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I helped my husband in starting a private security company…

Customer Question
I helped my husband...

I helped my husband in starting a private security company and its been 3 yrs now. I want a divorce because he has brought in a new partner and all we do is fight. how do i go about doing so

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?

No not yet

Lawyer's Assistant: Family law varies by state. What state are you in?

Tx

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

We have 1 kid together

Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Family Law
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Answered in 29 minutes by:
3/28/2018
Family Lawyer: Jessica B,
 replied 2 months ago
Jessica B
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,429
Experience: Attorney at Donald B. Linsky & Associates, PA
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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
ok
Family Lawyer: Jessica B,
 replied 2 months ago

The first step in getting a divorce in Texas is to file the Petition for Divorce. This form will tell the judge and your spouse that you want a divorce.

  • Make 2 copies of a fully filled out and completed "Original Petition for Divorce." Take the original along with 2 copies to the District Clerk's Office at your local county Courthouse where either spouse has lived for the last 90 days. The fee for filing the Petition for Divorce typically ranges from $250 - $300 dollars.
  • If for any reason you are unable to pay the filing fee, you may be eligible to have the county filing fees waived due to either a lack of money or if you are receiving public benefits for assistance (check with the district clerk in the county in which you intend to file the divorce). This is called an Affidavit of Inability of Pay and it will require you to disclose your financials to the court.
  • The Clerk will stamp your paperwork and assign a cause number and a judicial district (i.e. specific court). You will receive your two copies back, one for you and the other needs to be delivered to your spouse for legal notice of your divorce filing. Be sure to put your copy in a safe place.
Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Family Lawyer: Jessica B,
 replied 2 months ago

The Petitioner (the person initiating the divorce) must give legal notice to the Respondent (spouse). This means that one of the file-stamped copies of the petition for divorce must be delivered to your spouse. There are a couple of methods of proving to the judge that you provided notice to your spouse:

Official Service in Person

You can hire an official process server or constable to give legal notice to the Respondent (your spouse) in person. After your spouse has been served you will receive a Return of Service from the process server/constable that is filed with the clerk to prove that your spouse received a copy of the Petition.

Waiver of Service

  • If the Respondent doesn't want to have a process server or constable serve/deliver the Petition for Divorce, the Respondent can simply sign a waiver of service in front of a notary. This will let the court know that they received a copy of the Petition for Divorce and thus have been informed of the divorce.
  • Avoid giving your spouse the Waiver of Service until you have filed your Original Petition for Divorce with the court.
  • If the Respondent doesn't want to waive their right to contest the divorce, they can file a Response (aka Answer or General Denial) instead.

Response/Answer

  • The filing of an Answer by the Respondent lets the court know that the Respondent has received notice of the divorce and is actively participating in the case and may contest the terms of the divorce.
  • The Answer alone doesn't assert any claims against the Petitioner. To make claims against the Petitioner, the Respondent has to file a Counter Petition for Divorce.
  • The spouse that files the Answer does not have to go to court and it does not necessarily mean that the case is contested.

Important Reminders

  • This Return of Service form must be filed with the district clerk to show the Court that your spouse has received legal notice of the divorce case.
  • If the Respondent fails to file an Answer by the Monday following the 20th day after receipt of legal notice, the Petitioner can request a default judgment and the Court can award a divorce to the Petitioner without the Respondent signing off.
  • Your divorce can only be finalized after 60 days from the day you filed the petition for divorce but the 60 day waiting period can be waived due to domestic violence.
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Family Lawyer: Jessica B,
 replied 2 months ago

Did your spouse file an Answer or have made it clear that they will not agree with your terms of divorce? If the answer to this question is "yes", you have a contested divorce. The divorce process is stressful enough, a contested divorce is more stressful and expensive. The cost of a divorce can vary greatly depending on whether it is a contested or uncontested divorce.

Contested divorce in Texas (Spouse Disagrees)(High Cost)

  • If you and your spouse argue rather then come to any kind of agreement, you and your spouse will take the issues to a judge to decide.
  • Texas has juries in divorce trials
  • Most divorce trials aren't long, drawn out affairs like trials you may have seen on television. Many take a day or two, or even just a morning
  • It will take a huge emotional toll on you, your spouse, and certainly your kids, and also your bank account.
  • An average divorce may run $30,000 (each) with lawyers and could easily go higher with a few added complexities.
  • More forms to fill out and more information needed from both parties.
  • Will not recommend you do it yourself, get some assistance from a mediator or an attorney.

Uncontested Divorce in Texas (Spouse Agrees)(Lower Cost)

  • If you can make this happen its is the best choice for you and your spouse. Uncontested divorce is when you and your spouse work together to agree on the terms of your divorce, and you both fill out the divorce papers cooperatively to make the divorce happen.
  • Your uncontested case is ‘agreed’ if you and your spouse agree on what to put in your Decree of Divorce, your spouse has signed a waiver or answer, and your spouse is willing to sign your Decree of Divorce.
  • There is no formal trial, and you probably won't have to ever appear in court.
  • The judge will usually approve a settlement agreement unless it's clear that the terms are completely unfair to one person or were arranged when one person was under duress.
  • Takes less time to complete a divorce and will run you a little over $1000 (total).
Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Family Lawyer: Jessica B,
 replied 2 months ago

Every divorcing couple must consider how property and debts will be divided, and whether one spouse will pay spousal support to the other. If you have kids, you'll also need to make decisions about child custody, visitation, and support. You and your spouse will either need to work out these three big issues or turn them over to a judge to decide.

There are two types of property in Texas Community and Separate Property. Each explained below:

COMMUNITY PROPERTY

  • Is the collection of assets you and your spouse have gathered during your marriage, including money, real estate, investments, pension plans, and so on. Martial debts are obligations you took on together during your married life. Both the property and the debts belong to both of you, and part of the divorce process will be to divide them up between you. Unless the court finds that equal division would be unjust.
  • Texas is a community property state.
  • Any property possessed by either spouse while married is considered to be community property.

SEPARATE PROPERTY

  • Are assets or debts that either of you had before your marriage, or that you acquired after the permeant separation, are called separate property or debts. Generally, each of you will keep your separate property and be responsible for your separate debts, in some states separate property can be divided at divorce.
  • Any property that was acquired during the marriage by gift or inheritance is also considered separate property.
  • If you and your spouse agree on how to divide your property then the court will simply approve your agreement. If you can't agree the court will divide things up for you the way they choose.
Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Family Lawyer: Jessica B,
 replied 2 months ago

SPOUSAL SUPPORT (spousal maintenance)

  • Texas allows a maximum spousal support payment of $5,000 a month or 20% of a spouse’s average monthly gross income, if that amount is less then the $5,000.
  • Spousal support can be only required when the receiving spouse is not able to earn sufficient income and the time frame is not forever.
  • How long can you receive spousal support in Texas if you meet the requirement? Married 0-10 years = None, Married 10-20= up to 5 years, Married 20-30 years= up to 7 years, Married 30 or more years= up to 10 years
  • There are three exceptions:
    • Mental or Physical disability
    • Needed for tending to an infant or young child of the marriage
    • A spouses earnings are enough to provide for the "minimum reasonable needs"
Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Family Lawyer: Jessica B,
 replied 2 months ago

I know this is a lot of information but it is a good outline of the steps. Please let me know if you need any clarification of the information provided.

Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Family Lawyer: Jessica B,
 replied 2 months ago

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