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FAQ Family Law

I have been served with divorce papers; what should I do?

If you have been served with divorce papers, then you need to speak with an attorney about filing an Answer right away. You have time until the Monday next after 20 days from being served to file an Answer.

What will happen if I do nothing?

If you do not file an Answer, then after the expiration of 60 days from the date the suit for divorce was filed, the Petitioner (filing party) can have a default final judgment entered against you. This means that if you do not file an Answer after having been served, then your spouse can get a divorce without you, and subject to certain limitations. The Court can divide the community property of the spouses and award custody of children and child support without your input.

Failing to file an Answer can also result in temporary orders being rendered against you.

BEWARE: Doing nothing after being served an Original Petition for Divorce by your spouse will not make it go away.

What else should I know about getting a divorce in Hays, Caldwell, Guadalupe or Comal counties?

The Court normally requires the parties to mediate before setting the divorce for a final hearing. This is a very beneficial requirement, because in the great majority of cases a settlement can be reached at mediation, saving a great deal in both emotional and financial costs.

If you have children, even if you and your spouse are amicable, the Court will require both parents to take a parenting course through an approved company. The class is designed to minimize the impact of divorce on children and can be taken in person or online.

What is mediation?

Mediation is an out-of-court process of alternative dispute resolution that is extremely effective in resolving civil cases, including divorce and custody issues, personal injury cases, contract disputes, property disputes and other types of litigation. The parties are frequently ordered by the Court to attend mediation before a final hearing or their attorneys frequently opt to set up a mediation. This is a very effective way to settle cases with custom cut results and a great savings in attorney's fees and court costs.

What is collaborative law?

Collaborative law is an alternative method to resolve cases without litigation. It begins with the parties and their attorneys, who are trained in collaborative law, agreeing to handle the case collaboratively. There must be a written agreement to use the collaborative law process, which is signed by the parties and their attorneys and filed with the Court. By choosing to work through the case using the collaborative law process, the parties are agreeing that no litigation is to take place while they are in the collaborative process. If the parties are not able to reach a final agreement using the collaborative process, there is a procedure to allow the parties to obtain new counsel and proceed to litigation.

Collaborative law may also involve third-party neutrals, i.e., counselors and financial experts, who work with the parties according to their specific needs. There are a series of meetings over the span of a few months in which the parties and their attorneys meet, usually for no more than two hours, to work together toward a peaceful resolution of the case.

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144 East San Antonio
San Marcos, TX 78666
Phone: 512-212-9911

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