“The whole firm was very caring and empathetic towards the situation and I couldn’t have asked for better legal representation!”
– Former Client
Whether you’ve mutually decided it’s time to end your marriage or your spouse has sprung divorce papers on you without warning, the road ahead is best navigated with the support and counsel of a trusted divorce lawyer in San Antonio, TX.
At The Law Office of Derek S. Ritchie, PLLC, we offer personalized service and aggressive, client-focused representation to people filing for divorce in San Antonio. Our family law legal team wants to help you start the next chapter of your life on the right foot.
At The Law Office of Derek S. Ritchie, PLLC, we handle:
First, hire a divorce attorney near you to assist and represent you through the divorce process. Once you have representation, here are the first steps in filing for divorce in San Antonio:
Before filing divorce papers, however, the first step you should really take is to consult a Bexar County divorce lawyer. A local divorce attorney can help you with the paperwork, ensure that no errors are made, and provide support and guidance as you file for divorce. Call The Law Office of Derek S. Ritchie at (210) 775-2000 to learn how we can help you!
No one ever expects their marriage to ultimately end in divorce, but it is an unfortunate reality for many. For many, the divorce process is their first encounter with the court system and many are unfamiliar with some of the basics of what the experience entails or requires.
Although Texas provides grounds for a no-fault divorce, which is also known as irreconcilable differences, the state also recognizes divorce based on fault. In Texas, potential grounds for divorce include adultery, abandonment, cruelty, felony conviction, and confinement in a mental hospital.
Before you can file for divorce in Texas, you must meet the state’s residency requirement. You or your spouse must have lived in the state for at least 6 months and be a resident in the county where you wish to file for divorce for at least 3 months. If you meet these requirements, the court can potentially finalize your divorce 60 days after the initial filing.
There are several key issues that must be addressed in a divorce, including property and asset division, alimony, child support, and child custody, each of which can take a considerable amount of time to resolve if you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement any of them. When spouses cannot agree on one or more of these issues, they will have a contested divorce. However, if you find yourselves on the same page, you may have an uncontested divorce.
When rendering a decision regarding your children, whether it be child custody or child support, a judge will always put their best interests first.
Below are some of the factors a judge will consider when determining custody:
When it comes to dividing property and assets, Texas is a community property state, which means all marital property will be divided equally. Additionally, alimony is only granted under specific circumstances. For example, the court will examine the duration of the marriage, any contributions a spouse made as a homemaker, and the earning ability of the spouse who is seeking alimony.
Our San Antonio Divorce Lawyers Take a Tailored Approach
Though we will strive to help you finalize your divorce through mediation, arbitration, or some other form of alternative dispute resolution, we believe that no one should feel pressured to accept a less-than-ideal settlement. Our divorce lawyers in San Antonio, TX recognize that sometimes, litigation is necessary. Should we feel that taking your case to the courtroom will yield better results, we are always prepared to do so.
A: In Bexar County, the filing fee for divorce is $293 without children or $344 with children. Keep in mind that this is not the final cost of divorce, since it does not include attorney fees or any additional court or filing fees that may arise during the divorce process.
A: Texas allows for both fault-based and no-fault divorce. If a Texas couple wants to file for no-fault divorce, then they would do so using the reason of “insupportability”. This simply means that the marriage can no longer be supported. No further reasons need to be given. Additional ways to file for no-fault divorce include: Separation – If the couple has been living apart for 3 or more years, then they can file for a no-fault divorce. Mental Instability – If one spouse has been in a mental hospital for 3 or more years with an unlikely recovery, then the other spouse can file for no-fault divorce. However, Texas also allows for a spouse to file for fault-based divorce. The primary grounds include: Cruelty Adultery Felony Abandonment
A: In Texas, you are not required to be separated before filing for divorce. However, one of the grounds for divorce in Texas is “living apart” – if you and your spouse have not cohabited for at least three (3) years, then you could file for divorce based on living apart.
A: The fastest a divorce can be finalized in Texas is 60 days, because there is a required 60-day waiting period from the date you file your petition for divorce until the date a divorce decree can be finalized. That being said, most divorce cases take longer. Uncontested divorces generally take a few months, while contested divorces often take a year or longer to be finalized due to busy court schedules and complex issues like custody and support disputes.
A: Divorce is a complex and very personal legal process, especially in contested cases. There are countless things that you should and should not do during the divorce process, but here is a good starting list of what not to do in a divorce:
A: No one can decide for you when you want to file for divorce. The best advice we can give you as a divorce law firm is to listen to your gut and remember that you deserve to be happy. For more information about deciding to divorce or not, you might be interested in speaking with a marriage counselor.
A: You do not need your spouse’s approval or permission to file for divorce. If you want a divorce, then you can start those proceedings on your own and with the help of an attorney. Finalizing your divorce and figuring out a fair divorce agreement will be a bigger challenge if your spouse does not want to divorce and will not cooperate, but it is not impossible.
A: At some point, your Texas divorce will bring you to the courtroom for the final hearing. This process involves the judge reviewing the final divorce agreement and approving it, assuming that it has been drafted legally and fairly. If you and your spouse cooperate during the steps of divorce, though, then this might be the only time you have to go to court. For all other court appearances, an attorney can usually stand in your place and act on your behalf. With this said, many people divorce and only go to court once.
A: In Texas, a divorce attorney cannot represent both spouses, even if each spouse wants to get a divorce. This division is caused by the fact that a divorce is technically a lawsuit and representing both parties would be a blatant conflict of interest.
A: The majority of divorces in Texas are public records that can be accessed by interested parties. Some details might be omitted for confidentiality, such as if a pending domestic violence case pertains to the completed divorce. Overall, though, you can assume that information about your divorce can be searched in Texas state records.
A: A divorce is not complete until the divorce agreement is approved during a final court hearing. Up until that point, the divorce proceedings can be canceled if the spouses reconcile and want to stay together. If the divorce was started by one spouse, then that one spouse can withdraw the petition. But if it was started by both spouses, then both need to agree to withdraw.