amazing attorneys. I came to them when I really needed help with child custody issues, and they were committed to reaching the best possible outcome. I am writing this to express my most sincere thanks, and gratitude for their professionalism. They stuck by me through the last year in dealing with ...

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      Things happen and you need someone to tell it to you straight. Andrew McAlester is someone I trust to help me navigate through these difficult times.

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