Jim Walker, Attorney
The Divorce Process
So, you’ve decided on divorce or your spouse decided for you, now what? The need for a divorce attorney arises at a difficult time in your life. Having a local divorce attorney will make the process easier for you and will make your divorce go more smoothly.
The divorce process can become very complicated, and an experienced and knowledgeable divorce attorney in your corner is absolutely in your best interest.
Prepare for Divorce
Although it is not required in Texas, you may consider counseling before filing for divorce if you believe the marriage can be reconciled. But, in the event that divorce is the chosen path, we’ll help you prepare. Don’t post anything on social media that you wouldn’t want a judge to see. Hire a good divorce lawyer and don’t take legal advice from friends or family…even if they’ve been through a divorce themselves. Listen to your attorney who knows the details of your exact situation. In Texas, if you have not been a resident for at least six months, you can’t file for a Texas divorce. Texas Family Code § 6.301(1). Generally, you or the spouse must also have been a resident of the county in which you file for 90 days. Texas Family Code § 6.301(2). Many counties, including Rockwall, Dallas, Collin, Kaufman and Denton, have a “Standing Order” that require and prohibit certain conduct and take effect as soon as the divorce is filed. Make sure you are aware of your rights, duties and obligations under this order, which your attorney should guide you through and explain.
Open a bank account in your name
In the anticipation that you and your spouse will be separating finances, you’ll need your own bank account. If you have any accounts solely in your name, change the passwords and login information. Do not clean out any bank accounts, retirement funds, destroy or hide any community assets. Spouses in Texas have a duty to support one another, you have a fiduciary duty regarding community property, and such actions likely violate any Standing Order.
Create an inventory and document property
If you haven’t already done so, take video or photos of high-value items. Gather documentation and make copies or store in a safe place. Examples of documentation are:
Deeds to real estate property
Statements of debt (mortgages, care loans, medical, student debt)
Insurance (Life Insurance, Annuities, HSA, Medical Savings, etc.)
Social Security Cards
With all that goes in to a divorce, you don’t want to do this alone and you don’t want to be unprepared or make any mistakes. Call us at 214-227-9812 to schedule a consultation.