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What to Expect During the Divorce Process

Dallas Family Law Attorneys Representing People in Divorce Matters

People who decide to seek a divorce are often contending with strong emotions. Among other things, they may feel overwhelmed with the prospect of legally ending their marriage and dividing their assets. It is advisable, therefore, for people who want to end their marriage to talk to an attorney about what to expect during the divorce process to ease their apprehensions. If you intend to file for divorce or you received legal papers instituting a divorce action from your spouse, the Dallas divorce attorneys of McClure Law Group can inform you of your rights and guide you through the process of dissolving your marriage. We regularly represent people in divorce actions and have the knowledge and experience needed to help you seek a favorable outcome.

What to Expect During the Divorce Process

In Texas, the divorce process begins with one party filing a petition for dissolution of marriage. Either the petitioner or their spouse must live in Texas for six months and in the county where the action is filed for three months before filing the petition. The Texas Family Code (the Code) allows parties to seek no-fault divorces on the grounds of insupportability, which is sometimes referred to as irreconcilable differences. The Code also permits fault-based divorces for adultery, cruelty, the conviction of a felony, confinement in a mental hospital, abandonment, and living apart.

After the petition for dissolution is filed, how the divorce proceeds will depend on whether it is contested or uncontested. Only certain parties are eligible to obtain uncontested divorces. Among other things, they must not have minor children together, own property jointly, or have retirement benefits that must be divided. Even if a divorce is uncontested, Texas law prohibits the courts from entering a final divorce decree before the sixtieth day after the divorce action is filed. There is a thirty-day window after the decree is entered in which the parties are barred from remarrying as well.

Most Texas divorces are contested, meaning there are one or more issues that must be resolved before the divorce is finalized. Typically, these issues include property division, child custody, and determining whether either party is entitled to alimony.

Texas is a community property state, which means that all property obtained during the marriage is presumed to belong equally to both parties, with few exceptions, and will be divided in a way the court deems just and right. Separate property remains separate. As such, the parties will typically undergo discovery, meaning they will exchange information regarding their assets, income, debts, and needs. In some instances, they may need to hire experts to evaluate whether property is a community or separate asset and to assess its value.

If one party requests spousal maintenance, the parties will likely seek information about each other’s earning potential, their contribution to the marriage, and, in some instances, their health. If the parties must determine how to divide custody of minor children, they may need to undergo a custody evaluation, during which an independent party assesses their mental and physical health and that of their child and their relationship with their child.

In some instances, the parties will attempt to resolve disputed issues through mediation, which is a process facilitated by a neutral party. If they cannot, the case will most likely proceed to trial. During the trial, the court will consider evidence and testimony offered by the parties before ruling on contested issues.

Consult a Seasoned Dallas Attorney

Once a divorce is final, it is extremely challenging to alter the outcome, and it is important for people who want to end their marriage to understand what divorce entails before proceeding. If you have questions about what to expect during the divorce process, it is wise to consult an attorney. The seasoned Dallas lawyers of McClure Law Group can inform you of your options and help you choose the best manner to proceed to protect your interests. Our main office is in Dallas, and we are available to meet clients for appointments at our Collin-County office in Plano. We regularly represent parties in divorce matters in Dallas, Fort Worth, Rockwall, Frisco, McKinney, Irving, Richardson, and Garland. We also represent people in family-law cases in cities in Dallas, Collin, Denton, Rockwall, Tarrant, and Grayson Counties. You can reach us by calling 214.692.8200 or using our form online to set up a confidential conference.

Client Reviews
"McClure Law Group was very professional and responsive. They listened to my concerns and desires as it pertains to the service requested and I'm very pleased." Jade Nguyen
"Kelly and her team are always a pleasure to work with, and their work product always exceeds one’s expectations." George Tamke
"When I most needed professional, good quality responses McClure Law Group was there. Thank you for the service that I have received from everyone!" Norma Charles
"McClure Law Group’s team is very responsive! I have very much appreciated their communication. They are always on top of what is happening and return my calls or emails quickly." Brie Cherry
"Kelly McClure has been representing me for the past several years and has been an amazing advocate, confidant and sounding board. She is always available by phone, even when she is on vacation. She has answered my questions on weekends and always given me an honest opinion. I highly recommend this group to anyone." Heather Bell
"The McClure Law Group helped me through a very difficult divorce and they definitely had my back every step of the way. I couldn’t recommend the team enough!" Shell A.
"I could not be happier to have had McClure Law. I truly appreciate their accessibility and patience. I can tell they are very knowledgeable, and I trust their guidance. I am SO thankful I went with great lawyers to handle my family case." Victor Lollar
"Kelly is detailed oriented and she truly cares about her clients. Her knowledge of the laws and her ability to get a case resolved make her stand far above others. I highly recommend McClure for your family law needs!" Peter Morgan