Fort Worth Uncontested Divorce Lawyers
As emotionally-complex as any form of divorce may be, uncontested divorce represents one of the least contentious and quickest ways to legally dissolve a marriage. That being said, couples that do choose the process of uncontested divorce should agree on the major aspects of their divorce agreement before they sit down with an attorney to draft those legally-binding documents. At The Maynard Law Firm, PLLC, our Fort Worth uncontested divorce lawyers can help you do what is necessary to finalize your uncontested divorce, though not before we help you ensure that your interests have been protected in the divorce agreement.
Advantages of an Uncontested Divorce
Though it still may be difficult to end a marriage, uncontested divorces are just that: uncontested. That means that both partners should feel as though their interests are being fairly represented in the divorce agreement, thereby eliminating the possibility of any fundamental disagreement over the terms of that agreement. Since uncontested divorces are generally amicable, they are also less expensive and time-consuming than other methods of securing a divorce; you will not need to prepare for your day in court and you will not have to develop a comprehensive legal strategy to counter your partner’s position on any given disagreement.
Though you may not need a lawyer to help you argue your side of the story, you should still go ahead and retain legal representation to help you ensure that your interests are represented in the divorce agreement before you sign anything. Once you verify that you are comfortable with the language of the divorce agreement—and once your partner has done the same—we can help you do what is necessary to finalize your divorce so that you can each move forward with your new lives.
Potential Drawbacks of an Uncontested Divorce
Under some circumstances, it is possible for one partner to feel like they are being pressured into an uncontested divorce for the sake of it being quick and relatively inexpensive. When situations like this do arise, it is important to take a step back to consider what will best serve each partner; only if each partner is truly comfortable with the agreement should they finalize the divorce. On the other hand, if one partner is unwilling to budge on an issue and is pressuring the other to just accept their decision, the couple may be better suited to another form of divorce. For instance, the non-binding process of mediation can be used to resolve major disputes, provided that each partner is willing to compromise.
Frequently Asked Questions:
My significant other and I have had a common law marriage in Texas. If we are separating, do we need to file for divorce?
According to Texas law, a common law marriage, or also called informal marriage, is valid and legal in Texas. If you have lived as husband and wife in Texas and stated to others that you are married, you will more than likely need to file legal paperwork to get a divorce even though you never got a marriage license. It is advisable to obtain an attorney, especially in the instance of a common law marriage.
What is legal separation, and can I get this in Texas?
Legal separation doesn’t exist in Texas. In other words, Texas recognizes that you are married until you become divorced officially. So even if you live in separate households, all your debt and property is considered community debt and community property.
What is the difference between a void and voidable marriage in Texas?
A marriage can be declared voidable if there was some deception when you agreed to get married. It is this type of marriage where an annulment is typically requested, citing that the marriage wasn’t even valid.
A court can also legally declare a marriage to be void for a number of reasons. It is best to consult an attorney on the requirements for this type of declaration.
How can I get an annulment rather than a divorce in Texas?
The requirement for getting an annulment in Texas is that the couple needed to have been married in Texas, or one of the spouses needs to live in Texas. There are various reasons that individuals can be granted annulments. The courts can grant an annulment when two individuals between 16-18 years old marry each other without parental consent or a court order. Other reasons that may be grounds for annulment are that an individual: was under the influence of alcohol or narcotics; used fraud or force to manipulate the other individual into a marriage; didn’t have the mental capacity to consent to marriage; concealed a recent divorce. Consulting with an attorney is highly recommended as there are other reasons that may be valid for granting annulments in Texas.
I’m getting a divorce from my spouse, but I am pregnant with my spouse’s child. Can I file for divorce now?
It is advisable to seek legal counsel as soon as possible if you are pregnant. Courts in Texas probably will not finalize a divorce if a spouse is pregnant, and it typically doesn’t matter if the father is the spouse or not. Most courts wait until after the child is born, as there will be orders written that are related to the child in the final divorce papers.
What does the court consider when allowing one spouse to get spousal maintenance?
The court considers many factors, including the spouses’ financial situations, their education and employment skills, earning ability, the length of the marriage, any pattern of family violence, the physical and emotional health of the spouse seeking maintenance, property owned by each spouse, whether one spouse significantly contributed to an increase in the earning ability of the other spouse (like paying for their further education or training), or whether either spouse is currently paying child support. Seeking legal counsel is highly recommended in cases like this.
I’m getting a divorce, but I don’t think that my spouse will agree to spousal payments. What can I do?
It is best to seek the counsel of a qualified attorney in these matters. Sometimes called alimony in some states, it is called ‘spousal maintenance’ in Texas. This maintenance can be provided during and after a divorce proceeding by one of the spouses as a form of financial support. This spousal maintenance can be provided in Texas if the spouse that is receiving support won’t have enough property during the divorce to provide for basic needs. There are some other factors involved as well. For example, the spouse that is seeking support can’t provide for basic needs due to a physical limitation; one spouse has been convicted of family violence; the spouses were married for more than ten years, and the spouse that is needing support can’t provide for his or her basic needs; or, the spouse seeking support has custody of a child that needs ongoing care because of a physical or mental disability.
How long do the spousal maintenance payments last?
Spousal maintenance court orders do have a time limit that is specified by Texas law. Basically, if the marriage lasted 30 years or longer, the typical limit is ten years. If the marriage lasted between 20-30 years, the limit is seven years. If the marriage lasted between 10-20 years, the limit is five years. However, if the marriage lasted less than ten years and the courts ordered the payments because the spouse that is paying committed family violence, then the payments will last five years. However, it is best to seek legal advice, as Texas law can change periodically.
Divorces in Texas and How They Can Affect Children
In 2013 in Texas, 76,423 divorces were reported to the Texas Vital Statistics Unit, and this was a decrease from the 2012 figure of 80,030 divorces. Other important data from 2013 included:
- For males, 44.4% of divorces were in the 30-44 age group
- For women, 44.5% of divorces were in the 30-44 age group
In 2013, 59,135 children under the age of 18 years old were affected by divorce. This statistic was calculated by using the average number of children on a divorce decree. This 2013 average in Texas was 0.7 children per divorce. This figure doesn’t mean that all divorces involve children. Nevertheless, in 2013, almost one quarter (21.5%) of the divorces affected only one child and 23.7% of all divorces that year involved two or more children. Even though 54.8% of the divorces in 2013 involved no children, this study shows that, in Texas, 45.2% of all divorces in 2013 involved one child or more. This is a significant amount when you figure that most divorces not only deal with the division of assets or property, but when a child is involved, there need to be decisions on spousal maintenance payments, where the children will live, visitation rights, and more.
For more information, see: https://www.dshs.texas.gov/chs/vstat/vs13/nnuptil.aspx
Consult with an Uncontested Divorce Attorney in Fort Worth
If you and your partner can agree with each other about the main aspects of your divorce, it will be in your best interests still to reach out to a lawyer who can first help you ensure that your interests are protected in the agreement and then help you do what is necessary to finalize your divorce. At The Maynard Law Firm, PLLC, our legal team understands just how overwhelming the process of divorce can be, and we will do everything we can to help you get through this. To speak with one of our attorneys about the particulars of your situation, please call our offices at (817) 335-9600 today.