Contested Divorce

Divorce Attorneys in Houston, Texas

A divorce is contested when the spouses cannot agree on one or more issues, such as child support, custody and visitation, or property division.

How much will my divorce cost?

Each case is unique, and the cost may vary greatly depending on the issue. Generally, divorces involving children and high net worth estates tend to be more expensive. Some divorces require little help from an attorney and can be done without a huge expense. The more issues can be resolved between the parties, the more time and money will be saved. Mediation is another useful tool that helps the spouses reach an agreement without a costly trial.  Retaining a divorce attorney who knows Texas divorce law inside and out is important.

Contested divorce houston

What is Mediation?

As detailed in our blog article, “Why Mediation is Better than Trial” mediation is a form of “alternative dispute resolution” that employs a neutral third party to help divorcing spouses reach an agreement.   More and more courts are requiring mediation once a Houston divorce is filed.  Each spouse will appear at mediation with their attorney.  The parties are usually separated; a third lawyer (the mediator) works together to find common ground.  Mediation is a great resource for families as it facilitates custom agreements that the courts would not otherwise order.   The divorce terms can be agreed upon in mediation, and the lawyer can begin finalizing the paperwork. As a seasoned divorce lawyer, Mr. Rudisel can evaluate and prepare your case for mediation.

How long will my divorce take?

Once an Original Petition for Divorce is filed, parties must wait at least 60 days before their divorce can be granted. These 60 days are generally called a “cooling off” period. Some divorces may take longer if the parties negotiate the divorce terms, such as property division, custody of children, etc. A party or the court may schedule a hearing if a settlement cannot be reached within 60 days. At this hearing, the judge or jury will hear from each side and decide on issues that are not agreed upon. An average Houston divorce takes six to nine months when issues cannot be agreed upon. Uncontested divorces are generally complete at the 60-day mark.

How will my husband or wife be served with the divorce papers?

A Constable or a private process server usually serves legal papers. At The Rudisel Law Firm, P.C., we use only the best private process servers to expedite our clients’ cases. We can have a party served day or night, at work or home. We work closely with our clients and process servers to ensure children are not present when papers are delivered and that each service is handled respectfully and professionally. If a spouse agrees to sign the required papers, we can mail them, saving our clients time and money. There are also methods for serving spouses who you cannot find or are avoiding contact with you. Visit our page on missing spouses and divorce for a more in-depth discussion.

I have been served with lawsuit paperwork. What do I do now?

If you have been formally served with a lawsuit, you must contact a Houston divorce attorney immediately. Once served, a party must take action within a specified time or face a possible default judgment. Such a judgment may severely affect one’s rights. Remember, sometimes service may be provided via mail. If you receive any legal documents in the mail referring to a lawsuit, contact an attorney immediately.

What are Temporary Orders?

Once a divorce is filed, parties may need a hearing for Temporary Orders.  This hearing determines the “ground rules” they must abide by until the divorce is final. Temporary Orders generally address matters such as temporary child custody and support, who gets to reside in the marital home, what visitation schedule the parties will follow, who pays the marital bills, temporary spousal maintenance, and any other issue in dispute. We will assist you in determining whether or not Temporary Orders are necessary.

I just moved to Texas… when can I file for divorce?

Before filing for divorce, at least one of the parties must have been a Texas domiciliary (i.e., resident) for at least six (6) months and a county resident where he or she filed for divorce for at least the preceding 90 days.

Who gets the house, and who has to move out?

You and your spouse should decide who leaves and who stays. If you disagree, the only legal option is to file for divorce and let a judge decide.  It can take several weeks to get in front of a judge once a divorce petition is filed. A Texas family court judge will generally not force someone to move out of the house without a hearing. There are exceptions in cases involving family violence. This means you may share the house with the spouse you are divorcing for a few weeks. This can be very awkward and even dangerous It might be best to temporarily move out and stay with a friend or family member until your court hearing. If you do so, the Texas family judge can order that your spouse move out and allow you to move back in. In virtually all cases, the judge will order that one of the spouses temporarily have exclusive use of the house while the divorce is pending. The house will be awarded to one of the spouses or sold when the divorce is final.  Visit our blog and read the following articles for more details:

Need a Houston Divorce Lawyer?

The Rudisel Law Firm, P.C., will skillfully represent you or a family member in a contested or uncontested divorce. We understand that no one “wins” a divorce, and a costly, nasty court fight can ensure everyone involved loses. Mr. Rudisel and his staff have the experience to navigate the toughest divorces, resulting in the best possible outcomes for his clients.

Contact Today for Your Free Case Evaluation. 713-781-7775

If you are on the verge of divorce, call The Rudisel Law Firm, P.C. Our Divorce Attorneys in Houston have the knowledge, trial experience, and professional staff necessary to protect you, your family, and your property.