The objective of the legal process is to end the marriage and decide such issues as child custody, visitation, child support, alimony (sometimes called spousal support or maintenance), property and debt division and attorney’s fees and costs. Our goal as your attorney is to get you through the process quickly and with as little expense to you emotionally and financially as possible.
When you engage Lockwood & Jones, PLLC to represent you, our relationship will be governed by an Agreement for Employment. You will hire the Firm and agree to pay for legal services based upon the time expended by an attorney, law clerk or legal assistant on your case, which may include, but is not limited to: settlement conference, legal research, drafting and preparation of documents, telephone calls, conferences, Court appearances, investigative work and travel. You will be charged for outside services such as CPA, copies, preparation of property transfer documents, and Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO).
- The Petition – a divorce begins with the Petition, notifying the court and your spouse, when served, that you want to end your marriage.
- The Response (Answer) – if you are served with a Petition, you must respond within a certain time, or you will lose your right to present you side of the case to the court.
- Temporary orders – set the rules while the case is pending.
- Discovery – each spouse obtains information from the other about the
- Negotiated Settlement – Parties through their attorneys, try to reach an agreement without the Court’s intervention or by using Alternative Dispute Resolution.
- Alternative Dispute Resolution – other methods to resolving your case besides going to trial
- Mediation – the parties meet with a licensed Texas Attorney for the purpose of helping them reach an agreement. Mediation is required in Texas.
- Arbitration – spouses may agree to submit some or all of their disputes to an arbitrator. An arbitrator’s decision is binding.
- Trial – If you cannot settle your case, it will go to trial. It is likely to be expensive and unpleasant. No lawyer can predict the outcome of a trial because each case is different.
In an uncontested divorce, there is a waiting period of sixty (60) days before the divorce can be finalized. If your case is uncontested, after you and your spouse have signed your Decree of Divorce, we can schedule an uncontested hearing Monday through Friday at 8:15am (or as the court allows). The Court appearance generally lasts about an hour.
Please make a list of all separate and community property on the Inventory and Appraisement sheet provided by our office, but remember, if you are making a claim that property is separate property, the burden is placed firmly on your shoulders to prove the separate nature of the property. Proof may consist of a deed, a bill of sale, a cancelled check, a receipt or other documentary proof or testimony, which may aid the Court to determining whether property is separate or community.