Denton And Cooke County Divorce Attorney

Experienced Divorce Attorney

Do you live in Denton or Cooke County and need a divorce attorney? Give us a call to set up a free consultation today. With years of legal experience in family law, we have helped many clients successfully handle their divorces. No matter what your divorce situation looks like, we can help you during this emotionally charged time.

Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce:
What Is The Difference?

There are two kinds of divorce:

  • Uncontested – This kind of divorce means the parties are in agreement on how to distribute property, child support, alimony, and child custody. Most uncontested divorces are finalized within 60 days from the date the divorce petition is filed and are they are highly affordable.
  • Contested – This kind of divorce means the parties cannot agree on child possession, commonly called “custody,” or on property issues. It takes more time to resolve a contested divorce, but with the right North Texas divorce lawyer assisting with your Denton or Cooke County case, we can help you understand the complex legal process. Our law office has successfully represented numerous clients who have or are currently going through a contested divorce.

Do I Need A Divorce?

Marriage is a legal union between two people. Before a marriage can be dissolved, one party must go to a Texas court and file a divorce petition. Since a divorce can be so stressful and full of risks, you need someone by your side to help you through this difficult time.

Our law firm will help understand your options, rights, and responsibilities to ensure decisions about your divorce are right for you.

Where Do I Start?

When you decide a divorce is the right thing for you, the first thing to do is speak with an experienced Denton-area divorce lawyer. Scott Green offers a personal consultation to help you navigate the legal landscape. The majority of individuals are unaware of how the legal system can help and/or protect them. As a family law firm, we will guide you to make the best possible choice for you and your situation.

We will present the family law matter in court and make sure the judge understands the following:

  • Each party’s financial contributions
  • Each party’s role in child-rearing
  • Each party’s ability to provide for themselves and children during and after divorce
  • What the needs of the children are and what is in their best interest.

What Are My Choices?

We discuss how the law applies to your divorce and particular situation. We will let you know if temporary spousal maintenance (formerly called alimony) is possible while the divorce proceedings are ongoing, how visitation with the children will go, what both parents’ financial responsibilities to the children of the marriage are, temporary child support, etc.

Most Misunderstood Legal Concepts – What If I Have A Common Law Marriage?

  • Common-Law Marriage – This kind of marriage is informal, and to declare that you and your “spouse” had a common-law marriage, you must meet three rules:
    • Cohabitated or lived together
    • Often claimed to be husband and wife
    • Believe the marriage took place in Texas
  • Community Property Law – Most people don’t understand that you need to divide both your assets and debts. The Court has a say in how community property is split up (not generally the 50/50 people expect). We offer guidance on the laws stipulating inheritance rights and separate property.

Requirements For A Divorce In Texas

For a divorce to be legally filed in Texas, there are two essential requirements:

  • One spouse must be a state resident, for a minimum of six months, to file a divorce petition in Texas
  • One spouse must be a county resident for a minimum of 90 days where the divorce petition is being filed.

What Happens After A Divorce Petition Is Filed In Texas?

After the Petitioner (one spouse) submits the Original Petition for Divorce paperwork with the Court, the papers are then served to the Respondent (the other spouse). If the other spouse is agreeable, they can sign a waiver of service, which means they do not need to be personally served.

When the Original Petition is filed, the Texas court issues a Standing Order to ensure the following:

  • No assets go missing before the Court divides them.
  • Demands spouses act civil to one another – no harassment or threats. If there are unusual circumstances, the Court may decide a Temporary Restraining Order is necessary. In that case, the Court will set up a hearing within two weeks (14 days) of the issuance. The Court may decide a temporary injunction is necessary for both parties.

Once the Respondent is served, they must file an “Answer” with the district clerk. Then, either side may request a hearing for temporary orders.  It’s common for the Court to deliberate on active temporary orders in a pending divorce case. Such temporary orders include:

  • A possession/visitation schedule for the children as well as the issue of child support
  • Temporary property use and debt servicing
  • Temporary spousal support
  • Interim lawyer fee payments

If a spouse believes the other party is hiding information – be it financial, property or anything else, they can serve “discovery” requests on the other party. The other party is then obligated to respond within a set timeframe. This process is typically costly and can be slow to complete. Before the “discovery” process is initiated, the party who wants to request it must take that into consideration. In certain cases, a deposition may be necessary as well.

