Some Common Divorce Questions
At the Law Office of Ellen Dixius, we focus on providing personalized attention to you. To do that, our Fort Worth firm’s lawyer, Ellen Dixius, works with you directly.
But what about frequently asked questions? While we provide this page to address some of those questions, ultimately, the real answers to your questions will require the application of the law to your specific circumstances. It is that application of the law to your specific circumstances that will provide you with actionable legal advice.
In other words, no FAQ page on the internet, not even this one, should be relied upon as final actionable legal advice. Instead, use this FAQ page to get started on understanding some general outlines of the issues you face. You can also use this FAQ to start coming up with more specific questions you can ask your attorney during an initial consultation.
HOW LONG DOES A DIVORCE TAKE?
While timelines can vary depending on the specific facts of each case, generally speaking, it is possible for a divorce in Texas to take as little as 61 days. That 61-day time frame can occur, for instance, when a divorcing couple have no disagreements, the court dockets are clear and all Texas residency requirements are met at the state and county levels. There can also be an exception in some cases where domestic violence may be involved.
If the courts are more busy and if the wording of legal documents needs to be sorted out between a divorcing couple already in agreement on matters, the time period can begin to approach the 90 to 120 days range.
Where the issues become more complex or the couple is not in agreement on the terms of the divorce, the time it takes to get divorced begin to vary widely, particularly if child custody and support issues are present. In some cases, it can take months. In other cases, it can take years. An experienced attorney, however, can often help the divorcing couple see the ways in which they can keep the process moving and even speed it up.
DO I HAVE TO GO TO COURT?
Generally speaking, as always, the more conflict there is in your divorce, the more likely it is you will have to go to court. If you and your spouse are agreeing on matters, however, it is possible for you to not even have to go to court.
WHAT IS AN UNCONTESTED DIVORCE?
An uncontested divorce is when you and your spouse agree on everything. You may then file your own paperwork in an effort to cut down on legal costs. Beware, however: Often couples engaged in uncontested divorce are not aware of the issues they disagree about because they have not consulted with an attorney who can identify areas where they suffer from legal risk, particularly with regard to child custody issues and interstate custody. The real question is, “You may file your own divorce, but can you?”
WHAT IS A NO-FAULT DIVORCE?
A no-fault divorce means you can get a divorce even if your spouse doesn’t want one. You do not have to prove your spouse has done anything wrong. Even if your spouse refuses to sign divorce papers in Texas, the court can still grant you a divorce.
HOW MUCH DOES A DIVORCE COST?
Texas law does not allow divorce attorneys to accept contingency fees based on the “success” of a divorce case. As a result, they bill by the hour. The billable rate is often determined by the attorney’s years of experience and the complexity of the case. Of course, complexity of a case can be related to the value and amount of assets involved as well as by the presence of child custody and support disputes. Generally, the higher the conflict, the higher the costs.