Divorce is a trying time for any individual, and the process of filing, delivering valid service, and negotiating a mutually agreeable outcome can be both stressful and time-consuming.
Learning how to navigate the paperwork and steps necessary to achieve a divorce while managing your life within the process is often even more difficult, which is why many people decide to let an attorney take over on their behalf.
An experienced Colleyville divorce attorney from Mims Ballew Hollingsworth | Family Law is available to explain how we can help you through your divorce.
We understand such situations are already emotional, and the process-based demands that emerge during the day-to-day can become cumbersome and get in the way of your personal and professional lives.
We apply our decades of combined experience to handle everything on your behalf to minimize the time you need to invest while minimizing the stress and uncertainty you must experience.
Approaching a divorce is stressful, and the uncertainty of not knowing the answer to some of the most common questions only adds to that. In this section, we’ll present you with the basics, and answer some of the most common questions that our potential new clients ask. From there, we encourage you to reach out to an experienced Colleyville divorce attorney from MBH for further guidance on how these general answers might apply to your unique situation.
To qualify to file for a divorce in Colleyville, you must have:
From there, you file a petition for divorce with the Tarrant County Clerk and may visit the Texas State Library for access to digital versions of the variety of divorce forms available, depending upon whether or not you have minor children.
The answer to this question is, unfortunately, it depends. While an uncontested divorce, which is when both former spouses agree upon the terms of the divorce independently and notify the court as such, may process in a few months, generally the process takes 6 months to 1 year.
Texas is a no-fault divorce state, and the marriage need simply be “insupportable”. This allows for divorce to be filed by one spouse without the agreement of other, and without having to meet any minimum threshold or reasoning behind it. There is also the option to pursue a fault-based divorce for a variety of reasons, which your Colleyville divorce lawyer can advise you on after reviewing the unique facts of your situation.
A properly negotiated divorce includes a separation agreement that takes into account all of the key elements of the shared assets and responsibilities between you and your ex-spouse. When children and/or pets are involved, the importance of determining a custody or visitation agreement that is both in the best interests of the former spouses and the children and/or pets may also complicate the process.
One of the key benefits of working with an experienced Colleyville divorce lawyer with a track record of successful out-of-court divorce agreements is keeping your personal business out of court. When the court is involved in the decision-making process, it also naturally has a legal right to gain access to the information it needs to make a decision. This can feel invasive as your personal lives could be discussed in a public forum. Working with an attorney can keep your divorce out of court, and as mutually agreeable between the ex-spouses as possible.
The cost for the filing of your divorce will vary depending upon the unique facts and circumstances of your situation. Uncontested divorces can often be completed for an affordable fixed rate that includes all drafting, negotiating, and filing. As divorces become more complex and there are more issues to consider in relation to the division of property or assignment of custody rights, the amount of time required can increase alongside the cost. After briefly reviewing some basic information about your situation, a Colleyville divorce lawyer can better advise you on what your total costs might be.
If you are considering filing for divorce, or have had one filed one you, consulting with a Colleyville divorce lawyer can be especially helpful, not only to support the best possible outcome in your situation, but also to advise you on what your best options are, and how to move through the process while managing the stress and time demands involved. Try us by phone between 9-5 Monday-Friday at 817-476-7964, or visit our site to request a consultation.
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In Texas, there is a 60-day waiting period before a divorce can become final (unless an exception is granted due to family violence. Even if both spouses agree on everything, there must be at least 60 days from the date you file with the Court until the date the Court grants your divorce. If you and your spouse have an agreement, the divorce attorneys at Mims Ballew Hollingsworth can help you finalize your divorce on the sixty-first day after filing. This is the fastest possible outcome.
If you and your spouse do not have an agreement before filing, the time it takes to finalize your divorce depends on many factors including: whether children are involved, whether is there a business to value, whether discovery is needed, and the amount of conflict between spouses. Most cases reach a final resolution through an agreement at some point, but if your case goes to final trial, it can often take more than a year to resolve (especially in larger counties where court dockets are backed up).
