Killeen Divorce Attorneys
Comprehensive divorce representation in Harker Heights, Waco, Copperas Cove and across Central Texas
If you’re facing divorce, whether a mutual decision or not, you probably have a lot of questions and concerns. All of the issues surrounding a marriage split, like spousal maintenance, child support and custody or division of assets and property can feel overwhelming. Whether you’ve been married for five years or 40 years, every divorce has issues that will need addressing, and experienced divorce attorneys can provide the knowledge and peace of mind you’ll need at this point in your life.
The Killeen family law attorneys at the Mary Beth Harrell Law Firm are on your side. We have considerable experience working with families just like yours, and are happy to advocate for you as well. We can help you navigate the uncertain waters of a divorce, not only providing the objective and knowledgeable guidance you need, but also protecting the rights of your family. We can also advise military families with divorce matters.
Eligibility for divorce in Central Texas
If you’re planning on filing for divorce, the first thing you should do is ensure you’re eligible to file here in Texas. Either you or your spouse must be a continuous resident of the state for at least six months. And, at least one of you will have to have been a resident of the county in which you’re filing for at least 90 days.
What are the grounds for divorce in Texas?
Texas offers no-fault divorce, and the paperwork will typically list the cause of a no-fault divorce as “insupportability,” which doesn’t place blame on either party. Here are the seven grounds for divorce under state law:
- Insupportability. This means any kind of personality conflict or discord that prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.
- Living apart. For this, the spouses must have lived apart, without any type of cohabitation, for at least three years.
- Confinement in a mental hospital. For this ground of divorce, one spouse must be confined in a mental hospital for at least three years, with the mental disorder of such a nature that adjustment is unlikely.
- Cruelty. This occurs when one spouse treats the other in a cruel or abusive manner and living together is intolerable.
- Abandonment. This means one spouse has intentionally left the other and remained away for at least one year.
- Conviction of a felony. You can be granted a divorce if your spouse was convicted of a felony, imprisoned for at least a year or has not been pardoned.
- Adultery. Adultery is formally called “the voluntary sexual intercourse of a married person with one not the husband or wife of the offender.” You must be able to prove the adultery to the court.
Our Killeen divorce attorneys can talk to you about the various grounds for divorce, and what may be the best option for you.
How long does it take to get divorced in Texas?
Nobody wants their divorce to drag on longer than necessary. It can be expensive and stressful. Our job is to make your divorce as efficient and quick as possible, but there are minimum waiting periods with paperwork and hearings. Factors like whether or not your divorce is contested, as well as negotiating or litigating the terms of your divorce settlement also affect how long it may take.
Here in Texas, there’s a minimum 60-day waiting period between your initial filing and the court issuing your final divorce decree. Typically the court won’t allow a hearing until 60 days after the filing, considering it a “cooling off” period where the spouses have some time to consider if the divorce is what they really want. However, in cases of domestic violence, this period can be waived.
After the 60 days, the court schedules a hearing. Exactly how long the divorce will take depends on factors like the court schedule and the complexities involved in your marriage. Generally, most divorces take longer than two months to complete.
Do I have to be separated before I file for divorce?
Texas doesn’t recognize legal separation, so it’s not necessary to be separated before filing for divorce. However, during the time that your divorce is pending, you may consider talking to our Killeen divorce and family law attorneys to begin the process of dividing your property and assets, and begin designing your divorce agreement. This will help move along the process.
Can I get my marriage annulled?
Under Texas law, you may annul a marriage for a number of reasons:
- Force or duress
- Influence of drugs or alcohol
- Mental incapacity
- One of the individuals is less than 18 years old
You may file for annulment of a marriage if one or both of the individuals were between 16 and 18 years old, and the marriage occurred without parental consent. In this situation, a concerned party can petition for annulment. However, you can’t petition after the underage spouse turns eighteen. We can answer any questions you may have about annulment.
Who gets the house in a divorce?
Here in Texas, the court works by the theory of community property. This means they assume all property and assets acquired during the marriage belongs to both spouses. Our attorneys have a variety of strategies to help you achieve your goals regarding your home.
Is Texas an alimony state?
Yes, although it’s not referred to as alimony – the state of Texas calls it spousal maintenance or sometimes spousal support. Spousal maintenance is sometimes awarded to one spouse after a divorce, to provide them with the necessary financial resources to maintain their standard of living. Spousal maintenance can be temporary or long-term; however, it is not automatically awarded nor is there any presumption of who will pay and who will receive. The court considers specific factors when determining if a spouse should receive maintenance, including:
- Age of each spouse
- Earning capacity of spouse seeking support
- Length of marriage
- Non-financial contributions of spouse seeking support
- Various related factors
We can talk to you about how to best protect your financial interests during your divorce.
Dos and don’ts during your divorce
If you’re facing divorce, or are in the midst of your divorce, we recommend you consider these dos and don’ts in order to protect your case.
- Put the best interests of your children first with every decision.
- Follow all court orders and deadlines.
- If circumstances allow, engage with your spouse as cooperatively as possible.
- Be honest. Attempting to hide facts or assets will make the process more difficult and costly.
- Consult with reliable and tough family law attorneys.
- Move or hide assets. This looks suspicious to the court and could affect your divorce settlement.
- Use your children as bargaining chips.
- Post about your divorce or other relationships on social media, as this can affect your case.
- Violate any court order, especially protective orders, as you could end up in jail.
- Make any settlement agreements without the advice of an experienced attorney.
The Mary Beth Harrell Law Firm can advise you during every step of the divorce process.
Experienced Killeen divorce lawyers
A divorce can be a drawn-out and stressful process, but it doesn’t have to be. At the Mary Beth Harrell Law Firm, our divorce attorneys are highly experienced and want to help you and your family move on to a brighter future. We’ll help you work toward an agreeable and fair settlement, and ensure you and your children are protected. Contact us today at 254-680-4655 or by filling out our contact form below or here. We have offices in Killeen, Copperas Cove and Waco.