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Joint Managing Conservatorships in Texas

Joint Managing Conservatorships in Texas

If you are involved in or considering a divorce in Texas and there are minor children involved, you need to get familiar with this term—joint managing conservatorship.

Contact Us

At the office of Linda Stewart Law, PLLC, in Baytown, we bring more than 8 years of experience to clients in south Texas.

To learn how we can help, call our office at 281-761-6042 or contact us online. We offer an initial consultation at a reduced fee of $50. We accept credit cards and will set up a payment plan, if appropriate. Our offices are open Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., and until noon on Fridays. Evening and weekend appointments can be arranged upon request.

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The Process for Filing for Divorce in Texas

Filing for Divorce

Filing for Divorce in Texas

If you are considering filing for divorce in Texas, you may not know where to start or what steps you’ll have to take to complete the process. Here’s an overview of what you need to do.

  • Determine whether you meet the residency requirements—To obtain a divorce in Texas, at least one of the parties must have been a Texas resident for a minimum of six months immediately before filing. You must also be a resident of the county in which you file for the 90 days immediately prior to the filing.
  • Decide if you will state specific grounds—In Texas, you can allege “insupportability” as the basis for a divorce. This is essentially an assertion that neither party was at fault. Otherwise, you must allege one of the six acceptable grounds for at-fault divorce in Texas.
  • File your complaint and meet the requirements for notifying your spouse—There are specific documents you must file to initiate a divorce. It’s best to have an attorney do this for you. You’ll also need to “serve” your spouse with a copy of the divorce complaint. There are also specific rules regarding how this may and must be done.
  • Respond to the complaint—If you are the defendant in the divorce proceedings and you disagree with anything stated in the complaint, you’ll have a certain time period during which you may respond and challenge those assertions. This is known as a “contested” divorce. If you don’t respond, it’s considered an “uncontested” divorce and the court will most likely enter a default judgment.
  • Resolve issues related to custody and visitation, support and property division—If you can’t agree on any of these issues, you will need to schedule hearings with the court to obtain orders resolving any disputes.
  • Obtain a signed divorce decree—Once all issues have been resolved, the terms will be put in a written agreement and signed by the judge. The terms of the agreement are binding and can be enforced in a court of law. Once the judge signs the order, your divorce is final.

Contact Us

At the office of Linda Stewart Law, PLLC, our Baytown family law attorney brings more than 8 years of experience to clients in south Texas. To learn how we can help, call our office at 281-761-6042 or contact us online. We offer an initial consultation at a reduced fee of $50. We accept credit cards and will set up a payment plan, if appropriate. Our offices are open Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., and until noon on Fridays. Evening and weekend appointments can be arranged upon request.

Se Habla Espanol | ASL and ESL Services Also Available

The Grounds for Divorce in Texas

Grounds for Divorce

Though some legislators are trying to get rid of the no-fault provisions of the Texas divorce laws, Texas remains a mixed state, where men and women can either allege fault in a divorce proceeding or pursue a no-fault termination of marriage. In a no-fault proceeding, you must show the court that the marriage can no longer continue because of irreconcilable differences or disagreements between the parties, but you don’t need to show that one of the parties was responsible for those differences. With respect to any other grounds for divorce, one party must allege that the other party committed a wrong that was the basis for the split.

Texas law identifies six specific grounds for at-fault divorce:

  • Adultery—Your spouse has engaged in an extra-marital affair with a person of either gender
  • Abandonment—Your spouse vacated the marital home with the intent of abandoning you and has been gone for at least one calendar year
  • Separation—You have not lived in the same residence as your spouse for at least three years
  • Commitment to a mental institution—Your spouse, at the time you filed for divorce, had been in a mental institution for a minimum of three years, with no prognosis that his or her condition will improve
  • A felony conviction—Your spouse, while you were married, was convicted of a felony and spent at least one year in prison. This ground is not available if you testified in the criminal prosecution of your spouse.
  • Cruelty–and spent at least one year in prison. This ground is not available if you testified in the criminal prosecution of your spouse.
  • Cruelty—Your spouse engaged in mental or physical cruelty that made it unbearable for you to cohabitate

Contact Us

At the office of Linda Stewart Law, PLLC, in Baytown, we bring more than 8 years of experience to clients in south Texas.

