A Dallas Divorce Attorney You Can Trust
Hearing or seeing the word “divorce” can conjure up many emotions and reactions ranging from complete horror, to ‘I knew this was coming but didn’t want to face it,’ to ‘ok I’ll finally be free’. When a Dallas divorce attorney from our firm speaks with clients, they express all these reactions.
Additionally, clients have experienced shock or surprise when they learn from our divorce lawyers that divorce (or the dissolution of the marriage) is an actual lawsuit, filed in the public records down at the county courthouse, where one party is doing the suing and the other party is being sued.
Divorce is a serious decision, and a public civil action.
If you’re thinking about divorce, there are a few things to consider initially:
- Dallas divorce law recognizes that as long as one party is domiciled in Texas every marriage (between a man and a woman) entered into is presumed valid even if the persons were married elsewhere.
- Dallas divorce law requires that a party wishing to divorce and planning to file for divorce must be a resident of the state of Texas for six months and a resident of the county in which the lawsuit is filed for the preceding 90 days.
- Texas also requires that, at the same time divorce proceedings are occurring, all property issues and all children related issues are addressed and resolved.
- Texas presumes that every child born during the marriage is the biological offspring of that marriage, even if both parties acknowledge the child is not biological child of one of the parties. In this case it is important to have a finding the child is not the biological child of non-paternity parent.
The Simple Divorce – a Cooperative, Uncontested Dissolution of the Marriage
While no divorce can truly be called a simple divorce, legally it may be considered a simple divorce if both parties are in agreement to get a divorce and there is no dispute concerning property and children and both parties are willing to sign the necessary papers.
In a simple divorce, a divorce decree can be prepared while the 60-day waiting period elapses. Once the divorce decree is drafted based on the agreed terms and both husband and wife sign the divorce decree, the facts and the paperwork are presented to the Judge and the divorce is granted.
Though this is the "simpler" divorce, a divorce is still a complex legal matter that is best handled by a Dallas divorce attorney.
The Contested Divorce Proceeding – the unfortunate “Nasty Divorce”
When terms cannot be agreed upon -- or there is marital property, other assets, liabilities and/or children issues -- the process remains the same as a simple divorce but, as might be expected, there is the need for more discussion and decision making thus extending the time it takes for the entire divorce process to be finalized.
In contested proceedings, it is impossible to predict how long it takes for a divorce to be finalized. The time frame is dependent on the complexity of the issues, how contentious the parties are, and if there is an attorney representing the other side. Fighting spouses cause “nasty divorces,” which costs everyone a lot in both time and money. In these kinds of divorces, it is imperative to consult with a Dallas divorce attorney.
Valuing the Property in a Texas Divorce
One way to assess the value is by asking the parties to provide the information to each other in an informal way that is a simple, speedy and cost efficient way to obtain the details of the property, liabilities and assets. It does have some drawbacks in that information may be absent either intentionally or accidentally.
Another way is formal documentary discovery. Discovery is the legal method which one party uses to “discover” information about the other party through various methods of documentary inquiry. This is most commonly done with questions (known as “interrogatories” or “disclosure”) and a request for production of documents. This is time-consuming but it is a thorough way to get the information necessary to negotiate equitable divisions.
Another way is through the use of retained financial experts. Financial experts are brought to Court to testify about the value and characterization of property based upon specialized knowledge that the expert possesses. If you have a closely held business, even with significant revenue and income, this is a possible avenue to value a family run business.
What about the Children?
Child related issues during a divorce add complexity the proceedings. Since divorce restructures the family unit, parent-child issues such as custody (in Texas it is called conservatorship), visitation schedules, child support payments, and maintenance of health insurance for the children will be determined with the best interest of the child as the primary consideration.
Trust Dallas Divorce Attorney, Michael P. Granata
Please don’t hesitate to call or email our divorce lawyers for a paid initial legal consultation if you are considering a divorce, or have been served with divorce papers. The Law Office of Michael Granada is ready to help you! Call 214-977-9050 today to schedule a consultation with an experienced Dallas divorce attorney.
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