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In Texas If I counter File against my husband how long before the petition is disposed or canceled?

Humble, TX |

In Texas and Harris county my husband filed for divorce a few months back.. in the past when he filed nothing was really ever done and the case "disposed" of or the divorce was canceled.... i was told this is 6 months from the date of the petition if no decree is filed.. If i counter file against him does that 6 months get reset to 6 months from the counter file or will his be disposed of in the 6 month frame from when he originally filed and mine continue for at least 6 months more?

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

Actually, I don't think it's likely to be a firm policy that if no decree is received within 6 months, the case is automatically gone. That policy is basically there to stop people from filing and then just letting the case sit there on the court's docket indefinitely with no action being taken to move it along. At that six month mark, you ideally do have a decree, bit if you don't, you do need to be able to show the court why it is that you don't, and that you have taken reasonable steps to try to move the case along--discovery, mediation, settlement conferences, consulting a financial analyst or child psychologist or therapist if any of that would help, etc. At some point, though, if you've done all that and still can't settle, the court's going to want you to either drop it altogether or set it for trial. No, I don't think your counterpetition's going to change the general six month rule, because it's not like it's a new case altogether, it just throws into the mix what it is you want to get out of all this. What DO you want to see happen, by the way, and are you hoping for more time or less time on getting the divorce finalized? Is the counterpetition because of something you really wanted to ask for and think you need to get, or just something your attorney thought would be a good strategic move? (That's often the case, and it's basically designed to put the other side on the defensive and provide for more bargaining room, but the substance isn't necessarily really meaningful in the end).

Asker

Posted

Honestly i don't want the divorce.. this isn't the first time we've been through this.. hes filed before with a lawyer .. never filed a decree of any kind and it passed the trial date and was disposed of.. same when i filed against him that same year.. he moved back home after i filed.. my lawyer said that it would just dissolve when we did nothing or filed nothing.. I'm counter-filing so i can change the petition to fault Adultery and not irreconcilable differences. Even if its a no fault state i want it on the record. also i was under the assumption if i counterfile then i get the first word in court and it would be upon me to set the trial date.. therefore giving me more control then him..

M Elizabeth Gunn

M Elizabeth Gunn

Posted

All that filing a counterpetition really gets you is 1) the ability to ask the court to award or do things that the other side didn't ask for in its petition and that otherwise just wouldn't be up for discussion--spousal maintenance, for example; and 2) once you've filed a counterpetition, he can't nonsuit (drop) the case all on his own, because he's now not the only party asking the court for relief. But, yes, the court can very definitely still drop on their own if neither of you do anything, and what you may or may not realize is that the court has very easy access now to the records of those prior divorce cases. It sounds now like between those and this one, you're now on your FOURTH filed case? If the court bothers to look at the history there at all, the judge is not going to take this one too seriously, and will probably be quick to drop it at the six-month mark (and ithat history check is very easy to do, even if they are assigning the cases totally separate cause numbers and not "linking" them in the computer system, the clerk normally does a check for prior litigation between the parties so they can assign the new case to the same court--probably there's a notation of all of that in the court's file, if not, a ten second database check would turn it up). Filing a counterpetition really isn't going to vet you anywhere as far as either dragging this out or setting a court date--that's something that's normally done by agreement of the parties anyway. And honestly, alleging adultery isn't too likely to really change things much either, unless possibly the reason he left you and filed is because he found someone else AND you'd otherwise qualify for spousal maintenance, which might be upped somewhat in "fault" circumstances (it's not supposed to be punitive, but it is supposed to be "equitable"). So why do the two of you keep doing this if you DON'T want a divorce, and if you don't want a divorce, what is it that you do want to see happen?

Asker

Posted

This is the 3rd time of filing.. 2nd for him.. Yes.. He found someone else and decided he is only leaving cause of her.. he informed me he was leaving when i was only 3 months PG.. and Left me (moved out) when i was 5 months PG.. he filed after the baby was born after being pretty much forced to by her.. in fear of losing that relationship with her. hes got a "problem" this is a repeat situation with the affair.. and i would love for him to seek help. but only if he realizes he has a problem.. and our kids are the one that are suffering them ost cause of this problem.. (shes married too by the way) i'm actually suspicious to him even signing the papers he filed.. the signatures don't line up and looks like someone else signed for him.. but thats a different thing.. I know texas is a no fault state but I am desperate to find a lawyer that will use the multiple adulterous acts against my husband and get more for my children.. I make more then him salary and this hurts me I've been told, heck even with the 1 3 5 th weekends he gets the kidds more often then me!! id on't count the middle of the week cause i'm at work all day i see them for a total of 2 hours of which is doing homework and putting to bed. There are several things i'd like to ask for in the divorce and want someone who is going to back me up and fight for me.. So many of my friends in texas through the same thing were able to use the adultry for them to get more for the kids or property ect.. which we don't have other then kids.. 4 months and 7 years.. I have let him file for my religious beliefs.. but don't want him just being able to file a default divorce withou my knowledge which in his papers hes put i would agree with the petition and not contest it.. (which is wrong and he knew this!) I don't want the divorce.. I dont' think he REALLY wants it but has no choice cause he can't be with her without it.. shes driving this can you see? I know I can't force him to change his mind just pray he does before its all finalized.. but if its goin to end in divorce. then i want the most for the children so their future is protected and the issues of daddy leaving every other year for another woman doesn't rub off on them..

