Divorce - The First 30 Days
Under the Texas Family Code, many of the most important decisions, agreements, and orders are made within the first 30 days of the filing of the divorce petition. For specific information about my ability to make sure that your interests are fully protected early in your divorce case, contact my family law firm in El Paso.
Law Office of Douglas C. Smith - El Paso Divorce Lawyer
At your initial consultation with me, I'll get you started out preparing my Blue Notebook - that's all the basic information about you and your spouse, your children, your assets and debts, your household income, and any other issues that might need to be resolved during your divorce. I'll use the Blue Notebook as the basis for preparing the petition for dissolution of marriage if you're the spouse initiating the divorce, and for preparing your answer to the information, allegations, and demands to the petition if you're the respondent.
Within the first 30 days of the divorce, you'll need to work with your divorce attorney to complete the following steps:
- Prepare and file a proposed parenting plan that determines where the children will reside, and when the noncustodial spouse will be able to see them or have them overnight
- Determine your objectives for child support payments, spousal support or alimony payments, and division of the marital community property and debts
- Identify any issues concerning the separate character of your own property or property claimed by your spouse to be separate
- If necessary, file for a temporary restraining order (TRO) or protective order (PO) to stop harassment or threats, keep insurance coverage in place, or protect family business assets
- Prepare discovery - that is, requests for documents and other information from your spouse - concerning his or her income, assets, insurance coverage, expenses, retirement benefits, and other matters
At the first appearance of the divorcing parties in court, the court will issue temporary orders for child custody and visitation, child support, and alimony. Most of the time, these are worked out by agreement of the parties prior to the first appearance. Where agreement isn't possible, I can make your strongest case to the judge for a favorable order. For further information about what you should expect from your divorce lawyer, contact my office in El Paso.