The Queenan Law Firm

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Arlington Divorce Attorney

Have you reached the point in your marriage that you can no longer work through your differences with your spouse? Many people enter marriage thinking that they will spend the rest of their lives with the other person, however, as time moves on finds that their spouse has changed, or that they are fighting so much that there is no possibility that the marriage can last. In these cases you may find yourself contemplating a divorce.

At the Queenan Law Firm, we tenaciously pursue every case we handle.  Regardless of whether you come to us for assistance with a divorce, a custody dispute, a conflict over property distribution, or you simply have questions about what to include in your prenuptial agreement, we will educate you about your responsibilities while advocating for your rights to the fullest extent possible.  If contention exists between you and your spouse, we aim to use our litigation skills to resolve the dispute in your best interest and that of your children.

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The Different Grounds for Divorce

If you are considering filing for a divorce, then you are probably curious about the grounds for divorce and what they may be.  The Texas Family Code provides for two types of divorces: Fault-based and No-Fault. The differences between these two types of divorce can be summarized that in a fault based divorce one of the spouses either did or not do something that resulted in the marriage ending. In a no-fault divorce the couple may not be able to point to any one single event that resulted in the dissolution of their relationship, however, they are not able to overcome their differences.

In a fault divorce one of the spouses is alleging that the spouse has done something wrong, and that because of their conduct they are seeking a divorce. The Texas Family Code provides for six grounds for a fault-based divorce as follows:

  • Cruel Treatment - A divorce may be decreed if the other spouse is guilty of cruel treatment toward the complaining spouse. Cruel treatment is the kind of treatment that renders further living together insupportable. It is not necessary to demonstrate that one spouse physically abused another for the court to grant a fault-based divorce for cruel treatment.
  • Adultery – A divorce may be decreed in favor of one spouse if the other spouse has committed adultery.
  • Conviction of Felony where a spouse is imprisoned for at Least One Year - If a party to a marriage has been convicted of a felony and has been imprisoned in either a state or federal penitentiary for at least one year then the court may grant a fault-based divorce.
  • Abandonment for More than One Year - "A divorce may be decreed in favor of one spouse if the other spouse left the complaining spouse with the intention of abandonment and remained away for at least one year."
  • Living Apart for at Least Three Years - A divorce may be decreed in favor of either spouse if the spouses have lived apart without cohabitation for at least three years.
  • Confinement in Mental Hospital for at Least Three Years - A divorce may be decreed in favor of one spouse if the other spouse has been confined in a federal, state, or private mental hospital for at least three years, and "it appears that the spouse's mental disorder is of such a degree and nature that he is not likely to adjust, or that if he adjusts, it is probable that he will suffer a relapse."

A no-fault divorce, on the other hand, is based on something known as “insupportability.” This means that regardless of any fault the marriage has broken down because of “discord or conflict of the personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.” This type of divorce generally is less contentious that a fault-based divorce, however, even in these divorce proceedings what starts as a rather easy process can devolve into intense and rigorous litigation.

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How Long does it take to get a Divorce?

Divorces can take much longer to accomplish than it does to get married.  To begin, in order for a person to file for divorce in Texas, they need to be a resident of the state for a continuous six-month period before they file.  This is important because if the person filing for divorce has not been in the state for this amount of time then the court may not have the authority, or the jurisdiction, to hear the case.

Even if you and your spouse want to get divorced as soon as possible and are in one-hundred percent agreement about every single aspect of your divorce, you still must wait at least 60 days after the Original Petition for Divorce has been filed for the judge to finalize the decree.  However, in most cases there are some things that the spouses do not agree on and therefore it can take much longer. For example, after the Original Petition for Divorce has been filed and served on the other spouse, the responding spouse, appropriately named the respondent, will have 20 days from the date they were served to respond to the petition with their own answer. This alone can extend the divorce process nearly a month. However, if the couple has more serious disputes this process can take well over six months to a year while the case moved through mediations, arbitrations, and ultimately a trial.

If You Are a Party to a Divorce Proceeding an Arlington, Texas Lawyer Can Help

To set up a free legal consultation about your family law matter, call the Queenan Law Firm at (817) 719-8082.  With more than 20 years of legal experience successfully representing clients throughout Texas, our attorneys are always eager to put our knowledge and skill to work for you.

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