Houston Family Law Attorney
If you're looking for a Houston divorce lawyer, then you're likely going through one of the most traumatic times in your life. You need an attorney who will treat your case with the compassion, respect and personal attention it deserves.
Divorce Procedures in Texas
For divorce proceedings to be initiated in Texas, one of the spouses must have been a resident of the state for a period of six months, and a resident of the county for a minimum of 90 days before the filing of the divorce petition. The divorce process in Texas is set off by the filing of the Original Petition for Divorce.
The petition is filed by the person who seeks the divorce,
and is served to the respondent. The
petitioner can then file for a standard Temporary Restraining Order, which
requires that that no assets be transferred before the court divides the
assets, and that the parties be on civil behavior with each other.
If a temporary restraining order has been filed, the respondent has a period of 20 days plus the following Monday to file his response to the petition. Once a temporary restraining order is issued, the court must set a hearing date within 14 days of the issuance of the restraining order.
During this hearing, the court may consider a temporary order, which defines child custody and visitation arrangements, and even spousal support. Following this, the parties will work towards a settlement. If a settlement is not possible, then a date is set for trial.
Child Custody in Texas
Matters relating to child custody in Texas tend to be highly emotional, and can be some of the most painful areas to navigate. Courts in Texas may order joint or sole custody, but it's always the best interests of the child that will be the prime consideration.
In Texas, there's a presumption that parents are the Joint Managing Conservators of the child. This means that the parents share their parenting duties and responsibilities. If there are no extenuating circumstances like a history of violence, Texas laws advise that parents resolve all child custody matters amicably and to their mutual benefit. This will help avoid the expense, anxiety and emotional exhaustion that can result from a child custody fight. In fact, many courts in Texas now require that parents attend divorce education or parenting classes before a final court action is ordered.