Common Questions Asked By Someone Planning To File For Divorce


Would You Need A Valid Reason To File For Divorce In Texas Or Can It Simply Be ‘We Just No Longer Want To Be Married?’

For a long time, in the state of Texas couples had to have a valid reason but right now, it’s simply insupportability, or the clients saying we do not wish to be married. As long as somebody says that during the final prove up, that is enough.

The reason is that the state of Texas decided ‘No, we’re going to stop putting people through this.’ They don’t wish to be married. Why have them give a reason to somebody; in other words, to say they just weren’t good to me, this is all their fault in open court where their children would know and would make them bitter and you have to get along with them, make them bitter for years.

Are There Benefits Of Filing For Divorce Before Your Spouse?

There really is, and it becomes lesser everyday by the emergence of what we call ‘Standing Orders.’ Standing Orders are what judges and courts like to use to say, “When you file for divorce, these are the rules you have to live by.”

Once your spouse gets served with the divorce papers, it’s part of the paperwork and they’re ordered to play by the same rules, not dissipate the assets, not to incur more bills unless it’s for business or living expenses, not to remove the children from the location, and not to disenfranchise or move or lock your spouse out of the family home and tell the court.

Despite all this, there still is the reason to go first. You’ve made a decision, you’re prepared for it emotionally, financially, as best you can but it means that you file first, you have the first ability to ask for what we call ex parte orders from the court.

The ex party orders will last 10 days until you get to court, but it means you go first in every instance unless there is a temporary hearing that they’ve asked for, but on the divorce process, you go first. You dictate the flow of when things get done and that, if you’re in the receiving end of that, that’s some of the unknown, that’s some of the uncertainty. You call your lawyer, “Hey, when are we going to go to court?”, “Well, let me talk to this other person and get things set.” There is still communication, but the petitioner is really in the seat of doing most of the scheduling, and that’s an important part.

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Can You File For Custody First, And Does It Allow You Any Control Or Advantage In Custody?

Yes. If you do file first, and the temporary orders that are in effect or the standing orders state that you don’t change where the children are living. Well, what if you file and you have access to that home, you kept the children with you? And that’s really what it’s about.

Let’s say that you filed during the summer and it’s agreed that children would stay with you for the summer, or they’re down here at a different location and you file while the children are with you. And the thought process on that is that it prevents the children from having to deal with important issues because you won’t drag it out in front of them, you won’t browbeat them, but also they’re there with you and the judges like to maintain a sense of stability. So, there is a reason to file for the divorce first with the custody provisions and do it first.

Is There Any Required Period Of Separation Before Filing For Divorce In Texas?

None. Oddly enough, with people with less resources or young people, they’re actually still in the same home during what we call the 60-day cooling off period. But they don’t have to be separated before they file the divorce.

They simply say, “The date of the separation is the date of the filing the divorce where we’re separated not necessarily physically but we’ve separated our intent, our persons from the marital union and we’re separated in that sense that we no longer have the common goal to be married and to present ourselves to the world as husband and wife.” So, no, there is no period required for them to be separated.

Is It Recommend To File For An Uncontested Divorce If There Really Is Nothing To Divide Up? Does It Even Make Any Difference?

Not really. In Texas, we just have divorce. They don’t have the ability to designate in the title uncontested; what they do have are three phases of discovery. And these three phases are for divorce or for the large commercial transactions, for community trust suits, and for lawsuits against corporations.

When you look at it, the first phase is for property under $50,000. If you’re talking about how much they have in assets and if you file it there, you have different rules; if you file it in phase 2 or discovery level 2, which is the most common for family law, then you’re saying there’s children or there are assets over $50,000. And it becomes uncontested if a process develops where there is no difference or disagreement between what an attorney will propose from their client to the respondent.

That’s how the attorney will file if something that develops as a process as they go through the divorce. And they put out their client’s goals and what they want from the divorce in writing and agreed final order of divorce. If the other party agrees with that, then it is uncontested.

Can A Divorce Be Filed Without Having To Let Your Spouse Know?

Absolutely. In Texas, there are many different areas to file. If you’re living in the county for the required period of time, you can file a divorce. Usually, where a lawyer or the party sends a waiver of service of citation, service is where they place the citation, notice of the lawsuit in the other spouse’s hand, that’s when the spouse is notified.

They can mail that to them, just say, “Hi, I am divorcing you,” where you waive any further notice; or they can be served by a process server or somebody from local law enforcement who’s last moved to the state of Texas. A Texas-certified peace officer to serve them with the divorce but there are many cases where somebody files a divorce, they leave it pending for a good period of time and then they’ll notify the spouse. Once the spouse is notified, they have an amount of time to respond to the lawsuit, so you just can’t notify them and go into the court the next day. But you can file it and not tell anybody.

There are websites to tell you who has done what and who has filed what in most instances. Domestic abuse protective orders would be an instance where it’s shielded but yes, you can definitely do the divorce process.

Can Someone File For A U.S. Divorce If They Were Married In Another Country?

Absolutely, that is done all the time. It’s really a very fluid trend in a society where people travel so often. If you get divorced elsewhere and you have a valid marriage license from that other state or other jurisdiction, then if you’re in Texas for 6 months, a resident of Bell County for instance, or any other county where you live for 90 days to proceed to file the divorce, you can get divorced here.

The only problem that ever comes into trying to divide assets that may exist in a foreign country, and you just have to take your time with that. Sometimes discovery in another country is limited by that other country’s domestic law, and so you just have to comply with that.

The office of Bobby Barina has many different kind of attorneys throughout the Boroughs; some are called barristers, solicitors, and so they just ask for a derogatory to discover what the assets are over there and it just takes a little bit more time and service is also a little bit unusual. Sometimes, lawyers have to use the Hague convention to serve a foreign national if only one of the parties is here. The office of Bobby Barina can definitely do that.

Does It Just Have To Be That 6 Months?

Yes, 6 months in the state and 90 days in the county.

If you have any Questions Before Filing A Divorce Case, contact the office of Bobby Barina at (254) 699-3755 or toll free at 254-699-3755 for a FREE Initial Consultation.

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