While some contested divorces can be resolved in a few months, others can take years to finalize. If your divorce involves significant contested issues (i.e. which parent the children will live with, whether one spouse will receive alimony, who will be awarded the marital home), it is best to plan for anywhere between six months to eighteen months to get to the finish line.
Being the first to file a case (the Petitioner) provides strategic advantages throughout litigation. At trial, the Petitioner makes their opening statement first, calls their witnesses first, can delay the other party (the Respondent) from speaking until after all the Petitioner’s evidence is presented, and in closing arguments speaks both first and last.
While the Petitioner and Respondent have the same rights and often share the same burden of proof, filing first can certainly help with persuading the Court. Letting the Court know your side of the story first can help when it comes to decisions such as why your children should live primarily with you, why you deserve alimony or why the other party does not need it, or who gets to keep the marital home. If there are facts harmful to your case, filing first allows you to get in front of these and take the sting out of the Respondent’s argument.
Aside from benefits at trial, filing first provides an opportunity to send a message to the Respondent and direct how the case proceeds. Your first filing can indicate a desire to be amicable or can let the other side know you are prepared to fight. Your first filing can also be used to obtain a restraining order or set a hearing before the Respondent even knows a case is filed. Even how you notify the Respondent can impact your case, whether it is with a formal process server at their place of employment or through providing them the opportunity to avoid this scenario and voluntarily accept the filing.
Texas is a community property state. This means when you file for divorce our Courts assume that all property you and your spouse have is owned by the marriage and can be divided. However, if you can prove separate property (e.g., what you had before marriage, gifts you received during marriage or inheritance), then you will have property that the Court cannot take away from you in a divorce.
When property is divided, the Court does so in a manner that the Judge deems “just and right,” considering the rights of each party and any children of the marriage. This does not necessarily mean an equal division between spouses. What one Judge believes is “just and right” may differ from what another Judge right across the hall in the same courthouse believes.
At Mims Ballew Hollingsworth, one of the first things we do in your divorce is finding out what property exists for division. We work with you to obtain information on homes, bank accounts, vehicles, business interests, retirement, stock accounts, debts, and separate property claims. If you are concerned your spouse may be hiding assets we will work with you to find this information and ensure all property is accounted for.
After determining divisible property, the next step is valuation. With some assets, it is not as straight forward as looking at an account balance. Business interests can be difficult to value, home prices are constantly changing, and there may be certain tax implications (capital gains) that need to be assessed.
The process of determining what property is divisible and assessing values can be extremely complex, especially in high-asset divorces. The divorce attorneys at Mims Ballew Hollingsworth are experienced in dividing high-asset estates and will work with you and financial professionals to protect your financial interests.
A contested divorce or family law case does not require costly litigation in a public courtroom. You can resolve contested issues through alternative dispute resolution, such as collaborative law, mediation, or arbitration.
These alternatives are often more cost-efficient when compared to going to court, and can result in a faster resolution to your case (in large counties it is not uncommon to wait over a year before having a final trial due to the court’s docket).
Alternative dispute resolution methods, including mediation, are also confidential and do not take place in a courtroom that is open to public viewing. This can be beneficial for divorces and family law cases involving high-profile individuals (e.g. athletes, celebrities, politicians, etc.) or topics of a sensitive nature (i.e. business trade secrets or high-asset divorces).
Collaborative law is a confidential method of resolving a divorce or child custody case where parties work together through joint sessions with the help of specially trained professionals to assist with resolving financial and parenting issues. The focus is on finding mutually beneficial solutions and sharing information that would normally be kept confidential during litigation. Collaborative law is unique and may not be right for everyone, but for some, it is an effective method to lessen conflict.
Just because your divorce or child custody case is contested does not mean it needs to become high conflict and involve costly public court hearings. The family law attorneys at Mims Ballew Hollingsworth can talk you through these options and develop a plan for resolving your case in through alternative dispute resolution.