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Texas Divorce – How Long Will It Take to Get Divorced and Other Important Facts

To file for a divorce in Texas, you must be a Texas Resident for 6 months, and you must have lived within the county you plan to file in for at least 90 days immediately prior to filing of your divorce petition. Time spent by a Texas resident outside of Texas, while in the military, satisfies the residency requirement in Texas for a divorce.

Texas does not recognize legal separations.

It is possible to get a divorce even though the other party does not want the divorce to take place. Texas is a “no fault divorce state.” “No fault” means that one spouse does not have to prove the other spouse has done anything wrong in order to obtain a divorce. You cannot be held to a marriage because your spouse does not want to sign or refuses to participate in the divorce process. The court will enter divorce orders even if the other party refuses to sign them.

Texas requires a minimum 60 day waiting period before any divorce can be finalized. The 60 day period begins to run from the time the Original Petition for Divorce is actually filed with the court. In other words, the shortest time it will take to finalize a divorced in Texas is 61 days. On occasion, in domestic violence cases, there is an exception to the 60 day rule. If the parties are in agreement, a divorce proceeding can be finalized immediately following the sixty-day waiting period. On average, however, the time period is more likely to run 90 to 120 days in an uncontested divorce due to the crowding of court dockets and the time necessary for counsel to draft necessary legal documents and obtain the agreement of both parties regarding the wording of the final documents. If the parties are not in agreement, the time necessary to finalize the divorce will depend on the conduct of both parties and their attorneys, the court’s schedule, the matters in controversy and the complexity of the contested issues. From start to finish, the divorce process may go through a number of phases which might include temporary orders, exchange of financial information, psychological evaluations (in child custody cases), alternative dispute resolution, trial, and appeal. A divorce in which the parties are deeply in opposition to an agreement on some or all of the core issues may take anywhere from several months to several years to complete.

As to the division of marital assets, Texas is a community property state. For more information on community and separate property, see our blog, Divorce: What is separate property and what is community property.

It is important to remember that, although the statutory waiting period to finalize a divorced is 60 days, it is more likely than not that your divorce will “not” be finalized on the 61st day following the filing of your petition for divorce.

By Nacol Law Firm P.C. | Filing for a Divorce
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Stay at Home Dads – More fathers Are Opting To Stay Home With Their Children

The number of stay-at-home dads is increasing again in the United States! Pew Research Center has just published a new report, “Growing Number of Dads at home with the kids”, and it is impressive! The world is changing and Dads are definitely more hands on quality time with their children.

The major commanding improvements are the number of fathers who stay home with their children under 18. This figure has just about doubled since 1989, and now 16% or 2 million fathers are full time stay-at-home caregivers to their children. This percentage has grown from 10% in 1989.

What are some of the reasons for the strong growth of stay-at-home dads?

  1. 35% are home because of illness or disability

  2. 23% cannot find a job

  3. 21% stay to care for family and home

Even with this increase in stay-at-home dads, 16% of fathers with children still live apart from their kids.

52% of stay-at-home fathers are white, 20% are Hispanic and 16% are black. In addition, and almost equal share of working fathers (48%) and mothers (52%) say they would prefer to be home raising their children, but must work for family income.

By Nacol Law Firm P.C. | Stay At Home Dads
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Preparing for a Texas Divorce

Preparing for a Texas Divorce – Part 1: Assets 
 
Preparing for a divorce is painful no matter the circumstance.  Before you get into the tangle of the divorce process, you can reduce the expense, stress and conflict many people face by making sure you are prepared.  Planning ahead allows you to make sound decisions and start preparing for your life post-divorce, and may also help you avoid post-divorce pitfalls. Below is a list of items you may want to gather before counseling with an attorney.

Documents

  1. A Listing of all Real Property, address and location, including (include time-shares and vacation properties):
    1. Deeds of Trust
    2. Notes
    3. Legal Description
    4. Mortgage Companies (Name, Address, Telephone Number, Account Number, Balance of Note, Monthly Payments)
    5. Current fair market value
  2. Mineral Interests (include any property in which you own the mineral estate, separate and apart from the surface estate, such as oil and gas leases; also include royalty interests, work interests, and producing and non-producing oil and gas wells.
    1. Name of mineral interest
    2. Type of interest
    3. County of location
    4. Legal description
    5. Name of producer/operator
    6. Current market value
  3. Cash and accounts with financial institutions (checking, savings, commercial bank accounts, credit union funds, IRA’s, CD’s, 401K’s, pension plans and any other form of retirement accounts):
    1. Name of institution, address and telephone number
    2. Amount in institution on date of marriage
    3. Amount in institution currently
    4. Account Number
    5. Names on Account
  4. Publicly traded stock, bonds and other securities (include securities not in a brokerage, mutual fund, or retirement account):
    1. Number of shares
    2. Type of securities
    3. Certificate numbers
    4. In possession of
    5. Name of exchange which listed
    6. Pledged as collateral?
    7. Date acquired
    8. Tax basis
    9. Current market value
    10. If stock (date option granted, number of shares and value per share)
  5. Closely held business interests:
    1. Name of business
    2. Address
    3. Type of business
    4. % of ownership
    5. Number of shares owned if applicable
    6. Value of shares
    7. Balance of accounts receivables
    8. Cash flow reports
    9. Balance of liabilities
    10. List of company assets
  6. Retirement Benefits
    1. Exact name of plan
    2. Address of plan administrator
    3. Employer
    4. Employee
    5. Starting date of contributions
    6. Amount in account on date of marriage
    7. Amount currently in account
    8. Balance of any loan against plan
  7. Insurance and Annuities
    1. Name of insurance company
    2. Policy Number
    3. Insured
    4. Type of insurance (whole/term/universal)
    5. Amount of monthly premiums
    6. Date of Issue
    7. Face amount
    8. Cash surrender value
    9. Current surrender value
    10. Designated beneficiary
  8. Motor Vehicles (including mobile homes, boats, trailers, motorcycles, recreational vehicles; exclude company owned)
    1. Year
    2. Make
    3. Model
    4. Value
    5. Name on title
    6. VIN Number
    7. Fair Market Value
    8. Name of creditor (if any), address and telephone
    9. Persons listed on debt
    10. Account number
    11. Balance of any loan and monthly payment
    12. Net Equity in vehicle
  9. Money owed by spouse (including any expected federal or state income tax refund but not including receivables connected with any business)

