FAQs about Family Law Cases in Texas
Do I really need a lawyer?
It depends. A client can represent themselves. This is called being “pro se.”
In some cases, clients may be able to handle their own family law cases on their own. However, the court system can be intimidating and confusing.
It is wise to at least consult with a lawyer to learn how the specific process works and what may be required of you in court and to make sure that you have everything you need for your case.
If there are children or significant property issues such as a home or retirement benefits, then it is a good idea to retain a lawyer that you feel comfortable with to help make things as smooth as possible and make sure that you are informed of your rights and that they are protected at all steps in the process.
What is required for a divorce?
In Texas, there are certain requirements for a court to be able to grant a divorce or for a party to be eligible to file a family lawsuit such as a divorce or custody proceeding.
To obtain a divorce, one of the parties must have been living in Texas for 6 months and be a resident of the county in which the divorce is filed for 90 days. The divorce must be on file for at least 60 days, and the other party must be given official notice or waive that requirement in an affidavit.
To complete a divorce, there are certain forms, along with the decree and initial petition that must be filed.
It is good to consult with a lawyer at least once before starting the process.
What is an 'uncontested divorce'?
An uncontested divorce where both sides agree, from the beginning, to the terms of the divorce concerning both children and property.
It is the often the quickest form of divorce and the least expensive, and usually available on a flat rate.
What is a SAPCR?
A SAPCR is a “Suit Affecting Parent-Child Relationship.” It is a custody lawsuit.
It can be filed in connection with a divorce when a couple has children, or it can be filed between unmarried parents or between a parent and a grandparent or any other person that has a legal interest in a child.
If there are children involved, it is usually a good idea to consult with a lawyer about your case.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a process that is required in Texas by most courts in a divorce or other family lawsuit such as custody or child support that is contested- meaning the parties are not in agreement about some issue.
It usually lasts one-half day, and it is a time where both sides can be in the same location, but often in private rooms, and see if they can come to an agreement on certain issues in their case.
Because there are over 4 million people living in Houston, for example, the courts can be very busy. Mediation is a way that the parties can communicate in a safe and non-threatening way to try to come up with a solution concerning property and children that is best for their specific case.
What is the Texas Family Code?
The Texas Family Code is found here: Texas Family Code
It contains the laws and statutes that concern family law cases such as divorce, custody, child support, domestic violence, adoption, and the division of property.
The Texas appellate courts and the Texas Supreme Court issue opinions interpreting the laws. This is referred to as “common law,” and those decisions can impact a case.
How much does a family case cost?
I am very cost-conscious of my clients. However, it is hard to say what a case will cost in total without speaking to a client and getting an idea of the facts and circumstances of their specific case.
Some cases may be able to be done on a flat rate. Others will be done on an hourly rate. In general, however, the more rancorous a case is, the more expensive it will be.
If a case is handled on an hourly rate, a lawyer usually requests a “retainer,” or an amount at the beginning to cover a portion of the projected work and any filing fees that may be required by the county.
Divorce Lawyer Houston TX | Custody Attorney
We invite you to contact Anne E. Kennedy, Attorney At Law at 713-862-8110 for all of your Divorce Lawyer Houston TX and Custody Attorney questions.