Every divorce in Texas goes through 5 Steps. Some take longer than others, but the format is the same. This is a quick guide to those key Steps..
1. File & Serve
Each divorce starts with someone filing for divorce. It is important to file in the correct County. Once that is done, you must serve your spouse with a copy of the filing (unless they file a waiver of service).
2. Temporary Orders
Since Texas does not have Legal Separation, the closest thing we have to that is Temporary Orders. This is when the Court establishes the rules for everyone until the divorce is final. This includes child custody, child support, possession of the home, who pays the bills, and more.
Discovery is the process where the two sides exchange information so that they can make an informed settlement decision. This can be formally, via written demands for information. It can also be done more informally and more quickly. The complexity and issues in the case determine how this will occur.
All divorces must attend Mediation before trial. This is an assisted settlement conference presided over by a Mediator, who is a neutral attorney (often a former Judge) who tries to bring about an agreement. Mediation has a settlement success rate of over 80% in divorces and is where most cases end.
5. Trial (or Prove Up)
All divorces come to an end either by a trial (less than 5%) or an agreement presented to a Judge (a prove-up).
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