Is There A Way To Divorce Without Going To Court In Sugar Land TX
A divorce is a daunting concept for spouses. This is often exacerbated by the thought of an emotional and potentially hostile divorce trial where spouses fight over marital assets, support payments, and custody of their children. However, this does not have to be the case. With expert legal counsel, even spouses that do not initially agree with each other can avoid unnecessary time in family law court.
It is possible to complete a divorce with very minimal time in the courtroom. The minimum requirement for a divorce in Sugar Land is that a couple will need to appear in front of a Judge for a final hearing. This option is only possible if both spouses and their attorneys have come to a joint agreement on divorce terms. Spouses do not have to initially agree on all elements of their divorce, such as property division and child custody, but they will need to reach an agreement without the need for a Judge to avoid a trial.
Legal representation from a skilled negotiator, who can both defend your interests and broker common ground with your ex to reach an agreement, is essential to avoid trial. To avoid the lengthy process of arguments and tension that typically come with a divorce, you will need a skilled divorce attorney to support a productive negotiation of terms while fighting for your best interests.
A reputable divorce lawyer can help you avoid a trial in your divorce through expert negotiation. However, if a trial is necessary to ensure your best interests are protected, Skillern Firm attorneys will not hesitate to fight for your rights in the courtroom.
To speak to a Sugar Land divorce attorney today, contact Skillern Firm by calling 936-213-8479.
The Divorce Process In Sugar Land
The divorce process can look different for everyone, depending on their specific circumstances. The steps are roughly the same, but how long each step will take and the involvement of the court depends on a couple’s ability to reach decisions on key elements, such as asset division and child visitation. Reputable legal counsel can aid productive discussions between spouses and support you to smoothly navigate the family law system.
Filing For Divorce
To start the divorce process in Sugar Land, a spouse will file a divorce petition with the district clerk and will be assigned to a Court. The other spouse will be served with divorce papers to which they have 20 days to file a response. A spouse may agree to the divorce and the proposed terms or submit a counter-proposal.
During this stage, the petitioning spouse will cite their justification for divorce, such as insupportability, for a no-fault divorce or adultery for a fault-based divorce.
Agreeing On Divorce Terms
The process of agreeing on the terms of the divorce, including property division, spousal support, and child custody, is the most critical step of the divorce process. Spouses can discuss their proposed terms privately with their attorneys or through a formal mediation process.
Formal mediation is an out-of-court process with a neutral third party and both spouses and their attorneys. This process can be voluntary or court-ordered and can help divorcing couples reach mutual agreements without the need for a trial.
If spouses are not able to reach an agreement on any element included in their divorce terms, they will need to go to trial, where a Judge will make the final decision. During a divorce trial, both spouses and their attorneys present evidence in favor of their proposed terms, as opposed to the other spouse’s. It may be during a trial that a spouse presents evidence arguing that certain assets are or are not community property and should be divided in the divorce accordingly.
A trial is the last resort to resolve issues between a divorcing couple. However, if negotiation and mediation are unsuccessful, it may be necessary to ensure you receive the fair outcome that you are entitled to.
Finalizing The Divorce
Once the final divorce terms, outlining asset division, child custody arrangements, and spousal support payments, have been decided, either in trial or outside of court, these are outlined in the divorce decree. The final decree is a court order. Failure to adhere to the terms could result in a spouse being held in contempt of court.
Potential Complications In A Contested Divorce
During a divorce, spouses must reach decisions upon potentially life-changing arrangements, such as the share of marital assets given to each spouse. Unsurprisingly, key issues are often a source of disagreement and debate, and divorcing couples rarely agree on proposed divorce terms. As such, contested divorces are commonplace across the United States and in Sugar Land.
When disagreements arise and friction builds between parties, many complications can emerge that elongate the divorce process, which can make coming to an agreement more challenging. Often, this tension can be exacerbated by the underlying emotion and potential animosity that occurs between a divorcing couple.
An experienced divorce lawyer can be invaluable when dealing with contested divorce complications. They can often pre-empt the methods your ex may use and implement strategies and measures to combat them before they cause too much harm or delay to your case.
Some may think that an uncontested divorce is an ideal situation. However, this can also carry risks. Not only are uncontested divorces a rare occurrence, but if entered into without legal representation, they can leave spouses vulnerable to manipulation and pressure from the other party.
False allegations such as adultery and domestic violence can arise from a disgruntled spouse in an effort to discredit you in the courtroom and sway the proceedings in their favor. Not only can this be extremely detrimental to the final divorce settlement if successful, but it is also likely to substantially elongate the divorce process. Some spouses use this tactic purely to draw out the process and increase the cost of legal fees for the other spouse.
High Asset Divorces
An essential element of a divorce is deciding how marital assets and property will be divided between spouses. This is often a complex process in which spouses debate whether assets are considered community property and thus subject to division. Texas law states that community property should be divided in a ‘just and right’ manner between a divorcing couple. This does not necessarily mean an equal split. What constitutes just and right can often be another source of contention.
These complications are further amplified in situations of high-net-worth and high-asset individuals. In these situations, the number of assets a couple must divide increases substantially, often complicating and elongating the process. Similarly, the inclusion of family business assets can also bring complexities.
The presence of domestic violence in a marriage can complicate the divorce process. The most dangerous time for a victim of domestic violence is when they leave their spouse. The safety of both spouses is paramount, and additional steps can be taken to protect victims of domestic violence during a divorce. In cases involving domestic violence, a reputable attorney can apply for a court injunction or protective order to prevent your spouse from contacting you, allowing you space from your ex.
In cases of domestic violence, a Judge may also waive the mandatory 60-day waiting period for a Texas divorce. The safety of domestic violence victims and their families is of the utmost importance. Although an attorney can help victims with court processes and protection orders, victims should also seek support from the local authorities to ensure their safety.
Can an attorney help with my divorce?
Skilled legal representation will have a dramatic impact on the ease of your divorce process and the final outcome. Legal counsel can also affect how much time you are likely to spend in court. A reputable Sugar Land divorce lawyer will negotiate and develop a compelling, evidence-based argument to increase the likelihood of a successful outcome through negotiation and mediation, as opposed to a trial.
In addition to expert negotiation skills, your attorney will maintain professionalism and will treat your spouse with respect, while fighting for a successful outcome for you. This objective and professional stance can be extremely beneficial for removing emotion from the situation, reducing tension between parties, and helping to work towards an agreement.
If your case does end up at trial, your divorce attorney will defend your interests and develop a compelling argument to fight for the best possible outcome for you and your family.
Skillern Firm Sugar Land Divorce Lawyers
Skillern Firm Sugar Land divorce attorneys are highly experienced in handling the sensitive nature of divorces. We understand that many spouses want a timely divorce with as little stress as possible. To achieve this, successful communication and negotiation with your spouse and their attorney is essential.
Skillern Firm attorneys are professional and respectful but also firm and stern in their negotiations. If you are represented by Skillern Firm, your attorney will use their extensive experience to secure a successful outcome that reflects your best interests, while ensuring you spend no more time than necessary in the courtroom.
Contact Skillern Firm Today
If you are considering a divorce but are concerned about the stress of the process and the amount of time you will spend in court, Skillern Firm can help. We will work with you to reduce the burden on you and your family and ensure the process is as smooth as possible. To speak to an experienced divorce attorney about how the process could look for you, contact Skillern Firm today at 936-213-8479.