In the world of divorce, as well as any other legal procedure that can profoundly affect your life, you need an experienced professional in your corner to help you navigate the challenges of the divorce process. You need someone who has received years of training in family law and who knows all the ins and outs of the Dallas legal system by your side. This is where retaining your Dallas divorce lawyer comes in.
Your Dallas divorce lawyer will be your greatest ally in the potentially challenging marital dissolution process. You may have a very simple divorce, where you and your spouse both agree to amicably divorce and have no custody or property issues to dispute. In such a case, the costs and time spent will be minimal compared to a case that has custody or property battles at the forefront. Whether your divorce is simple or complicated, you need a Dallas divorce lawyer to obtain it.
A brief summary of the basic divorce process in Texas:
1. The divorce process begins with the filing of the first petition, called the “Original Petition for Divorce." This document could be very short or very long, depending on your individual circumstances including children and property issues. If you want to review this petition before it is delivered to your spouse and filed, please let your Dallas divorce lawyer know as soon as possible.
2. The petition gets filed and your case is assigned to a court. Each county has one or more courts to handle family law. In Dallas there happen to be seven family law courts. Courts are chosen randomly. You or your attorney are not able to request a particular court.
3. Next comes the discovery phase. Discovery is where one spouse learns what applies to the divorce suit. This may include methods such as depositions, requests for documents and records and interrogations. Your Dallas divorce lawyer will tell you everything you need to know regarding the discovery process and what your role will be.
4. Tax issues: The matter of state and federal income taxes will be addressed. It is extremely probable that both you and your spouse will be jointly responsible for any income taxes owed on any return that was filed jointly. Your Dallas divorce lawyer can explain all the details of this if you have any questions.
5. Alimony and Child Support: Depending on your individual circumstances relating to finances and children, you may or may not be dealing with alimony and child support issues at this point. At this time the court will consider the needs of the requesting spouse and/or children, as well as the ability of the other spouse to pay, and how much.
6. Changing Your Name: At this point you can request a name change if you are a woman who wishes to resume use of her maiden surname. Your Dallas divorce lawyer can prepare all the paperwork for you and guide you through this process.