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An Overview of Divorce in Texas

28th September 2010
By Jon R. Boyd in Law
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If you’re seeking a divorce and live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area (DFW), you already know the urban sprawl that has taken over much of the north Texas prairie. Accordingly, the sheer size of the divorce court structure may motivate you to seek the services of a Dallas family law attorney who can help you to make heads or tails of the system.

Below is a breakdown of the number of courts per county for the 3 major counties in the DFW area:

- Dallas County – 14 (7 family law courts and 7 associate judges)
- Tarrant County – 7
- Collin County – 9

The time frame a divorce case takes for completion changes substantially depending on the court in which it was filed. In the case of north Texas divorce trials, this time frame can range from as little as 3 months to more than 1 year. This is just one reason why in Texas, you’ll benefit from the services of a Dallas family law attorney who can guide you through the process.

Grounds For Divorce in Texas

In Texas, there doesn’t have to be one specific spouse at fault for the divorce. If one or both spouses can show that the marriage is irreparably broken, and no reconciliation is possible, the divorce can be granted.

However, the state will use fault as a parameter for the following divorce issues:

- Child custody;
- Child visitation;
- Property division; and
- Tort claims (in the case of abuse).

Texas Divorce from Start to Finish

Divorce in Texas has many steps, and laws have accounted for the need of temporary orders while the divorce is pending.

The following are some steps you and your Dallas family law attorney will work through to finalize the divorce:

- Original Petition for Divorce: This is what you will file with the court, and what your spouse will eventually sign. You do have the option to view this document before it is delivered; just ask your Dallas family law attorney.

- Response: Your spouse must then file an answer to your petition, or “waive service.”

- Temporary Orders: Before a divorce proceeding occurs in court, you may need to file for a temporary order to be in effect. The court can turn this into a temporary injunction, which will last throughout the divorce process. This will determine who lives in the home, who pays the bills, who has custody of the children, who pays your Dallas family law attorney’s fees and other considerations.

- Discovery: During this process, the courts try to learn both sides of the divorce case. They garner this information from depositions, interrogatories, requests for disclosure and documents.

- Settlement or Trial: At this point, both spouses either settle the case by mutual agreement, or it continues to trial.

Divorce in Texas can be a huge undertaking. Having a Dallas family law attorney such as Jon R. Boyd on your side can help to ease some of the burden. Jon R. Boyd takes the time to get to know his clients and is available, with the help of legal aides, to answer your questions daily.
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