Divorce Attorney Collin County TX
When you’re going through a tough divorce, seeking counsel from a divorce attorney may be one of the wisest decisions to make. At Scroggins Legal, we understand that divorce proceedings can really take a toll on families. Even in the most amicable of divorces, spouses and their children may find it difficult to navigate life during and after the divorce. It’s our job to help our clients understand their rights and responsibilities during a divorce and to help them make smart decisions for their family.
Divorcing Your Spouse: Where to Start
Each state has different laws that govern divorce proceedings, so it’s nothing to be ashamed about if you feel confused about where to start. The process of filing for a divorce certainly isn’t easy for everyone, which is why it may be very beneficial to hire a divorce attorney Collin County TX has to offer.
In Texas, you can file for a divorce on the grounds that your spouse did something wrong — which is called a “fault” divorce — or you can file for divorce without stating a reason — which is called a “no fault” divorce. Valid grounds for a fault divorce may include adultery, desertion, confinement in prison, or abuse. No-fault divorces often rest on vague reasons such as incompatibility or irreconcilable differences. A divorce attorney in Collin County TX can help you understand which type of divorce is ideal for your own situation.
Divorce Law FAQ: Common Divorce Terms
While you’re going through the divorce process, you’ll likely hear your divorce attorney use many terms that you aren’t familiar with. It can be useful to understand in order to help you feel more prepared. Below are several definitions to common legal terms to help you better understand your circumstances.
Uncontested Divorce: An uncontested divorce occurs when both spouses have agreed to divorce, and neither opposes the requests listed in the complaint or petition. In other words, both spouses have agreed to end their marriage and have settled on issues regarding debt division, child custody, child support, alimony payments, and property. An uncontested divorce may also be called a consent divorce. Because of the complexity involved in divorce paperwork proceedings, even partners going through an uncontested divorce can find it beneficial to hire a divorce attorney in Collin County TX.
No-Fault Divorce: A no fault-divorce is when at least one spouse in the marriage no longer desires to be married; this divorce is not due to a negligent or intentional action. In many cases, no-fault divorces occur because one or both parties committed adultery, spousal abuse, or are sentenced to prison. The typical divorce requires a prolonged period of time, effort, finances, and emotional turbulence before it is fully complete. But in the case of a no-fault divorce, there is no specific reason for ending the marriage other than not being the right choice for at least one spouse any longer.
Collaborative Divorce: Collaborative divorce is an alternative resolution for divorce disputes, and it can resemble mediation. Both spouses hire a divorce attorney, and an additional collaborative Collin County divorce attorney helps both sides arrive at a marital settlement agreement. This third lawyer generally acts as a mediator. When partners choose collaborative divorce, they often save a great deal of time and money.
Covenant Marriage: This is a new form of marriage that currently is only available in some states. A couple has to attend premarital counseling and sign a Declaration of Intent. By signing this document, both parties promise to reveal anything that may jeopardize the marriage and aim to keep the marriage intact if these problems arise. Both spouses are also signing in agreement to not utilize a no-fault divorce and can only be granted divorce if one person commits an act of domestic violence, adultery, or serves jail time. If the couple later on finds they want to claim a no-fault divorce, they have to file for divorce in another state that does not recognize covenant marriages. If you’ve entered into a covenant marriage and you wish to end this marriage, don’t hesitate to contact a divorce attorney Collin County TX provides about your options.
Going to Court: In many states, both spouses will need to attend court before a judge, hearing officer, magistrate, or referee. A witness must testify that you and your spouse meet a residency requirement. If there is a settlement agreement between both parties, a hearing can take less than an hour. The intent of the hearing is mainly to confirm all documents are in order, notices have been received and residency requirements are met. If there are contests to the divorce, it can take a much longer period of time lasting up to week, months, or even years. If you believe your case might go to court, it’s wise to hire a divorce attorney Collin County TX trusts to represent your interests.
For most people, going through a divorce can be a challenging and emotionally volatile time. If you’re confused about any of the processes or terminology involved, don’t hesitate to contact a divorce attorney in Collin County TX.
Divorce Law FAQ: Are any premarital assets protected protected during the divorce process?
Have you been told that any assets, like property, cars, and art, bought before getting married will remain yours in the event of a divorce? Although this is the general rule, it doesn’t always hold true. There are several exceptions to this rule, and knowing them could help you to protect what you believe to be solely yours.
When you’re going through a divorce, the Collin County TX court may review property that you and your ex-spouse own. In general, this will be divided into marital property and separate property. Marital property is usually considered to be real estate and any personal property that has been acquired after the marriage. Separate property may be:
- Property that you acquired before the marriage
- Gifts that were purchased by either spouse
- An inheritance
- A settlement or award from a claim or lawsuit
- Property included in a prenuptial agreement, separation agreement or stipulation of a divorce settlement
Active and Passive Assets
When determining how to divide assets, your divorce attorney will likely look at both active assets and passive assets.
