AUSTIN DIVORCE FAQs
Austin Area Residents Call: 512.320.8200
How long do I have to live in Austin for to file for divorce?
The law in Texas stipulates that you must be a resident in the county you plan to file for divorce in, and you must have resided in that county for 90 days preceding the date on which you file for divorce. In addition to this, you must have been a domiciliary of Texas – meaning that you have lived primarily in Texas – for the preceding six months before filing for divorce.
Are there any Austin-specific laws that are different from how other family law cases around the state are handled?
When filing for divorce in Travis County, a Standing Order Regarding Children, Property and Conduct of the Parties will go into effect as soon as the Petition for Divorce is filed. The purpose of this order is to set basic rules which will protect the safety and well-being of the parties involved in the divorce, as well as their property.
There is no such Standing Order for divorces taking place in Williamson County. If similar protections to the Travis County Standing Order are necessary, a judge can sign a temporary restraining order to protect the parties and properties involved.
How long will my divorce take?
Texas law requires a minimum waiting period of 60 days for all divorce cases. This means that there must be at least 60 days between the date on which divorce is first filed, and the date on which the court signs the Divorce Decree.
In some instances, it is possible to complete the divorce process within these 60 days. However, it is not unusual for divorce to take longer due to the lengthy process of assessing the parties’ community estate and reaching agreements as to how it will be divided. The average divorce case takes at least four months to complete.
Couples who have already reached agreements about the division of their estate and the care and custody of their children tend to finalize divorce much faster and may well complete within the minimum 60 days. However, if both parties cannot come to a suitable agreement and the court is needed to divide the estate, the divorce will likely take much longer.
How do we divide our property?
Usually, the first step in dividing your community estate is providing your Austin divorce attorney with a complete list of what you own, including things like:
– Real property
– Bank accounts
– Credit card balances
– Trust accounts
Once we understand what assets you have, we will then exchange the information with your spouse’s Austin divorce attorney. Ideally, we will negotiate with your spouse and their divorce lawyer Austin to reach an agreement on dividing the community assets, but this process can be complex and lengthy.
If it is not possible to reach a suitable agreement, we can take the case to a hearing in order that the court can divide up the estate in a manner they see most suitable for the parties involved. In these instances, having the assistance of the best Austin divorce lawyer is vital to ensure the best possible outcome for you and your assets.
How is it possible to include a business in a divorce in Austin?
Businesses that were created by one party before marriage are often not included in divorce. However, businesses formed during marriage may be deemed part of the community estate and may have to be divided between both parties during divorce.
A community estate refers to all assets accumulated throughout the marriage, but sometimes it is difficult to determine whether a business is part of the community estate or a separate property. Having an Austin divorce attorney is vital in these instances to protect the success of the business in question.
How do you put a value on the business?
A business valuation expert is usually needed to assess the value of a business if it is part of the community estate. Your Austin divorce attorney can then use this information to ensure the business is awarded to the business owner, while a fair remainder of the community estate is awarded to the business owner’s spouse.
What does divorce mean for my children?
Divorce can be a daunting time for both children and parents. To minimize disruption, it is important to discuss with your divorce lawyer Austin as soon as possible what you believe would be in the best interests for your children in terms of possession and child support. Sometimes a 50/50 possession is suitable, but this may not be realistic for some families. You will also need to consider the decision-making process for your child’s educational and medical needs, and whether one or both parents will take this responsibility. If you are unable to come to an agreement with your spouse, the decision must be referred to the court.
What is conservatorship in Texas?
Essentially, conservatorship refers to “custody” of children and the process of sharing children after divorce. “Custody” is a loose term and does not exist within Texas law; conservatorship is the official term used.
When parents divorce, they may become “joint managing conservators” or one parent may be deemed “sole managing conservator” while the other is “possessory conservator”. Most divorce cases begin with both parents being presumed joint managing conservators, but sole and possessory titles may be used if important negative factors, such as domestic abuse, could affect one parent’s ability to take joint responsibility for the children.
Conservatorship involves three key areas:
– Rights and duties regarding the children
– Possession schedule outlining the time children spend with each parent
– Financial support of the child
What is a “no-fault” divorce?
A no-fault divorce is one in which neither party is deemed responsible for the breakdown of the marriage. When someone files for divorce they must stipulate a reason why, and sometimes it may be due to the actions of their spouse, such as adultery, abandonment, or cruelty. However, if both parties have simply grown apart or dealt with ongoing conflict between them, grounds for divorce can be deemed “no-fault” in which case the marriage is simply deemed insupportable with no expectation of reconciliation.
What is the difference between an uncontested divorce and divorce litigation?
An uncontested divorce is one in which both parties agree on all the issues involved with ending their marriage, including:
– Division of community property
– Child support
– Child conservatorship (management of parental responsibility)
During uncontested divorce, it may be possible for both parties to use just one Austin divorce attorney to manage the divorce process for them.
If both parties cannot come to agreements on these issues, divorce litigation may be needed. Litigation doesn’t necessarily mean that the divorce will be litigated in court. However, usually it means that each party hires their own Austin divorce attorney to work in their best interests and negotiate the details of the divorce. Sometimes it is possible to do this out of court, but if decisions still cannot be reached, the divorce could result in courtroom litigation.
During courtroom litigation, each spouse is represented by their Austin divorce lawyer before a judge. The judge determines the final details of the divorce based on what they deem to be fair for each party and any children involved in the case.