I wish to file for divorce in Houston from my husband. What is the process for doing so and how long will it take?

Few divorces, even those that do not involve children under the age of 18, are ever simple. It is wise to consult an attorney prior to beginning any divorce proceedings. Most likely you will need the legal counsel offered by a Houston divorce law firm such as LaFour Law.  A Houston divorce attorney, such as one from LaFour Law, knows the steps to take to ensure that you have an accurate accounting of family finances and that you will obtain the settlement you deserve.

In Texas, a divorce cannot be final for at least 60 days after the Original Petition for Divorce has been filed.  If you and your husband are not in agreement, it typically takes from six months to one year to obtain a final decree of divorce.

Residency Requirements must be met:  One of the spouses must meet residency requirements of having lived in Texas at least six months prior to filing and one of the spouses must have lived in the county where the divorce is being filed for at least 90 days.

PROCESS FOR OBTAINING A DIVORCE IN TEXAS

Keep in mind there are many variances possible in this process; however the steps do proceed in the following order.

Step One: You must file an Original Petition for Divorce with the court and then have the papers served on your husband.  Note:  At the time you file, you can also issue a Temporary Restraining Order requiring that no assets disappear before being divided by the court and requiring that the spouses act civilly toward each other.  The court must schedule a hearing within 14 days if you file this restraining order.

Step Two: If no restraining order is filed, your husband will have 20 days plus the next following Monday to file an Answer.  This document acknowledges your husband’s receipt of the petition for divorce and states his agreement or disagreement with the petition.

Step Three: Usually what follows here is discovery—a process by which your lawyer and your husband’s lawyer exchange information and documents.

Step Four:  You and your husband discuss settlement either directly or with the help of attorneys or mediators.  Then an Agreed Decree of Divorce is prepared which contains all the terms of the agreement.  You and your husband sign it and eventually the judge also will.

Note:  If you and your husband are not able to agree on all the issues in the case, a trial date will be set.  If mediation fails, your case goes to trial.  At the end of the trial your attorney will prepare a Final Decree of Divorce to present to the judge for signature.  This document is binding on both you and your husband going forward.

Call LaFour Law today and obtain an experienced Houston divorce lawyer.  Let us help you make sure that you get the settlement you deserve

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