You may have preconceived notions of what the divorce process entails.

Most of the time, however, these notions are inaccurate. The dynamics of a divorce case vary from case to case depending on the issues involved.

Here are some basic concepts you must keep in mind:

1. The cost of most contested divorces in Texas averages more than $10,000 dollars in legal fees for each spouse.

2. Each county in Texas charges a filing fee when you file your divorce. The filing fees vary, but typically are in the $300 range.

3. In a contested case, your spouse would typically be served a copy of the petition by a sheriff.  In an uncontested case, your spouse can simply sign a Waiver of Service.

4. The fastest time you can complete any divorce in the state of Texas is no less than 60 days.  Unless you apply for a waiver.

5. One spouse must be a Texas resident for at least six months and reside in the county where the petition is filed for at least 90 days before the petition can be filed.

6. You may either agree to a settlement or a Judge will decide for you.

7. You may be able to attend the court hearing with only one party present.

8. Texas is a "community property" state.

9. Texas does not have specific provisions for a legal separation.

10. In a decree of divorce a wife may change her name to a previously used name.

Even though the filing of a divorce officially starts the dissolution process, one should start thinking about their divorce "wish list" well before the filing of the petition. If this wish list is communicated to your attorney beforehand, it will be useful in formulating a strategy that will make for an efficient use of the procedure discussed above.

Gary Ashmore
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Helping Dallas & Highland Park, Texas area families with Family Law, Probate & Estate Planning needs.
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