What Is The Divorce Process And What Issues Need To Be Dealt With In A Typical Divorce?


What Is The General Process Of A “Typical Divorce” And How Long Does That Process Typically Take To Be Finalized?

There is no such thing as a typical divorce, but there are generalities. If a person is, what they’re called now, an unrepresented litigant, their divorce process can last up to almost a year, 270 days plus if it’s the kind of the general or the typical divorce. Basically what happens is you meet with your divorce lawyer, you plan your process, and a divorce petition is filed. In Texas, they have electronic filing.

When lawyers file the divorce, at some point during the day, probably the next day, the district clerk’s office or the county clerk’s office who have that jurisdiction will open up that file, file mark it and send this to file mark copy back. At that point, the lawyer will mail that divorce petition with a waiver of service for the citation to the other party and simply advise them that this is what they want, speak to an attorney if you want; if not, sign it or let them know where they want to proceed. The lawyers will wait a few days and serve them.

At that point the lawyers will start establishing what assets, what liabilities are, and they start framing out the divorce decree, but what the lawyers are really trying to work on is that 60 day process. You cannot get a divorce absent domestic violence in Texas unless it’s 60 days. In the case if you have domestic violence, you can. For obvious reasons, you want to distance these people as soon as possible and getting some official orders, but absent that.

If you have to serve somebody for divorce, they have 20 days plus the following Monday, 10 am to respond. Lawyers are actually trying to work what is called 27 days possibly end of that 60 days so they can get the divorce petition, file it, get the final decree of divorce; they start drafting it. That’ll have the assets, the liabilities, the children issues, the child support issues.

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What Are Children Issues In A Divorce Case?

Children issues are who has the right to establish where the children stay, who has the visitation, what the schedule is, and that’s based on how old the children are. The state of Texas has standard visitation schedules, but most lawyers don’t subscribe to that. The office of Bobby Barina tailors them more to the parties based on how the children are, not necessarily by their age but how well they’re able to understand what is going on.

A 16-year old child is going to drive back and forth to visitation, a 17-year old child is the same way. The court is going to treat them much differently than a 2-year old child or a child who’s under the age of 1 who is possibly being breastfed. These are all totally different situations and they will have to be addressed accordingly.

Once the 60 days have passed, the lawyer will set in a court date for an agreed or default divorce. Default divorce is where they’ve been served, they refused to participate; it happens that what they’re really saying is, “Hey, I know what’s going to happen, I press my spouse to be fair,” and we are fair. We telegraph everything to that other party. Telegraph means there is nothing hidden, they know exactly what we’re doing, they’ve seen the final decree of divorce, they know when the lawyers are going to be in court and that’s really the meat and potatoes of divorce.

In a divorce case where another lawyer comes in and becomes contested, then you really start to move away from the typical case. If they file discovery in a case, written discovery, they can blow it out or the first lawyer can blow it out to 180 days just by filing one piece of paper. That’s difficult, that’s when lawyers are arguing about things, so your attorney will try to resolve it. In the meantime, it is no longer than a general typical divorce.

Your attorney will work around the 60 days. At times when the lawyer talks to their client and everything goes perfectly, can it be over? A good lawyer will usually tell them 75 to 80 days to give some cushion room for some possible tinkering with the decrees.

Is There Any Way To Fast-Track A Divorce? What If Someone Is Hoping To Remarry And They’d Like To Speed Things Along?

Yes. But that’s usually a give and take situation if the other party knows why. There are many reasons. A lot of it has to do with if a person’s going to be eligible for more contributions from his employer for retirement contributions at a certain point, whether they become vested or not, there are some days that trip along.

In other cases, when you deal with military retirement, once they’re married for 10 years while they service member, if serving his country for 10 years, then the retirement payments come directly from DFAS, our department of defense financial board. And so that’s always a big date. But the best way to fast-track something is to really just stay on top of it. You file the divorce, you get the petition and the moment you get it, you mail it out. The moment you get the confirmation, the mail then received, you’ve established another letter of communication.

A lot of the younger people don’t check their mail, and it has to be sent by email. It has to be locked in a PDF form so it’s not altered, but the attorney can send it in the PDF with comments. At times, they’ll ask their attorney for what something means, and the attorney cannot explain it to them if he doesn’t represent them.

That’s really the best way to fast-track something to stay on top of it in a non-accretive manner to be professional. Pay attention to the assets, how the lawyers are wishing them to be divided and then take them to the courthouse at the first opportunity. To get it under 60 days is not possible, but to fast-track it, the best way is to just stay on top of it and let the client know if that’s what they want. They have to get this information back to the lawyers about what these assets are, who holds the note on the house, who holds the financing on the cars immediately.

If you have any Questions Regarding The Divorce Process, 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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