Common Divorce Questions

Fort Worth attorney Bob Leonard Answers 16 common divorce questions in Fort Worth, Texas.

Commonly asked divorce questions answered by Bob Leonard, Board certified family law attorney practicing in Fort Worth, Texas. Bob has compiled a list of common divorce questions.

Common Divorce Questions and Answers

Common Divorce Questions and Answers. Expert Divorce Attorney Bob Leonard

 ” Most clients come into my office with one or more of these common divorce questions on their list.” — Bob Leonard

How do I start my divorce?

Your divorce attorney can help you with all of the paperwork, but the process is pretty simple.  Your divorce begins with the filing of a document called the Original Petition for Divorce with the court of proper jurisdiction. The person who files for divorce is called the Petitioner; his or her spouse is called the Respondent. Once a Petitioner has filed for divorce, notice must be given to the Respondent. This can be accomplished several ways, but is most often accomplished by having the Respondent served with a copy of the Original Petition for Divorce or having the Respondent sign a Waiver of Service.

Do I have to prove fault to get a divorce?

Texas is a “no-fault state,” meaning you do not have to show fault to get divorced in Texas. Your divorce can be granted on the grounds of in supportability, meaning that there is marital discord or conflict of personalities for which no reasonable expectation of reconciliation exists.

Can I show fault in my Texas divorce?

Yes.  Fault grounds for divorce in Texas include:  Adultery, cruel treatment, abandonment (for at least one year with the intent to abandon), incarceration (more than one year), confinement in a mental hospital (at least three years) or living apart (at least three years).  Although Texas allows “no fault” divorce, if one person is responsible for the break-up of the marriage for one of these reasons, the court might consider the fault in the division of your property. 

How long will it take to get divorced in Fort Worth, Texas?

Your divorce can be granted after the Original Petition for Divorce has been on file with the court for at least sixty (60) days. If the Petitioner and Respondent agree to all issues in the divorce, (child support, custody and visitation, division of property and debts, etc.), a divorce in Texas can be granted on the 61st day after the Petition is filed.

The process might take a long time if you can’t reach an agreement on all the issues. If there is a formal conviction of family violence against the person who filed for divorce, or if there is a current protective order in place, the 60 days might be waived.

How soon can I get married after my divorce in Texas?

In Texas you have to wait at least thirty days after your divorce is granted to get married again. 

How long do I have to live in Texas to file for divorce in Fort Worth?

To file for divorce in Texas, either the Petitioner or Respondent must have been a resident of the State of Texas for six months before he or she files for divorce. Further, the suit must be filed in the Texas county in which either the Petitioner or Respondent has lived for the 90-day period preceding the filing of the Petition.

Can I move with my kids during my divorce?

You should always ask your attorney before you try to move if there are children involved.  The courts do not generally like to see one parent move the children away from the other parent.

Can I get divorced if my spouse doesn’t want to? 

All it takes is for one of you to believe there is no chance of reconciliation.  This means the situation is unendurable or intolerable.  It is not a declaration of fault by either party.  You can provide testimony supporting this, and the court has the power to grant the divorce.

How much will my child support be?

Child support is generally calculated using a formula.  You can find a tool to use at the Office of the Attorney General’s website: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/cs/calculator/ There are certain conditions and factors that will affect the amount of child support you are actually required to pay.  Your attorney can provide you with a more precise calculation.

How long do I have to pay child support?

You have to pay child support until your child turns 18.  Most courts will order that support continue through high school graduation if the child is enrolled and regularly attending.  If your child joins the military or marries, the court may order your child support to end.  If your child is found to be physically or mentally disabled, the court can order child support for a longer time.

Do I have to pay my child support even if I can’t see my kids?

Unless there is a court order changing your child support, you have to pay it whether you get to see your children or not.  If you are being denied access to your children, you can file for an enforcement of the possession order.  Talk to a lawyer to find out how to protect your rights and be successful in an enforcement action.

Can I lower my child support payments if I lose my job?

 The amount you pay in child support can only be changed through a court order or through the Child Support Review Process (CSRP) at the Office of the Attorney General which will also result in a court order.  You can’t lower the payments by agreement, and you can’t reduce the amount you send without a court order. You may be eligible for a reduced amount if your income has decreased, you are responsible for additional children, medical insurance has changed, or the child’s living arrangements have changed.  To find out if your situation qualifies, contact a local family law attorney or request a review through the Office of the Attorney General.

Does my child support go up if I get a better job?

Your child support cannot be changed without a court order or through the Child Support Review Process (CSRP) at the Office of the Attorney General which will also result in a court order.  If your income increases, the other party may choose to file a motion to modify your current order or may request a review from the Attorney General.

Can I pay more child support than I have to?

You can increase your payments voluntarily, but if you want to be safe, you should contact an attorney to make sure you are protected if the obligee (the person receiving child support) chooses to take you to court at a later date.

Do I have to let the mom/dad see the kids if they aren’t paying their child support?

You have to follow the court orders regarding visitation and possession even if you are not getting your child support.  You can file for an enforcement action against them or ask the Attorney General to file an enforcement proceeding on your behalf to collect your child support.   If you are not allowing visits, you could have an enforcement filed against you.  Non-payment of child support does not allow you to withhold visits.

Do I have to send my kids to see their mom/dad if they don’t want to go?

You have to follow the court order.  It is your responsibility to make sure your children are available when and where they are supposed to be for visits.  If you want to change the order, you will have to file a modification with the court.  Contact an attorney to discuss your situation and to see what your options are.

There are lots of common divorce questions, and we are providing answers to the ones we hear most often.  If you have other questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Find Out More Answers to Common Divorce Questions from Board Certified Expert Family Law Attorney

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