Parties then need to decide if they can work directly together or with the assistance of a mediator or lawyers. The step is known as an out-of-court settlement. If an agreement is reached, one of the lawyers will draw up the Agreed Decree of Divorce. This document will lay out the terms of the parties’ agreement. Everyone involved in this process – the spouses and lawyers – will sign it. It’s then submitted to the Court, where the judge will eventually sign it and the divorce will then become final.

This is the more affordable route, as it’s less time-consuming than a trial.

However, in cases where a couple cannot settle their case amicably, a court date is set. Before this date, the majority of courts will request parties go to meditation. Mediation is the informal process that includes a neutral third entity to work with the divorcing couple. The goal is to negotiate and settle the divorce terms.

If there are still matters to hash out (that were not agreed upon), the case will go to trial. Here, the Court will give its ruling about the case. The judge is presented with the Final Decree of Divorce, which includes the Court’s rulings and addresses all issues related to the divorce. Both parties must abide by it.

A person who is contemplating a divorce should speak with and hire a knowledgeable family law attorney. With emotions running high, a friendly separation could quickly turn sour. A divorce attorney can help calm the waters during this difficult time. Schedule a free consultation today.

Why Should I Hire A Divorce Attorney?

  • Lack of Legal Knowledge 

There is so much complexity surrounding the family court system, and not understanding the system and process could hinder you from attaining a fair settlement and into legal hot water. Legal documents must be filled out correctly and submitted on time. A lawyer can ensure all this is done correctly and both parties receive a fair settlement. A lawyer’s goal is to ensure the court system treats their client equally and fairly.

A case could go badly if something isn’t done correctly.

  • Intense Emotions 

A divorce is an emotional, stressful time, regardless of who files for it. There are a range of emotions that each party feels – depression, sadness, confusion, anger, etc. It will take time to process them, and many decisions are often made through emotions. It’s a challenge to be objective during this time.

An attorney is a neutral third party who has no emotional ties to the case. This person can offer an objective point of view that ensures their client gets a fair deal. With emotions running high, it can be difficult for parties to think clearly and be impartial. The attorney can intercede with these heightened emotions and help the parties navigate the court system.

  • See All Of Your Options

Your case will likely have an array of options that only your family law attorney will understand and make you aware of. They can recommend a settlement option the layman person never knew was possible or even legal. They’ll recognize when a client is getting a fair settlement based on the case’s facts. They look objectively at the settlement offer and can guide their client to one of three choices:

  • To accept the “fair” settlement offer
  • To come back with a counteroffer
  • To reject the offer entirely
  • Documents and Paperwork 

Any time legal action is considered, there will be a lot of paperwork and documentation to submit. It can take hours to fill out the right paperwork to file for a divorce, as there are many forms that must be submitted and information that must be documented. The process can feel tedious and overwhelming.

If the paperwork isn’t filled out correctly, the divorce process can be delayed. Clerks and judge are not allowed to give you legal advice, you need an attorney for that. If a document isn’t filed properly, it can cause even more problems for the person seeking the divorce.

However, an experienced divorce attorney will know what documents must be submitted – all the information to be included and where the documents must be turned in.

A lawyer knows what needs to be done and how to do it properly. In the end, this saves you money and helps minimize any issues that may come up later on.

  • Looks At The Bigger Picture 

In a divorce, the initiating party is focused on winning and getting everything possible. While, in some cases, the feeling is justified, it’s often just to cause pain and hurt to the spouse. Anger may make them feel like fighting over every little thing, such as the dining room table or couch.

An attorney is there to keep clients focused on the crucial aspects of the case, such as what is and isn’t important, to ensure a fair share of the marital property and increase the chances to attain some necessities in the divorce.

The consequences of a legal process can be overwhelming and taxing, which is why you need an experienced divorce attorney at your side to help you during this trying time. Since emotions run high in a divorce, a divorce attorney can be seen as the third-party entity that can successfully litigate a case without letting their emotions get the best of them. They know the ins and outs of the legal system and the best way forward to make sure you get the fair settlement you deserve.

For more information, contact our office to schedule a free consultation.