Experienced, Attentive Divorce Representation
Whether you are seeking a divorce or you have been served with divorce papers by your spouse, your first step should be to locate an attorney who can help you minimize stress while protecting your rights. You will find that attorney at the law firm of Palmer Lehman Sandberg, PLLC. Located in Dallas, Texas, we are a caring, confident and experienced legal team ready to help you.
Helping You Through Your Divorce
We are well-equipped to help you navigate the divorce process when a potential bankruptcy, your family-owned business or other issues that can escalate conflict are part of the equation. Our legal team is also prepared to advise and assist you with your annulment or dissolution of a common law marriage or domestic partnership.
Grounds For Divorce In Texas
Texas has very liberal grounds for divorce, making getting a divorce easier here than in many other states. A divorce will be granted if you, your spouse or both of you decide that discord or conflict of personalities prevents your marital relationship from continuing and there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation. This is known as “no-fault” or “insupportable” divorce.
There are also several “fault” grounds for divorce, including adultery, abandonment, cruelty and abuse. While you do not need to allege any of these grounds to obtain a Texas divorce, the court can consider these allegations when certain issues such as property division or child custody and visitation are disputed.
Getting Started: The Original Petition
The Texas divorce begins with the filing of an Original Petition for Divorce with the district clerk in the county in which you or your spouse has resided for the previous 90 days.
After filing the Original Petition, the petition must be delivered to your spouse, which is commonly done by having a constable or private process server “serve” your spouse with the papers, or in an agreed or uncontested divorce your spouse may sign a Waiver of Service or file an Answer in lieu of formal service of process.
The Next Step: Temporary Orders
Temporary orders may be issued by the court for the period of time between the date the divorce is filed and the date the divorce becomes final. These orders address issues such as who will pay the bills, which spouse remains in the home and who will have possession of the children and when.
A temporary restraining order (TRO) or temporary injunction may be issued to prevent the wrongful transfer or disposal of property and assets. It can also be used to prevent harassment and to protect you and/or the children from an abusive or drug- or alcohol-impaired spouse.
Child Custody And Visitation
Child custody and visitation arrangements come in many forms primarily dictated by the needs of the child. While the courts take great care to see that children come first during a divorce, the judge has limited time to understand your particular situation. Our lawyers spend the time to get to know you and your family so we can be effective advocates for you and your children, and to carefully craft an order that will fit your unique situation and family.
The Texas Family Code contains predetermined guidelines for the computation of child support. In certain situations, the court can set child support above or below the statutory guideline support amount. Our attorneys are committed to seeing that child support is handled accurately in your case.
Alimony And Spousal Maintenance
While court-ordered alimony after divorce is not typical, temporary spousal maintenance is often awarded while a case is pending, and contractual alimony can often be effectively utilized in agreed divorce matters. We will take great care to see that alimony and spousal support are handled fairly in your case.
In Texas, there are two types of property: community property and separate property. Community property consists of all property other than separate property acquired by either spouse during marriage. Generally, separate property is property owned prior to marriage or acquired during marriage by gift or inheritance or traceable to one of these situations. Our goal is to identify and protect your property as you proceed through your divorce.
Settlement Or Trial?
We believe that settling your divorce out of court generally benefits everyone involved; both in the short term and long term. Out-of-court settlements are typically less contentious, less stressful and less expensive. They can be obtained through negotiation, as well as through family law mediation, arbitration or collaborative family law.
Of course, if protecting your interests requires a trial, we have substantial litigation experience in all types of family law disputes, including those involving complex property division and child custody matters.
After A Divorce
Moving forward with your new life, you may wish to change your name from your married name to a name you used prior to your marriage. We can assist. Our law firm is also available to address legal issues that arise after a divorce is finalized, such as modifications of child custody and visitation, child support or spousal support. We also address enforcement and contempt issues.