Divorce FAQ

How long does it take to get a divorce?

After filing for a divorce, the minimum time period in Texas to finalize the divorce is 60 days. However, unless the divorce is uncontested, in most cases that time frame is unrealistic.

What is an uncontested divorce?

An uncontested divorce is when both parties agree on all issues required to end the marriage. Generally, these issues relate to property division, payment of debts, and if there are minor children, child support and a possession schedule. The major benefits of an uncontested divorce are speed, efficiency and lower costs.

How much does it cost to get divorced?

In Texas, there are mandatory filing fees, which vary by county that must be paid in order to get divorced. In addition to the filing fees, your attorney's fees will vary depending on the circumstances. There are a number of different factors that can affect the cost of the divorce, some of which will be beyond your control or your attorney's control. For example, the behavior of the other spouse or spouse's attorney can either increase or minimize the costs of the divorce.

Why do I need an attorney if Texas is a community property state and everything is divided 50/50?

While it is correct that Texas is a community property state, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case, the Judge has the ability to make an unequal distribution of the community property. An attorney can help you determine whether or not the facts are likely to warrant an unequal distribution of property. Additionally, it is not always simple to determine the value of the marital estate without the assistance of an experienced attorney.

What happens to our children?

Sometimes that parties will go into the divorce with an idea or agreement on the issues related to the children, such as which parent the children will stay with, child support, education, and a visitation schedule. If that is the case, the agreement of the parties will be incorporated into the divorce. However, if the parties cannot come to an agreement regarding the children, the Judge will look at the facts and look at the "best interests of the child" when determining conservatorship, possession, child support, and the exclusive right to determine the residence of the child.

What is the Standard Possession Order?

The requirements of the Standard Possession Order (SPO) can be found in Chapter 153 of the Texas Family Code. The SPO is a basic possession order that the parties can use as a starting point for possession and access discussions. Even if the SPO is included in the divorce, the parties can agree to additional periods of possession.

What is the difference between spousal maintenance and contractual alimony?

There are many differences between spousal maintenance and contractual alimony.

The intent of spousal maintenance is to help the spouse acquire education and employment that allows her to become financially self-sufficient. Spousal maintenance should be viewed as rehabilitative in nature in that it is limited in the amount ($5,000 monthly) and duration (10 years) of the support payment. Spousal maintenance can also be modified, terminated, and enforced via contempt through a court order.

Contractual Alimony must be agreed to between the parties as the court has no authority to order contractual alimony. The benefits of contractual alimony are:

1. The parties can determine the amount;

2. There are no restrictions on the amount or duration of the payment;

3. The amount can't be modified except by agreement of the parties;

4. The paying party receives a tax deduction while the receiving party must claim the payments as income

When deciding between spousal maintenance and contractual alimony, it is important for the parties to understand the differences between the two options.

Can I get legally separated or we have been separated / living apart for a while, are we divorced?

The short answer is No because Texas does not recognize legal separation. The rules concerning community property will still be in place during the separation. However, if the parties do not want to get a divorce, Texas does allow for the parties to enter into a separation or partition agreement in which the parties can deal with community property and other issues that may arise.

At MARVEL & WONG, PLLC, we strive to protect the client's best interest when getting a divorce while attempting to minimize unnecessary costs. Contact MARVEL & WONG, PLLC for assistance with your Divorce in Bexar and Kendall County.