To learn how we can help, call our office at 281-761-6042 or contact us online. We offer an initial consultation at a reduced fee of $50. We accept credit cards and will set up a payment plan, if appropriate. Our offices are open Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., and until noon on Fridays. Evening and weekend appointments can be arranged upon request.

Se Habla Espanol | ASL and ESL Services Also Available

Minimizing the Impact of Divorce on Your Children

When your marriage has ended and you’re experiencing the emotional turbulence that’s a part of divorce, the last thing you want to do is make life more difficult for your children. The divorce is going to hurt them—that can’t be avoided. But there are steps you can take to cushion the blow, to minimize the impact of the divorce.

Give Priority to Your Children’s Emotional Needs

Your children have fewer tools and less experience to draw on when it comes to coping with the radical change that divorce will bring. Accordingly, if they are going to make it through your divorce relatively unscathed, you have to pay close attention to their needs, and may need to adjust your actions to minimize the impact on them. You may need to “clear the air” with your ex, but it doesn’t have to be done in the presence of your children. You may need to vent or let go of feelings you’ve held in for a long time, but don’t do it with your children.

Don’t End Your Relationship with Your Ex—Modify It

The healthiest children of divorce come from situations where divorced parents remain in relationship and communication. Don’t view the divorce as terminating your relationship with your ex—consider it an opportunity to establish a new relationship. The more cooperative you are with your ex, the more your children see you working together, the more relaxed your children will be and the better they will adjust to the divorce.

Work Out Rules and Discipline Cooperatively with Your Ex

One of the hardest things for kids of divorce is learning and complying with different sets of rules at different households. To the extent possible, work with your ex to establish rules that apply at both households—when to go to bed, brushing teeth, etc. It takes away a lot of the confusion and anxiety that children can feel.

Contact Us

At the office of Linda Stewart Law, PLLC, in Baytown, we bring more than 8 years of experience to clients in south Texas. To learn how we can help, call our office at (281) 420-8020 or contact us online. We offer an initial consultation at a reduced fee of $50. We accept credit cards and will set up a payment plan, if appropriate. Our offices are open Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., and until noon on Fridays. Evening and weekend appointments can be arranged upon request.

Se Habla Espanol | ASL and ESL Services Also Available

The Importance of Establishing a Visitation Schedule in Texas

When it comes time to create a visitation schedule for your children, you may be amazed by how complex the standard possession order is. You may find yourself thinking, “How can I possibly know which parent should spend the 4th of July with Tommy four years from now??”

Keep in mind that, while the visitation schedule can change, it is important to get a schedule established during the divorce process. This is true even if you have a decent relationship with your ex and don’t anticipate any struggles over visitation and child rearing. There are several reasons why it is important to establish a written, comprehensive visitation schedule during the divorce process, rather than leaving the guidelines unwritten:

In case one parent violates the agreement

Hope for the best but plan for the worst. A written visitation schedule is important to have in case one parent starts to deny visitation time or stops using scheduled visitation time. Without a written plan, it will not be easy to prove that anything has changed.

Routine is vitally important to children

Study after study shows that children need to be able to predict their daily routines in order to concentrate on the job of learning and growing. Children of divorced parents face a lot of challenges to their need for routines. A written, regular visitation schedule helps children of all ages let go of any anxiety associated with moving from house to house.

Making a visitation schedule is good practice to develop healthy communication with your ex

You are divorcing, but you will always both be the parents of your children. Your children will need you and your ex to communicate in healthy, pro-active ways. Working together with your ex to build a visitation schedule that is in your children’s best interests is an excellent first step to building post-divorce communication skills.

As you develop a visitation schedule, with help from your divorce lawyer, keep in mind that the best schedule for your child might not be the same as the most convenient schedule for you. Also remember that the schedule will need to change as your child grows and his or her developmental needs change.

The website TXAccess.org, published by Legal Aid of Northwest Texas, has answers to many frequently asked questions about visitation and child custody.

Stewart Law, PLLC, located in Baytown, Texas, has provided legal counsel to men and women in child custody and visitation cases for 8 years. For an initial assessment and consultation of your custody case, contact our family law firm online or call our office at (281) 420-8020, at a reduced fee of $50.

 
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