While every divorce is different, most of them generally follow a similar procedure. For most people in Texas, a divorce begins in a legal sense when one spouse visits an attorney who creates a legal document to set the process in motion. This is then served to the other spouse.
The spouse must respond within a fixed amount of time. No response is taken as agreement. Individuals then must present all information about their assets so that they and the court have sufficient information about how property should be divided. The couple might be able to negotiate an agreement about property division, or they may need to enter mediation, which helps individuals resolve conflict without going to court.
If couples do come to an agreement, it is then submitted to court for a judge’s approval. If they cannot reach an agreement or the judge rejects it, the individuals must go to trial. Here, a judge will make a decision about any issues they could not resolve, including property division and child custody. It is possible to file an appeal if the individuals are unhappy with the judge’s decision, but appeals courts usually do not overturn a judge’s decision. This entire process can take anywhere from a few months to years.
There are also a number of variables that could affect the divorce. For example, one person might suspect the other of hiding assets. On the other hand, if the couple have a prenuptial agreement, the process of property division could be relatively easy. If the individuals are parents and one has been abusive, the other one may want to take steps to ensure that the child is not alone with that parent. This could mean the abusive parent only has supervised visitation, in which someone like a social worker is present for any visits.