The process of filing for divorce is a complex one, both emotionally and legally. There are several steps that you must take before you can officially end your marriage.
Along the way, you will have a lot of decisions to make involving crucial aspects of your life, including those that could impact your financial situation and your relationship with your children. With so much at stake, you should retain a skilled lawyer to help you through the West Lake Hills divorce process.
Filing for Divorce in West Lake Hills
One of the first considerations when filing for divorce is where to file the petition. An individual can file for divorce in Texas if they have lived in the state for six months and resided in their county for at least 90 days.
In addition to filing in the proper location, the spouse seeking the divorce must state the grounds or reason they are choosing to end their marriage. There are several legal grounds for marriage dissolution. The first is insupportability, which essentially means that the spouses do not get along and cannot reasonably expect to reconcile. Other possible grounds for divorce include:
- Living apart for at least three years
- Confinement in a mental hospital
- Conviction of a felony
Without a specific purpose for choosing fault-based grounds, parties should consider a no-fault basis as it could limit the conflict involved in the following proceedings. Anyone with questions regarding the proper grounds upon which to file their case should consult with a West Lake Hills lawyer about beginning the divorce process.
Mediation and Negotiations During the Divorce Process
In many cases, parties can save time and money by mediating their disputes with a neutral third party. Negotiating the terms of a divorce can make the process run more smoothly, and in cases of parties with children, it might help the individuals get off on to the right foot as co-parents.
Of course, even in amicable cases, parties will likely have strong opinions regarding the division of their property, parenting plans, and support payments. If the parties cannot achieve an agreement, they can litigate their case in court, which will result in a judge making these decisions for the divorcing parties.
Although reaching an agreement is often beneficial for both parties involved, no one should agree to the terms of any divorce-related issue without consulting with a lawyer. The terms of the agreement could impact both parties for many years to come. Therefore, it is wise for each party to learn more about the process of a divorce in West Lake Hills and the legal rights they are afforded.
Discovery and Trial During the Divorce Process
If the case goes to court, the parties will exchange information through a process called discovery. During this part of the process, each individual will have to share financial documents and other important information with one another.
Sometimes the divorcing parties will also have to sit for depositions, which are a form of an interview. The lawyers may also choose to interview or depose other individuals or expert witnesses as they work to gather evidence to support their cases. In many cases, the parties may reach agreements and settle at some point during this process.
When the spouses cannot reach a settlement, they can take their case to trial. Learning more about the divorce process in West Lake Hills may help individuals better understand the steps they need to take to bring their case to an end.
Speak to a West Lake Hills Attorney About the Divorce Process
The divorce process in West Lake Hills can be lengthy and overwhelming. Depending on the factors involved, cases may take a few months to a few years. Fortunately, an attorney from our firm could guide you through the West Lake Hills divorce process and work hard to get you the outcome you need to move on. For more information about how we could help you with the marriage dissolution process, call today.