Uncontested divorces are more common than ever these days. Apart from costing less than a contested divorce, uncontested divorce may also be much less complicated if it is right for the participants and the situation. The following is a list of things to keep in mind if you are contemplating an uncontested divorce in Texas.
1. Always consider hiring an attorney. Many websites offer easy, do-it-yourself uncontested divorces. However, even uncontested divorces can be complex for those unfamiliar with Texas family law. When contemplating any type of divorce, it is important to consider hiring an experienced San Antonio uncontested divorce lawyer to do things right the first time. For a low flat fee, a divorce attorney will lead you through the process of an uncontested divorce, including the preparation of the petition, waiver of service, and final divorce decree. They can also prepare a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) and military retirement order (DRO), should either or both be needed.
2. Is an uncontested divorce right for you? Many people find that their relationship with their soon-to-be former spouse is amicable enough for an uncontested divorce. For an uncontested divorce to work smoothly spouses must have a high level of trust in each other, be convinced that they have worked out major issues, and can easily work out any issues that may arise during the divorce process and beyond.
3. Have you worked out the major issues? Both spouses should agree to major issues in an uncontested divorce, and should be confident that they will be able to solve any major disagreements on these matters should they come up in the future. Major issues include division of community property, child custody, and child support.
4. Understand and divide your property: A divorce attorney will provide a guide on how to divide the marital estate, including assets, debts, and taxes. This may include an inventory appraisement to ensure that both parties have the same understanding of the property acquired during the marriage and the property that should be considered the separate property of each spouse. Even in situations where attorneys advise their clients to sign a waiver of discovery of their spouse’s finances, an inventory appraisement will ensure that both parties are on the same page and that the divorce decree includes all of the marital assets.
5. Discuss and understand issues concerning children: A divorce attorney will help a client understand major issues concerning children including child support, conservatorship, possession, and health insurance. If contemplating an uncontested divorce, spouses must come to an agreement on these and other child-related issues.
6. What is the process involved in a Texas uncontested divorce? The divorce process begins when one party serves the other party with a Petition for Divorce. For an uncontested divorce, the other party will sign a waiver of service. The attorney then prepares the final divorce decree, which will be signed by both parties. After 60 days, the attorney presents the decree in court and it is approved and signed by a judge.
7. Timing and residency requirements: To file for an uncontested divorce in Bexar County, one of the spouses has to have resided in the county for at least 90 days and in Texas for at least six months. The divorce decree can be finalized 61 days after the filing of the divorce petition.
8. Documents needed in Texas uncontested divorces: An experienced San Antonio divorce attorney will prepare several important documents required at the time of divorce. These may include warranty deeds dealing with property, tax forms pertaining to dependent children, child support withholding orders, name changes, and powers of attorney for vehicles. Even though most of these forms may be available online, an experienced attorney will ensure that they are filled out right the first time.
9. Representation issues: In uncontested divorces, there is usually one attorney. However, attorneys may not represent both parties in a divorce. It is important that parties understand that even though there may be a high level of trust between the attorney and both parties in an uncontested divorce, the attorney only represents one party.
10. Steps to take now: Its is generally a good idea to begin by discussing major issues with your spouse and finding out whether you can agree on most matters. If you do come to a general agreement, it is also a good idea to begin separating your property. Texas divorce attorneys suggest closing and dividing joint bank accounts as well as joint credit cards. If you have notes on vehicles or other property under both names, you should begin the process of changing ownership to one or the other spouse. Next, divorcing spouses should think about how they will divide their debts and tax obligations. Finally, it is always a good idea to seek the advice of an experienced attorney.