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Austin divorce litigation attorneyIn Texas, the divorce process begins when one spouse files a petition for dissolution of marriage with the court. The other spouse will be notified that the divorce has been initiated, usually by having a process server provide them with a copy of the petition. At this point, the non-filing spouse has the option to file an answer to the petition. In many cases, a couple will work to negotiate a settlement and complete an uncontested divorce. However, if a case involves high levels of conflict, or if a couple cannot reach agreements on certain issues, they may need to resolve matters in court. In these situations, couples will need to understand what steps how a contested divorce will be handled.

Steps Followed in a Contested Divorce

A contested divorce will usually involve the following phases:

  • Temporary orders - During the divorce process, the court has the authority to issue temporary orders to address important matters that need immediate attention. These orders can cover issues such as child custody, child support, alimony, and other relevant matters. Temporary orders issued by a judge may remain in place until the divorce has been finalized, although they may be superseded by subsequent orders as needed.


Adultery and High Asset Divorces

Posted on in Contested Divorce

Texas high asset divorce lawyer, Texas complex litigation attorney, Texas complex divorce lawyer, What bearing does the recent data breach at the adultery site Ashley Madison have on high-asset divorces in and around Travis County?

The Toronto-based company now faces several class-action lawsuits after hackers broke into the site and obtained personal information of about 39 million users, many of whom paid an additional $19 for a "permanent account deletion" that apparently never happened. Canadian lawyers quickly filed a class-action lawsuit against parent companies Avid Dating Life and Avid Life Media, demanding $578 million in damages. The lead plaintiff there is a Canadian man who joined the site briefly after his wife died from breast cancer.

Several similar lawsuits are already pending in Missouri and California.


Marital Fault in Texas

Posted on in Contested Divorce

Texas high asset divorce lawyer, Texas marital laws, Texas complex litigation attorney, Although the vast majority of Texas divorces are filed under the no-fault law, there are times that an evidenced-based action may be more appropriate, particularly in a high-asset divorce.

For many people, a no-fault divorce is not a good option for religious or moral reasons. An evidenced-based divorce helps them paint a picture of an out-of-control relationship which was far beyond salvaging. In a similar vein, some spouses may want to portray themselves as victims. There is another reason. Texas is rather unique in that a judge may consider fault in the marriage as a basis for an unequal property distribution. Specifically, "marital misconduct" is one of the listed factors to determine the amount and frequency of maintenance payments.

The grounds for divorce, as well as some possible defenses, are laid out in Section 6 of the Family Code.


Different U.S. states have different divorce laws, and this post will concentrate on the grounds upon which a divorce can be sought in Texas. The grounds for divorce are part of the information that needs to be provided in the Petition for Divorce. In addition to this blog post, the grounds for a Texas divorce petition can be found, for example, on divorcesource.com.

The appropriate lawful grounds, if agreed upon and substantiated by the parties, are:

  1. No Fault. If the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroys legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation, the court may grant a divorce without regard to fault.
  2. Cruelty. If one spouse is guilty of cruel treatment toward the complaining spouse of a nature that makes living together insupportable, the court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse.
  3. Adultery. The court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other has committed adultery.
  4. Conviction Of Felony. If during the marriage one spouse: has been convicted of a felony; has been imprisoned for at least one year in the State Penitentiary, a Federal Penitentiary or the penitentiary of another state; and has not been pardoned. Although, the court may not grant a divorce under this section against a spouse who was convicted on the testimony of the other spouse.

Note that these are not the only grounds for divorce in Texas. When you need help with your divorce filing or proceedings, it is in your best interests to contact an experienced divorce attorney in your area. Check our served areas and contact our offices for a consultation.

Fault and No-Fault Divorce in Texas IMAGEThere are seven grounds, or reasons, for divorce available by Texas state law, and six of them require that there be a fault assigned to one party or the other. Only on the grounds of insupportability, "that the marriage can no longer continue because of disagreements or differences that cannot be resolved," can there be a no-fault ruling, according to WomensLaw.org. Any other reason for divorce requires that one spouse blame the other for the divorce. These reasons include cruelty, adultery, conviction of a felony, abandonment, living apart, and confinement in a mental hospital.

An at-fault divorce reason is used to determine the equitable distribution of property. "For that reason," according to Divorcenet.com, "you may want to include fault grounds in your petition for a divorce." That is to say, if you're shying away from an at-fault divorce in the interest of keeping things less messy, you could actually be harming your post-divorce life. Equitable property distribution assumes that any property or material items owned during the marriage is owned equally between the two parties. If you have separate property, according to Divorcenet.com, you "have to prove it by tracing it with clear and convincing evidence."

Bear in mind that in Texas you can receive temporary spousal support while a case is pending, but there are no regulated guidelines to determine whether or not you deserve it. This will have to be determined with the assistance of a qualified family law attorney. Reasons that spousal support could be warranted include (but are not limited to): a family violence conviction, if one party has been married for 10 or more years and does not have the ability to re-enter the workforce, or if one party cannot make enough money to support minimal needs due to a mental or physical disability.

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