10.  Household furniture, furnishings and Fixtures

11.  Electronics and computers

12.  Antiques, artwork and collectibles (including works of art, paintings, tapestry, rugs, crystal, coin or stamp collections)

13.  Miscellaneous sporting goods and firearms

14.  Jewelry

15.  Animals and livestock

16.  Farming equipment

17.  Club Memberships

18.  Travel Award Benefits (including frequent flyer miles)

19.  Safe deposit box items

20.  Burial plots

21.  Items in any storage facility

22.  A listing of separate property (property prior to marriage, family heir looms, property gifted)

  1. 23.  Listing of all liabilities (including mortgages, credit card debt, personal loans, automobile loans, etc.):
          1.  Name of entity, address and telephone number
          2.  Account number
          3.  Amount owed     
          4.  Monthly payment
          5.  Property securing payment (if any)
          6.  Persons listed as liable for debt
By Nacol Law Firm P.C. | Property and Asset Division
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Financial Basics in Surviving Your Divorce

So you have now decided to divorce. You know it will be painful & scary, but you believe the time is right to have a single life.  Financial vulnerability and risks are inevitable.

Every year, approximately three million men and women head down the emotional and financial path of divorce.  Following a divorce the cost is usually 25-50% more to maintain your pre-divorce lifestyle. A single household becomes twice as expensive as each spouse losses the benefit of the other spouses income. Economic discrimination due to gender gaps place additional financial burdens on women.   A woman’s standard of living may drop 27% while a man’s standard of living may increase 10%!

Now start with the financial basics in surviving your divorce! What are the basics?

  • A secure place to live

  • Create little or no debt

  • Protect retirement assets or income

  • Use of liquid money or assets

The most important of these basics is Liquid money! You will need money to find a place to live and hire an attorney.  You will also need money to pay your expenses during your divorce. Liquidity will definitely come in handy and enhance your position in the proceedings.

What about Debts? If possible pay off your debts now. The uses of savings or assets you can liquidate are the cleanest methods. Many divorced people find themselves responsible for their EX’s portion of debt since the exiting spouse refuses to pay. Legally, you may be responsible if your ex-spouse does not pay. Try to start your new life free of debt and with a new sense of self confidence!

What about Cash Issues and Retirement Assets in a Divorce? If you and your spouse have retirement savings, each of you will probably be entitled to a one-half share or a portion based on a fixed ration of the number of years married and number of years of investing.   This money could be kept for retirement or used to repay other current expenses or debts.  Make sure you examine prospective tax treatment to avoid the 10% penalty on early withdrawal by the IRS.

Some tax questions to know about:

  • Are spousal maintenance payments tax deductible?

  • Who will be able to claim Head of Household status?

  • Who gets the tax exemption for the kids?

  • Is child support non-deductible?

  • Which Attorney fees are tax deductible?

Always remember to “Look at the big picture”.  Keep your focus on finances and parenting.  If you need help from smart professions, as your attorney, accountant, or mental-health professional, get it now! They will help you and your family with focus, objectivity and a long-term vision that is very difficult for you during this tumultuous time in your life. Now you need to be able to articulate you needs and goals for the future.

Do not forget! This time too shall pass and you may be, with planning, better than ever in the future!

By Nacol Law Firm P.C. | Divorce Checklist . Property and Asset Division
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Financial Checklist for Divorce

Preparing for a Texas Divorce:  Assets

Going through a Divorce is painful no matter what the circumstances. Before you get into the Texas Divorce Process, reduce expense, stress and conflict by making sure you are financially prepared. Planning ahead helps you in making sound decisions, start preparing for post-divorce life, and avoid many post-divorce pitfalls. Below is a list of items you need to gather before counseling with an attorney. Financial Documents are a must to show what your true assets and liabilities are in the marriage.

