Filing for divorce in dallas county texas without an attorney

These experts may be accountants or asset evaluators who have special training and experience.

Sometimes medical or psychological experts may be necessary to provide opinions about parental fitness or other relevant issues in your case. A qualified expert is also expensive and using one will add more time to your case.

Divorce in Collin County - Cleaves Family Law

If the parties cannot agree on using one expert for a particular issue, both sides may retain their own experts which could double the time and expense involved. Sometimes even a contested case can be resolved by agreement of the parties once discovery has been completed. In such a situation, your case may proceed to conclusion as a default case which follows the same procedure explained earlier. The two of you may also agree to binding or non-binding arbitration in lieu of a trial.

If you agree to binding arbitration, the court must render an order consistent with the arbitrators findings. If the two of you still cannot reach an agreement, a good way to avoid going to trial is mediation.

Divorce in Texas

The use of mediators in Texas is well recognized and can even be ordered by a court an alternative method of resolving disputes in family law matters. A professional and experienced neutral mediator may be able to help you reach a consensus on all or most the remaining contested issues in your case. A successful mediation can take as little as a half a day or as long as a couple of days. Unlike a trial which requires hours of preparation and planning, mediation is informal and non-binding unless the two of you agree to make it binding.

The goal of a successful mediation is to obtain at least a written outline of the agreement which one or both of the attorneys can develop into a fully binding agreement that can be presented to the court in lieu of a trial. If an agreement is not reached, the next step is trial.


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By the time your case is assigned a trial date, it has probably been pending for at least several months or more. As previously mentioned, formal discovery will definitely increase the time spent on your case, usually upwards of at least a couple of months.

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It will also take time to evaluate and review the information obtained during discovery. Sometimes the need for additional discovery arises which continues to add time to your case. A relatively low percentage of divorce cases end up in trial but when they do, it will typically take somewhere between a half a day up to several days to complete. Divorce trials of more than a couple of days are rare. Keep in mind that a lot of time is necessary to prepare for trial beforehand. Your attorney will need a couple of days or more to organize the evidence and prepare a plan for presenting it to the court.

If there are witnesses in addition to the parties they have to be prepared and rehearsed beforehand as well.


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  • By now, you should be clearly understanding the benefits of avoiding trial if at all possible. Just like any other trial, the Petitioner has the burden of proof which means they and their attorney have to present sufficient evidence to prove their position on the issues.


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    • After the Petitioner rests, the Respondent and their attorney present their case which typically is intended to attack and discredit the evidence presented by the Petitioner. After both sides have finished presenting their evidence, the judge typically takes the case under submission which means he or she will review and consider all the evidence before eventually rendering a decision.

      Some judges may render a decision immediately after the presentation of evidence is completed but that is not likely to happen if there are complex and hotly contested positions concerning one or more issues in the case. Even after a post trial judgment is rendered, your case may not be over yet. The appeal process is another whole legal proceeding unto itself which is very time consuming and costly.

      Once again, there are certain deadlines that must be met before the case is even accepted on appeal which is not often the case. Family law appeals are not very common but they do happen especially in cases involving unique or unusual issues that may not have been previously decided by an appellate court.

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      The quickest divorce cases are those with relatively simple and few issues. When there are children from the marriage or there is a substantial amount of property to be evaluated and divided your case may likely take more time. Cooperation and a willingness to compromise are key to a faster resolution of your divorce. Should I Respond or Settle?

      TRIAL By the time your case is assigned a trial date, it has probably been pending for at least several months or more. About Gary R. Cooley Law School. He is known as a transparent and highly personable divorce lawyer with the experience to succeed. The staff is so friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable.

      I can't thank them enough for all they did for me and my family! The entire staff has been absolutely wonderful. If it weren't Jonathan Frederick and Gary Warren, I don't know what would have happened with my kids. These guys pulled through for me big time Follow Us. Google Rating. Angela MyLife 07 Jun We worked with Chris and other staff. Chris from the start really worked with us as we were unsure what to do next and what was the best option for us.

      Alternatively, if a court emancipates the child or if the child is emancipated through marriage, the child support obligation may terminate. If you are concerned about the amount of child support that you need to receive or that you are being ordered to pay, you should consult the divorce lawyers at our Dallas law firm. Paternity is sometimes in doubt. It may be necessary to establish paternity in order for certain rights and obligations to become clear.

      Paternity suits in which paternity is determined through a blood test may be brought so that a biological father can secure visitation rights, or a mother can secure child support from a father who is unwilling to pay. In some cases, it is necessary to bring a paternity suit, but paternity can also be established through a signed acknowledgement of paternity form or through presumption. The presumption is that someone is presumed to be the father of a child when the mother and he are married and a child is born during the marriage or within days of a divorce.

      A presumption can also be established when someone marries the biological mother after the birth of the child and voluntarily claims paternity or represents to others that a child with whom he lives for the child's first two years is his. Under this law, a pre-marital agreement needs to be in writing and signed by the affianced people before they marry.

      Both people are supposed to disclose their debts and assets before signing, and they must be signing the agreement in contemplation of marriage. Pre-marital agreements and post-marital agreements can change default property rights, so it is crucial for each partner to be fully apprised of the other's financial situation.

      There are certain conditions that can result in an agreement not being enforceable, such as an unconscionable agreement or involuntariness. After a divorce, the ex-spouses' situations may change significantly. Sometimes a divorce decree or child custody arrangement should be modified. Whoever is asking for a change should retain a Dallas divorce lawyer to seek the modification before the situation becomes such that he or she cannot comply at all. In order to obtain a modification of a child support order, for example, you usually need to prove a material and substantial change in circumstances.

      Such a change might exist if you were in an accident and became disabled to the point that you could no longer work and therefore could not pay child support. Often, it becomes necessary after a divorce to enforce court orders related to child custody, child support, or alimony. Parents are not allowed to stop paying support because the other parent has not allowed them to visit with the child.

      Similarly, a custodial parent cannot withhold possession and access rights because the other parent is in arrears on child support. Instead, an enforcement proceeding should be brought with the help of an experienced divorce lawyer in the Dallas area. It may be appropriate, for example, to request an order for contempt of court, which can result in a jail sentence of up to six months and a fine. Divorces often become acrimonious, but they do not need to be.

      At the McClure Law Group, we are experienced in using alternative dispute resolution methods. The divorce paperwork can be filed on the fourth floor of the New Tower at the George L. Allen, Sr. Courts Building at Commerce Street. Here you can find directions to Dallas courthouses. A Dallas divorce may take sixty 60 days or longer from the day you file for divorce for the court to make the divorce official. Sixty days is generally the minimum "waiting period," which can be used to cool-down and reconcile or to reach an agreement regarding the specifics of the divorce.

      If you and your spouse can agree on the terms of the divorce, the court will generally honor that agreement. If not, you may have to present the unsettled issues to a judge or jury to decide. The decree of divorce officially grants the divorce and determines big issues, like child custody or child support.

      The decree also divides any marital property you and your spouse have in common, like a home, cars, or debt that you share. It can also deal with property in your possession, including clothes, furniture, books, etc. A divorce can be difficult, especially with an uncooperative spouse, and having an attorney may make the process simpler. If you're thinking about getting divorced -- or have already started the process -- contact an experienced divorce attorney near you who can help ensure that your divorce puts problems behind you, instead of creating new problems that can follow you for years.

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