Nobody wants a broken marriage, especially if you already have children together. But there are times when what you least expected to happen transpired. The only thing you can think of that could fix your, and your children’s lives is to have a divorce. However, you need to think of your best interests too. That’s why hiring a divorce lawyer in Houston tx is imperative to ensure that you’re doing the right thing. So if you’re wondering about the basic steps that you need to do, make sure to keep on reading below.
Filing the Petition
If you’re the one who wants to get a divorce, you must file a petition. You will need to file it in court, and its official name is Original Petition for Divorce, along with a payment for the requisite court fee. Once you file the petition, that’s the start of the divorce process, and the appropriate jurisdiction where the petition must be filed will depend on the length of the residence of both parties. After that, the court clerk will assign a case number. During this time, it’s best that you seek the help of a divorce lawyer to continue the process.
Sending a Legal Notice to the Respondent
After you’ve filed the petition, the first party will now be known as the Petitioner, and the other spouse will be referred to as the Respondent. The latter must be given a notice, which tells the other spouse that a divorce has been filed and insufficient. Depending on the circumstances, the Respondent will be served an action where they are provided legal notice or sign a Waiver of Service if they have agreed to receive the notice. However, keep in mind that the waiver doesn’t mean that the Respondent consents to the allegations of the Original Petition.
Proceeding to the Hearing
For the divorce to be finalized, there must be at least one hearing where the final divorce decree is signed. The court will decide on the issues in the divorce, child custody arrangements, property and debt distribution, and more. Of course, your attorney will need to present evidence during the hearing. After that, the final decree will be signed.
Getting to the signing of the decree will take months or very little time, depending on the situation. Keep in mind that this depends on the state because they may require a waiting period before the decree is signed. For Texas, it’s 60 days. Furthermore, certain jurisdictions have stipulations on how long both parties should wait before getting remarried.