Documents:

  1. Tax Returns (at least three years) or Tax Liens and all IRS related documents
  1. Wills and Trusts with all attachments reflecting corpus and trust holdings
  1. Listing of all liabilities (including mortgages, credit card debt, personal loans, automobile loans, etc.):
    • Name of entity, address and telephone number
    • Account number
    • Amount owed
    • Monthly payment
    • Property securing payment (if any)
    • Most current statements and account status of lenders
  1. A Listing of all Real Property, address and location, including (includes time-shares and vacation properties):
    • Deeds of Trust
    • Notes including equity loans and second liens
    • Legal Descriptions
    • Mortgage Companies and Loan Servicers (Name, Address, Telephone Number, Account Number, Balance of Note, Monthly Payments)
    • Current fair market value
    • Appraisals
  1. Motor Vehicles (including mobile homes, boats, trailers, motorcycles, recreational vehicles; exclude company owned):
    • Year
    • Make
    • Model
    • Value
    • Name on title
    • VIN Number
    • Fair Market Value
    • Name of creditor (if any), address and telephone
    • Persons listed on debt
    • Account number
    • Balance of any loan and monthly payment
    • Net Equity in vehicle
  1. Cash and accounts with financial institutions (checking, savings, commercial bank accounts, credit union funds, IRA’s, CD’s, 401K’s, pension plans and any other form of retirement accounts):
    • Name of institution, address and telephone number
    • Amount in institution on date of marriage
    • Amount in institution currently
    • Account Number
    • Names on Account
    • Company loans and documents related to benefits
  1. A listing of separate property (property owned prior to marriage, family heir looms, property gifted, inherited property):
    • Records that trace your separate property. These assets will remain yours if properly documented
  1. Retirement Benefits:
    • Exact name of plan
    • Address of plan administrator
    • Employer
    • Employee
    • Starting date of contributions
    • Amount currently in account
    • Balance of any loan against plan
    • Documents
  1. Publicly traded stock, bonds and other securities (include securities not in a brokerage, mutual fund, or retirement account):
    • Number of shares
    • Type of securities
    • Certificate numbers
    • In possession of
    • Name of exchange which listed
    • Pledged as collateral?
    • Date acquired
    • Tax basis
    • Current market value
    • If stock (date option granted, number of shares and value per share)
    • Stock options plans and related documents
  1. Insurance and Annuities Policies and Inventory:
    • Name of insurance company
    • Policy Number
    • Insured
    • Type of insurance (whole/term/universal)
    • Amount of monthly premiums
    • Date of Issue
    • Face amount
    • Cash surrender value
    • Current surrender value
    • Designated beneficiary
    • Other policies and amendments
  1. Closely held business interests:
    • Name of business
    • Address
    • Type of business
    • % of ownership
    • Number of shares owned if applicable
    • Value of shares
    • Balance of accounts receivables
    • Cash flow reports
    • Balance of liabilities
    • List of company assets
    • Possible hobbies or side businesses that generate income
  1. Mineral Interests (include any property in which you own the mineral estate, separate and apart from the surface estate, such as oil and gas leases; also include royalty interests, work interests, and producing and non-producing oil and gas wells:
    • Name of mineral interest
    • Type of interest
    • County of location
    • Legal description
    • Name of producer/operator
    • Current market value
    • needs leases or production documents related to the asset
  1. Money owed by spouse (including any expected federal or state income tax refund but not including receivables connected with any business)
  1. Household furniture, furnishings and Fixtures
    • photos
    • purchase documents
  1. Electronics and computers including software and hard drive
  1. Antiques, artwork and collectibles (including works of art, paintings, tapestry, rugs, crystal, coin or stamp collections) Other large collections need to be appraised! (Guns, quilts, action figures, books)
  1. Miscellaneous sporting goods and firearms
  1. Jewelry including appraisals
  1. Animals and livestock
  1. Farming equipment
  1. Club Memberships
  1. Safe deposit box items
  1. Burial plots including documents of ownership
  1. Items in any storage facility
  1. Travel Awards Benefits (including frequent flyer miles)
By Nacol Law Firm P.C. | Divorce Checklist
DETAIL

Please contact father’s rights Dallas Attorney Mark Nacol, or father’s rights Dallas Attorney Julian Nacol with the Nacol Law Firm P.C., for legal insight to your rights as a father. Both attorney Mark Nacol, and attorney Julian Nacol , provide counsel in the area of family law including divorce, father’s rights, interstate jurisdiction, child support, child custody, visitation, paternity, parent alienation, modifications, property division, asset division and more. Attorney Mark A. Nacol is board certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Our attorneys at The Nacol Law Firm P.C. serve clients throughout Texas, including Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Grayson, Kaufman, Rockwall and Tarrant counties and the communities of Addison, Allen, Arlington, Carrollton, Dallas, Fort Worth, Frisco, Garland, Grapevine, Highland Park, McKinney, Mesquite, Plano, Prosper, Richardson, Rowlett and University Park, Murphy,Wylie, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Irving, along with surrounding DFW areas.

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