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Tips for Handling Your Divorce in Dallas

May 1, 2022

view of Dallas cityscape

If you’re filing for divorce, here are some tips you may want to use throughout the process:

  • Hire a Dallas divorce lawyer: someone who knows the local court system and has years of experience handling divorce cases in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
  • Don’t move out of your marital home prior to talking with your lawyer. It could complicate property division.
  • Avoid arguments and fights. De-escalation is key if you want to resolve your divorce peacefully.
  • Don’t start a new relationship and put a pause on existing ones. You don’t want a new partner to get dragged into the divorce under allegations of infidelity from your soon-to-be-ex.
  • Prioritize your children (if you have them). If you have children, focus on doing what’s best for them at all times.

What is The Divorce Process in Dallas, TX?

Filing for Divorce in Texas

The divorce process starts with filing a document entitled Original Petition for Divorce with the Dallas County District Court. The party who files the divorce is called the petitioner, and the other party is the respondent (unless the parties choose to file together as joint petitioners).

To file a divorce in Dallas, either party must have lived in Texas for six months and been a resident of the county in which the suit is filed for the preceding 90-day period.

If children were born to or adopted during the marriage, a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship is included in the Original Petition for Divorce.

Is Texas a No-Fault Divorce State?

Texas is a “no-fault” divorce state, which means that you do not have to prove fault in your marriage for the Court to grant a divorce. The petition will simply state that the marriage has become “insupportable” and no possibility for reconciliation exists. (Texas law also provides for fault-based divorces, such as adultery or cruelty).

If you believe there is a reason for you to pursue a fault-based divorce, then you should consult a divorce attorney in Dallas to discuss the pros and cons of filing for a fault-based divorce. The Court must dispose of all property issues and make orders for the conservatorship (custody) and support of the children of the marriage while it grants the divorce.

Filing an Answer to a Divorce Petition in TX

After filing the Original Petition for Divorce, the petitioner must serve the respondent. A third party, such as a law enforcement officer, can serve the respondent. Once the respondent is served, they have the opportunity to file a response.

Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce in TX

If the respondent agrees with the petitioner’s demands, then the parties can draft an agreed or uncontested divorce agreement.

In an “agreed” or uncontested divorce in Dallas, both parties agree on how to handle the divorce and draft an agreement detailing the terms, which they both sign. A judge then approves the agreement and finalizes the divorce.

If the parties disagree on how to handle the divorce, they can try and use a method of alternative dispute resolution, like collaborative divorce or mediation, to resolve their differences.

When an agreed, collaborative, or mediated divorce is not possible, the only option is to pursue the divorce in court using litigation. In a contested divorce in Dallas, a judge will listen to each party’s case and then determine an equitable arrangement on their behalf, drafting a divorce decree they then sign and finalize.

Dallas Neighborhoods We Serve

Our Dallas divorce attorneys serve clients all over the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, and more. No matter where you live in Dallas County, Collin County, Kaufman County, or Rockwall Counties, we have a divorce attorney near you.

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Services to Help Solve Your Challenges

Our attorneys are experienced in all aspects of family law and will guide you through each step of the process, ensuring you have the information you need to make wise decisions and prepare for the future.

Get in Touch

At Goranson Bain Ausley, we strive to deliver clarity about what comes next and confidence that you and your family’s future are more secure. Contact our team and discover how we can help you.