Posted

The adultery is not Limely to get you far on the child support. It's based on a formula that's set out by statute based on his income, how many children he's supporting pursuant to the order, and any other children of his he also has to support. To get anything above those guidelines would require you showing something major in the way of expenses that the statutory amount just would not cover--say one of your kids was severely learning disabled and really did need $800 worth of special tutoring assistance and therapy a month, and that you had to pay another $200 a month in child care for the other kids so that you could take that child twice a week to his appointments. For that kind of thing, yes, the court will increase the support levels. But child support needs and adultery really don't have anything to do with each other. It's possible you might get a somewhat bigger share of the community estate with the adultery claim, and it's possible that you might get more spousal maintenance (though probably not if you're working and make more money than he does), but that's about the extent of it. Now it's possible that if you went ahead and agreed to the divorce without dragging it out, that he might AGREE to pay more child support just to get it over with now, but you don't want that to happen either, and if this goes to an actual trial, the judge CANNOT legally require him to pay more child support just because he screwed around on you. It just doesn't work that way. You could try filing a motion with the court to require him to attend couples counseling with you for a reasonable period of time before proceeding with the divorce because you believe the marriage is still salvageable. The court might grant that and might not. The fact that this is the third (sorry, I thought you meant he'd filed twice previous to this time) divorce filing probably would make it more likely that the court might grant it, because obviously there's something going on there other than the usual irreconcilable differences issues. I wish I could tell you something more optimistic sounding, but I think that the magic legal answer you're looking for just isn't there, and that mythical attorney who promises to "fight for your rights" isn't going to do anything but fight to collect payment of a bunch of fees from you for months of useless work on your case if there is no legal basis in Texas law for you to get what you want.

Asker

Posted

"You could try filing a motion with the court to require him to attend couples counseling with you for a reasonable period of time before proceeding with the divorce because you believe the marriage is still salvageable. " If i was to request this what if he says we've tried this? we were in counseling for awhile but he didn't "participate" really... what are the likely hood of the courts requesting additional counseling before we go through with the divorce? and I'm assuming he has to be ok with this.. if he says no will it be denied pretty much? cause I'm pretty sure he will say no.. especially if he tells her this she will make sure he says no. I would love to have court mandated counseling and think texas should do this just like other states doo.. look at Louisana ? i can't remember which state that requires a year of counseling before you file or your petition is considered valid.. and then its a year before it can be dissolved.. texas makes it too easy and its a MANS divorce. they get buy with paying nothing for support.. they should be responsible for half of the kids well being.. Food/Clothing/Rent/Medical etc.. not some measly 25% of their income which is capped.. I have an infant and my DAY CARE ALONE is more expensive then while i'll get in child support.. I'm not looking to live in the lap of luxury.. but I dont' think i should have to shove my kids in a 1 bed apt cause thats all mommy can afford and put them in some hole of a school to care for them while I'm at work so that i can provide a roof over their heads.. Because of my marriage i'm in debt over my head and while we are still together i was making great leway with the debt we accumulated.. separate i refuse to use a CC unless its an emergency and barely make it pay check to pay check..

Posted

No, the court will not mandate it if he flat-out refuses, because he does have a right to divorce you for absolutely no reason at all other than he doesn't want to be around you anymore. The only reason the court WOULD grant it is basically to put off fooling with the divorce for a bit if there's any realistic chance if you getting back together. And the court is very definitely not going to give you anything like a year to abate the divorce while you do counseling. Maybe three months or so. And unfortunately, you not agreeing with the laws that we have is not going to change what happens in this case one bit, so you might as well be realistic and make up your mind to do the best you can with the options you have available to you. Good luck.

Asker

Posted

i know that the laws here only apply here.. i just stated i wished texas had better laws is all.. its one of the 5 worst states to get a divorce in according to some survey's done awhile back.. thanks for your feedback by the way it was helpful :)