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Divorce - General, Laws and Process
This is an outline of things you should be aware of during and after your divorce.
When you filed your divorce, you thought you and your spouse would be able to agree upon everything, and you would get a divorce as soon as the minimum waiting period passed. Of course, one of the reasons you wanted a divorce is that your spouse is a very uncooperative person.
During the first year following a divorce, a woman’s standard of living usually drops substantially, while the man’s actually increases. Responsibilities of motherhood often prevent the woman from pursuing a lucrative career. A less than favorable settlement can leave her without sufficient resources for ordinary living expenses.
Safety First Every divorce client should evaluate the risk to him or her of family violence during the initial separation and ensuing divorce. While you may believe the risk of your spouse becoming violent is slight, remember that the end of a marriage can provoke very strong emotions.
The Texas Courts look at each individual marriage as a valid marriage. This view of the Texas Courts would be considered a statutory presumption unless the marriage can be invalidated through a legal procedure called an annulment.
Filing for divorce is analogous to a lawsuit. You must sue your spouse for divorce. The Petition For Divorce serves two purposes: (1) to give notice to the party and (2) to guide the trial judge for the purposes of admitting evidence, and if necessary, the process of charging the jury.
Texas has many remedies which are available to enforce a Texas court’s decree/order. Contempt is a civil remedy with criminal consequences because the violator either will be fined or put in jail. To be held in contempt of court the offender must intentionally violate the court’s order. The punishment for contempt varies with fines accessed in amounts up to $500-00 and/or confinement in the county jail for up to six months.
If you are reading this article, you have probably decided that you are moving in the direction of getting divorced. Maybe the decision is yours, maybe it is your spouse’s, or maybe your reached the decision mutually. The important certainty is that you are going to divorce, and that now, you and your spouse have some very important decisions and choices to make.
The adversary process lies at the heart of the American legal system. It has a long and deeply embedded history. The primary assumption is that a judge or jury acting as fact finder will "find" the "truth" based on the evidence presented in the conflict by the lawyer-advocates of the opposing adversary parties.
People approaching divorce are often surprised by the deficiency of clear rules. People ask their lawyers; How much alimony do I have to pay? How much child support will I owe? How long I will have to pay? How much of my pension does she get? With very few exceptions, the lawyers cannot give to you very precise answers.
Experience and research has helped us identify some of the basic elements of a successful and healthy divorce. The term ’successful and healthy’ as used here, means completing the divorce process of emotional separation, achieving a new center of balance as a single person and single parent, maintaining the best interest and welfare of your children, and establishing positive and healthy new attitudes toward yourself, your ex-spouse, and your prior marriage.
The Texas Legislature meets every other year, in odd-numbered years. The 1997 legislative session concluded in June 1997. In that session, the legislature recodified Title 1 of the Family Code (dealing with marriage and divorce), thus finishing the recodification begun during the 1995 session, when old Title 2 became Title 5 (dealing with the parent-child relationship). As in 1995, recodifcation was to be non-substantive. Time will tell.
One spouse must have lived in Texas for at least six months before filing and must live in the county for 90 days in which the divorce will be filed. If a spouse resides outside the state, he or she may file the Texas county in which his or her spouse resides. Meeting the residency requirement in Texas is required in order for the court to have jurisdiction over the case.
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"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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