Do You Charge For Consultations?
Yes, I do charge a nominal fee of $100 for consultations. If you decide to hire me after your consultation, then that fee is applied to your first invoice.
At your consultation, we will go over the facts of your case, how a court might view your case, your goals in resolving the case, and the options for achieving those goals.
What Happens When I Contact You To Schedule A Consultation?
First, I will coordinate with you to schedule a day and time to meet that works with your schedule.
Second, I will send you an online intake form to complete through my client portal system that provides me with basic information about your potential case. I will also send you an invoice for the consultation fee through the client portal.
Last, I will send you a confirmation email that contains a Prospective Client Information Packet with a wealth of information on the divorce process and applicable lows.
How Much Does It Cost to Get Divorced?
I offer clients two options for fees. The first option is a traditional hourly fee model where I bill for all time spent working on your case. My current hourly rate is $250/hr.
The second option is a fixed fee divorce where you pay a fixed amount for each phase of your divorce case. The fixed fee model is specific the needs and facts of your case. I can provide you with a fixed fee quote after a consultation.
Can One Attorney Represent Me and My Spouse?
No. Due to conflict of interest rules an attorney may not ethically represent you and your spouse.
However, that does not mean your spouse needs an attorney. In agreed divorces it is common for one spouse to hire an attorney to draft the documents and the other spouse merely signs off on them.
How Long Does It Take To Get Divorced?
Texas has a statutory 60 day waiting period from the date of filing the petition before a final decree of divorce may be entered with very limited exceptions.
Realistically, unless your case involves an agreed divorce, you should expect the case to take a minimum of 6 months.
What Is An Agreed Divorce?
An agreed divorce is a case where you and your spouse agree on each and every issue in your case. This means property division, child custody, child support and any spousal maintenance.
In agreed divorces, the attorney is merely drafting the legal documents to complete the divorce based on the information you provide. The attorney is not negotiating with your spouse, conducting discovery, or prosecuting the case.
What Is A Contested Divorce?
A contested case is any case where you and your spouse do not agree on each and every issue. Even when you agree on most issues, if there is any area of disagreement then it is a contested case.
What Is A No Fault Divorce?
Texas is a no fault divorce state meaning that you do not have to prove the fault of either spouse to get a divorce.
The legal standard in Texas for a no fault divorce is that the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation
The short version of that is “insupportability.”
What Is A Fault Divorce?
A fault divorce is a divorce granted on a ground other than insupportability.
In Texas, the fault grounds for divorce are: cruelty, adultery, conviction of a felony, abandonment, living apart, and confinement to a mental hospital.
What Are the Residency Requirements to File For Divorce?
To file for divorce, one of the spouses must have been a resident of Texas for the preceding 6 months and a resident of the county in which you file for the preceding 90 days.
Will I Have to Go to Court?
Generally yes, you will have to make at least one court appearance. Even in an agreed divorce, the spouse who files the petition will have to make an appearance at the prove up hearing to complete the divorce.
If your spouse filed for divorce against you, then you may not have to make a court appearance if you reach a settlement as I can appear on your behalf as your attorney.
How Does A Court Decide How To Divide Property?
The legal standard in Texas is a “just and right” division but this is a complicated topic. If you would like more information, then please read my article on the General Rules for Property Division in Texas.
How Does A Court Decide Child Custody Issues?
The legal standard for child custody decisions in Texas is “best interests of the child,” but again, this is a complicated topic. If you would like more information, then please read my article on the General Rules for Child Custody Decisions in a Texas Divorce.
How Much Child Support Will I Pay or Receive?
Texas provides statutory guidelines that establish the amount of child support a spouse is required to pay. You can learn more about this topic by reading my article on General Rules for Child Support in a Texas Divorce.
What Does Community Property Mean?
Texas is a community property state. This means that there is a presumption that all property the spouses own is community property and subject to division during the divorce.
What Is Separate Property?
Separate property is any property you owned prior to divorce or received by gift, devise, or descent as well as any award for personal injuries.
Separate property is not subject to division by the court during a divorce but the burden is on the spouse claiming separate property to establish its character as separate property.
Can My Spouse Get My 401k or Pension?
401k’s and pension type plans are subject to division during divorce if they are community property. The same community property presumption and separate property rules apply, but the rules for division are more complex.
What Is Mediation?
Mediation is a process where a neutral third party mediator will meet with you and I as well as your spouse and his or her attorney. The mediator will shuttle back and forth between the parties to learn about each of their positions and convey settlement offers.
The idea is that a third party privy to information from both sides can facilitate a resolution of the case by helping identify possible avenues of settlement that the parties cannot identify themselves. Many cases will settle at a mediation and mediated settlement agreements are binding on the party.
What Is An Informal Settlement Conference?
An informal settlement conference is a meeting between the parties and their attorneys in an attempt to reach a settlement of the case. An informal settlement conference is a less expensive alternative to mediation.