The Smith County Divorce process is much like any other county in Texas. In order to get the divorce process started the first thing that must be filed in the divorce is the original petition for divorce. The petition is filed with the Smith County District Clerk’s Office and must be on file for at least 60 days before the divorce can be final (excluding special circumstances). The District Clerk’s Office will then randomly assign your divorce to a family law court. In Smith County, there are three different courts that hear family law matters.
The Importance of Having A Smith County Divorce Attorney
A local Smith County Divorce Attorney will know the local courts and the judges’ tendencies in certain situations. This information will be beneficial especially in any attempts to settle your family law matter before a trial. Even if you have an Uncontested divorce it is advisable to retain a local Tyler Divorce Attorney. I have the experience and knowledge of the local court systems that are needed to have a favorable outcome.
Divorce Process In Smith County
- Initial consultation with a divorce lawyer
- Filing the Petition for Divorce with the court
- Filing request for temporary orders, if needed
- Serving your spouse with the documents
- Discovery period, in some cases discovery may be needed
- Settlement negotiations or mediation
- Final hearing
It is important to remember that each case is different and the above is only a guideline. In some cases such as an uncontested divorce, all of the steps above may not be needed. On the other hand, if your divorce is contested your specific case may require additional steps. I treat each case and each client as an individual and tailor my approach to their specific needs and desired results.
Filing The Petition & Temporary Orders
A petition simply states the parties names, children names, date of marriage, the reason for divorce and other basic information.
Usually at the time of filing the petition any motions for Temporary Orders will be filed at this time, if needed. Temporary orders are orders from the judge that addressed any property, debt, custody, or support issues while the divorce is pending. In Smith County, there are standing temporary orders that are filed with every divorce case. These standing orders are very basic and are sometimes combined with additional requests. If additional temporary orders are requested then a hearing will be heard by a Smith County Judge.
While the divorce is on file and before it is completed is usually referred to as the discovery phase. In Texas discovery in a lawsuit is an opportunity for the parties to gather needed information to prepare for a final hearing or reach a settlement agreement. During this time is an opportunity for the parties to reach a settlement if feasible. This can be done by the parties attorneys or at mediation.
If the case cannot be settled it will be heard by a judge or jury. The judge or jury will then make the final determination regarding the divorce. Lastly, a final order is signed by the judge, thus completing the Smith County divorce process.
Difference Between A Contested and Uncontested Divorce in Smith County
Sometimes these terms can be confusing to the general public. In Texas, if one spouse wants a divorce the divorce will be granted. This does not make a divorce contested or uncontested. A contested divorce is when the parties fail to reach an agreement on their own on at least one aspect of the separation. In order for a divorce to be considered uncontested both parties must be in complete agreement to all aspects of the divorce including but not limited to the following:
- Division of property
- Division of debt
- Child custody and visitation issues
- Spousal support amount, if any
- Child support amount, if any
- Geographical restrictions
- Morality clauses, if any
The time frame to complete an uncontested divorce and contested divorce differs as well. In Smith County, an uncontested divorce can usually be completed in approximately 60 days. A contested divorce can last 6 months or longer, again this will depend on your specific case.
Questions & Answers Regarding Smith County Divorce
If you are going through a Divorce in Smith County Contact Me
I understand that a divorce is hard enough without having a difficult time communicating with your attorney. I provide all of my divorce clients with an online portal that they can see the case status, review case documents, case updates, send and receive messages. If you are need of a Smith County Divorce Attorney feel free to contact me.