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(512) 391-0950
Call Us Today!
(512) 391-0950

FAQ

Where can I file for divorce? 

If you have been a domiciliary of Texas for the preceding six months, then you can file in the county where you have been a resident for the preceding 90 days. You can also file in the county where your spouse has resided for the preceding 90 days, assuming your spouse has been a domiciliary of Texas for the preceding six-months. In other words, if both you and your spouse are long-term residents of Texas, but you have you resided in Travis County for the preceding 90 days, and your spouse has resided in Dallas County for the preceding days, then either spouse may file for divorce in Travis or Dallas Counties. If both spouses file in different counties, then the divorce filed first controls.

What property is divided on divorce?

The only property divided on divorce is community property. The separate property of the husband cannot be awarded to the wife, and the separate property of the wife cannot be awarded to the husband.
 
Separate property is primarily property owned by a spouse prior to marriage; property that you inherit or property that you acquired by gift. Community property is property acquired during marriage that is not the separate property of either the husband or the wife.
 
When a divorce is filed, all property possessed by either the husband or the wife is presumed to be community property. The party asserting a claim for separate property has the burden to rebut this presumption. That means, in the absence of agreement between the parties, that the party who has separate property must present clear and convincing evidence to the court that the property in question is separate property.

How is community property divided on divorce? 

The first step is to identify what property is owned or possessed by the husband and the wife at the beginning of the divorce. In some cases, this is not an issue because the parties are aware of all of their property and debts. In other cases, information is required to fully understand the extent of the property. The parties can exchange information by agreement, which can help keep the cost of the divorce down. If that is not an option, then you can request documentation through formal discovery, and you may request that both parties prepare a sworn inventory and appraisement that would list the property of the parties and its value.
 
The second step is to characterize the property as either separate property or community property. Because community property is the only property divided on divorce, it is important to explore all claims of separate property.
 
The third step is to value the property. Valuation of community property can be relatively easy as in the case of bank accounts or mutual funds where there is a known market. In other instances, such as businesses, commercial property, stock options, or some retirement accounts, the question can be much more difficult.
 
Once you know the nature and extent of the community property and its value, then in the absence of agreement between the parties, the court divides the community property in the manner the court determines to be just and right having due regard for the rights of both the husband and the wife and any children of the marriage. This standard is easy to describe, but it does not by itself provide much guidance. While it may mean that the property would be divided 50/50, the court may vary from an equal division and award one spouse more than the other. 

What does a divorce cost?

The cost of a divorce varies depending on the facts of each case. Generally speaking, the more contested the case, the more difficult to predict the final fee. I understand your concerns about costs, and that is my concern also. I bill on a monthly basis, and my fees are based upon my current rate of $250 per hour plus any disbursements for out-of-pocket expenses necessary for your representation. Guiding you through this process in the most cost-effective manner is my goal.
I offer you a no-obligation, initial consultation up to one hour at a reduced rate of $200. I will provide information to you, answer your questions, and review your documents. You will leave with more knowledge which you can use to make the best decision.
 
I participate in the Texas Legal Protection Plan. (
www.texaslegal.org)