Active Assets: These are assets that have increased in value or worth because you and/or your spouse took certain actions to make this happen. Home renovations is one example. These types of assets may be distributed in a divorce as they are usually considered to be marital property.
Passive Assets: These are assets that have increased in value as a result of circumstances that you had no control of. For example, if housing market in your area went up, it would result in an increase for your own property value. Passive assets generally remain separate property.
Keeping Property Separate
Even when it’s possible to keep your property physically separate, it is still possible for it to become marital property in a legal sense. In this case, it will not be protected when you are going through a divorce. A divorce attorney can explain how separate property may become marital property during your initial consultation.
The following are some things you can do to keep your property separate:
- Consider a prenuptial agreement. In it you will be able to specify any property that you want to remain yours.
- If you’re married, consider a postnuptial agreement. Talk with a lawyer about getting a postnup before having one draw up as there are some complex factors to consider.
- If you’re a business owner, you may want to include it in the prenup and ensure your spouse is neither an employee or partner.
Avoid mixing marital property with separate property.
One key tip is to not allow separate property to become jointly owned property during a marriage. For example, if you’ve bought artwork for the home you share with your spouse, and if you used money linked to a separate personal account, the account might be considered marital property during divorce proceedings. Depositing marital income into a separate property bank account could also make that account marital. If you’re at all unsure, a lawyer can explain how to keep your property separate.
If you’re trying to protect your premarital property during a divorce and you have questions about how to do so, you can speak with a divorce lawyer right now by calling or emailing Scroggins Legal.
When to Hire a Divorce Lawyer
While it’s possible to file for divorce without any assistance from a divorce attorney Collin County TX families trust, this is typically not recommended. Even spouses who are willing to negotiate with each other may benefit from having a lawyer who can draw up and file the necessary paperwork. In situations that are more adversarial, a lawyer can advocate for their client’s best interests. If you have any reason to believe that your spouse will take advantage of you, it’s advisable to hire a Collin County divorce attorney to protect your rights.
These days, many couples are choosing to settle a divorce outside of the courtroom. This can be a wise choice especially when children are involved, and it’s something that many lawyers are capable of facilitating. Some couples find that they are able to save time and money by negotiating through a mediation process. Mediation allows couples to agree on division of property, alimony, child custody, and other related matters — all without going through court proceedings.
Divorce Law FAQ: Tips for Divorce Court
If you do end up going to court, preparing for these proceedings can be incredibly stressful. You might be scared about saying the wrong things or worried that your former partner might try to trick you. While divorce court can definitely be nerve-wracking, knowing what to say and do can make everything a little easier.
- Dress to Impress: When you are headed off to divorce court, what you wear matters greatly. Putting on the wrong outfit can actually do more damage to your case than you think. For example, if you come into court dressed in sweatpants, the judge might think you’re not taking these matters seriously. Many divorce lawyers suggest that you should dress for the courtroom like you would for a job interview.
- Don’t Be Hostile Toward Your Spouse’s Lawyer: While your spouse’s attorney probably isn’t your favorite person, you shouldn’t display hostility toward him or her. Even if this lawyer asks you tough questions, you should remain calm and be civil. If you raise your voice or say sarcastic remarks to him or her, it won’t look good to the judge.
- Be Careful of Your Body Language: It can be very frustrating if your spouse misrepresents facts while on the stand. However, you should resist the urge to rolls your eyes or let out loud sighs. The judge notices things like this and won’t appreciate you mocking the other party’s testimony. If you do believe your spouse is not telling the truth, you should let your lawyer know immediately.
- Be Prepared to Say Something Positive About Your Spouse: When you are testifying, you might be asked to talk about some of your spouse’s positive traits. Do not just sit there in silence. Even if you don’t get along with your spouse anymore, he or she still likely has positive characteristics, such as being a caring or hardworking.
- Keep Your Answers Short: When a lawyer asks you questions, it is best to keep your answers short and to the point. If you ramble on and on, you might accidentally say something you regret.
These tips are just a few common suggestions that divorce attorneys often give their clients. It’s important to remember that each case is unique and that a qualified divorce lawyer should be able to prepare you well for any courtroom proceedings.
Scroggins Legal: A Divorce Attorney Collin County TX Families Depend On
Divorce can be a complicated and stressful matter. Whether you and your spouse are on amicable terms or whether you anticipate a messy divorce, you may benefit from hiring legal representation. At Scroggins Legal, it’s our goal to help families navigate complex family litigation issues while providing compassionate and dependable counsel. Even though getting a divorce can be a very personal matter, you certainly don’t have to go through it on your own.
To set up a consultation with a divorce attorney Collin County TX residents trust, contact Scroggins Legal today.