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Once you have consulted with your attorney and made the decision to file for a divorce in Texas, your lawyer will prepare an original petition.  This is a document that sets out the relief you are requesting, including (1) a divorce, (2) property division, (3) child custody and support, if applicable, (4) name change, if applicable and (5) a request for temporary orders.  If there are special circumstances, additional relief may be requested.  You will not need to sign the petition, but if you wish look at it and review it before it is filed, you may do so.  Once the petition is filed, the case will be assigned to one of the courts and we will ask the court to have your spouse served with process, either by the sheriff, constable or a private process server.  We will ask you if you think your spouse will agree to accept service and sign a waiver.  This means that we mail a copy of the petition and a letter explaining what it contains and the effect of signing it, to your spouse and ask him or her to sign the waiver in order to avoid being served.  If your spouse signs the waiver, we file it with the court and can proceed with the divorce.

Usually the first order of business is to put temporary orders in place which govern the conduct of the parties while the divorce is pending.  Their primary purpose is to maintain the status quo, that is, to prevent one spouse from hiding or spending all of the community property, to keep a spouse from turning off utilities, canceling insurance policies, and to determine child custody, decide who will live in the house, and who will pay spousal and/or child support.  These temporary orders remain in effect while the divorce is pending.  In Comal, Guadalupe and Hays Counties, there is a standing order that is served with all divorce petitions that mandates certain conduct of the parties and is effective without a hearing or further order of the court.  My policy is to try to reach an agreement with your spouse regarding temporary orders, in order to avoid the time and expense of a court hearing, however, if we cannot reach an agreement, then we will go to court and have a short trial, to ask the court to make those decisions.

If you are the party who is served with a petition for divorce, consult your attorney immediately to make sure you are not doing anything in violation of the standing order or temporary orders and to file an answer on your behalf.

Client Area

When you come to my office for our first meeting, if we agree that I will take your case, I will ask you to fill out a client information sheet, custody worksheet, if there are children, and a financial information sheet.

FAQ

This information is designed to assist you in answering some basic questions regarding family law issues.

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