Austin Divorce Attorney
Experienced Divorce Lawyer Serving Travis County, TX
If you are contemplating a divorce, then it is essential to begin the process with an understanding of Texas divorce law and how it applies to your situation. With over 20 years of experience, our Austin divorce attorney is proud to serve Travis County, TX and will be happy to fight for your best interest.
How to File for Divorce in Austin, Texas
As an accomplished divorce firm in Austin, TX, we can explain the law, the grounds for divorce in Texas, and then file an Original Divorce Petition on your behalf as the first step. Our Austin divorce lawyers generally strive to finalize divorces through skilled negotiation, which saves you both time and money.
That being said, our family law firm has significant litigation experience and is not afraid to take your case to court if it becomes necessary.
Is Everything Split 50/50 in a Divorce in Texas?
Everything is not a 50/50 community property state in Texas. According to the Texas Family Code, the demands a reasonable and proper division of community property. Texas judges could be 55/45 or 70/30 if they see harmful behavior on one side, grounds of divorce (faults), or a disparity in earning capabilities.
With any questions, consult with our experienced Austin divorce lawyers today.
What Are Grounds for Divorce in Texas?
In Texas, you may file for divorce based on either fault or no-fault. In a fault-based divorce, you must prove to the courts that your spouse has committed some wrongdoing. This is known as “grounds for divorce.”
For fault-based divorce in Texas, some of the most common grounds divorce include:
- Alcohol or substance abuse
- Being convicted of a felony
Is Texas a No-Fault Divorce State?
No-fault divorces are becoming more and more prevalent due to their ease and are often considerably less time-consuming. However, you will still need to provide a reason for divorce to the courts.
For a no-fault divorce in Texas, some of the grounds for divorce include:
- The marriage is no longer tolerable
- You and your spouse have been living separately and apart for at least three years
- Your spouse has been confined to a mental institution for at least three years
Why would you choose one over the other? Fault-based divorces can have an impact on the outcome of alimony or child custody, as examples. An unfaithful spouse, for example, may be required to pay more in alimony, may experience unequal distribution of high net assets, or not receive the custody arrangement that they had hoped for.
It's highly recommended to consult with an Austin family law attorney to help guide you through the complicated process for a negotiated divorce.
Understanding Child Custody in Texas Divorce Cases
Child custody is often a significant concern for divorcing parents. In Texas, the court encourages parents to develop a child custody agreement that works for both parties and the children. Still, if both parents cannot reach an agreement, the court will decide based on the child's best interests.
There are two types of custody in Texas: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is the right to decide about the child's upbringing, education, and healthcare. Physical custody refers to where the child will live and who will be responsible for their day-to-day care.
Our experienced family law attorneys at The Law Firm of T. Wade Jefferies can help you navigate the complexities of child custody and work towards a custody agreement that is in the best interests of your children.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce in Texas?
The difficulty of the divorce process depends on whether both parties agree on certain family law issues. If both parties agree, then the divorce process may take only a few weeks or up to one year, but could also depend on your particular legal situation. That said, this does not mean that both must agree to a divorce.
The Austin family law attorneys at the Law Firm of T. Wade Jefferies can assist with:
It is possible to get a divorce in Texas even if your spouse is not in agreement with your decision to end the marriage. If you and your spouse are able to come to an agreement on the multiple legal matters that arise during divorce proceedings, a trial will not be necessary.
As a family law firm representing clients in Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bexar, and Dallas Counties, our divorce attorney T. Wade Jefferies can help you navigate the divorce process regardless of the complexity of your unique divorce case.
What Are the Texas Residency Requirements for Divorce?
In order to file for divorce in Texas, you or your spouse must have lived in the state for a minimum of six months. In addition, you must have lived in the county where you file your petition for at least 90 days prior to filing.
Once your petition is filed, it takes at least 60 days for the divorce to be finalized. The Law Firm of T. Wade Jefferies can guide you through the laws concerning divorce in Texas. Our Austin divorce lawyers look out for your best interests and will work with you to resolve your divorce with as little stress as possible.
Does It Matter Who Files for Divorce First in Texas?
It does not make any significant difference who files for divorce first in Texas.
- If you are the "Petitioner" (the one who filed first), then you will have to wait until your spouse (the "Respondent") responds.
- If you are the Respondent, then you will need to file a response to the divorce petition within 20 days of being served.
What Do You Do if Your Spouse Won't Sign Divorce Papers?
After serving your divorce petition, your spouse should respond to the divorce papers within 30 days, you may still be able to proceed with the divorce case. The case could potentially proceed as an uncontested divorce. Your spouse may still be required to sign some type of papers, such as a waiver of dispute.
If your spouse still does not sign any waivers to it is possible that the divorce case could go to trial. The judge can then determine what terms the divorce will settle on, even if your spouse never shows, signs a waiver, or the divorce decree.
Our Austin Divorce Attorney Can Help
At The Law Firm of T. Wade Jefferies, we understand how complicated and stressful the divorce process can be. Our compassionate divorce attorney located in the city of Austin has decades of experience in Texas divorce law and can help guide you through the divorce process.
We have been exactly where you are and because of that, I can offer empathy and help in a way that is unique and solution-oriented.
When it comes to high stakes litigation, having counsel with an accounting background, skilled and experienced in litigation, and who understands how businesses operate and should be valued, is a significant asset.
We value treating every client like family. Personal trust and relatability are the hallmarks of any good attorney-client relationship.