If your marriage is coming to an end and you plan on filing a divorce petition in Houston, Texas, it helps to understand the process before you begin. Here at Ramos Law Group, we deal with these situations every day, so we’ve written this guide as an informative look at the initial steps of filing for your divorce.
Visit our Divorce Page if you’re ready to speak to an attorney now. Otherwise, read on.
Hire an Experienced Family Law Attorney
Filing for divorce is a legal process, and most of the steps have to be done in a very specific way. The paperwork, in particular, has to be just right. If you make any mistakes along the way, it could make your divorce process longer and more expensive. That is why it’s always best to consult with an attorney at the start of your divorce process.
If you want to file your divorce petition in Houston, Texas, Ramos Law Group is proud to serve all of Houston, Harris County, and the surrounding region. We have the legal know-how to handle almost everything for you. With us, you’ll be able to trust that all of these legal steps will be done quickly and correctly.
Visit our Choosing a Divorce Lawyer page to start the process of finding just the right attorney on our staff to meet the needs of your specific situation.
The Harris County Divorce Clerk and Law Library
There isn’t a lot of public help available to guide you through your divorce—another reason you need to hire an attorney—but one excellent resource if you’re filing a divorce petition in Houston, Texas is the Harris County Law Library, which is conveniently located in downtown Houston just a block away from the divorce clerk’s building.
There are excellent legal resources at the Law Library, including a highly knowledgeable staff. They also sometimes have divorce volunteers onsite to discuss your situation. These hours are limited, so you should call ahead and ask. The Law Library staff and volunteers can’t replace your attorney in guiding you through the divorce process, but they are a helpful extra resource.
The Advantages of Being the Spouse Who Files for Divorce
The spouse who files for divorce first is formally known as the “petitioner.” There are a couple of important advantages that come with being the one to file.
|Keep Your Divorce Local||Greater Control Over Court Dates|
|If you would prefer not to travel a long distance for your appearance in divorce court, then file your divorce petition in Houston. Texas law allows the petitioner to choose which county to file in whenever there are two or more locations that might claim jurisdiction||Filing for divorce first also gives you more control over court dates. If you have a busy calendar or a restrictive work schedule, filing first can make your life a lot easier by giving you this flexibility.|
Legal Requirements Before Filing
To file a divorce petition in Houston, Texas, you or your spouse must have been a resident of Harris County for at least 90 days. You must also have had your residence in the State of Texas for at least six months. If either of these conditions is not met, you will either need to file in the proper county, or else wait to file until the time requirement has passed.
The Actual Filing Process
The actual filing process is one of the easier steps in the divorce process. At this point, you’ll have a firm plan in place with your attorney, and they will guide you through the paperwork of filing your divorce petition in Houston, Texas.
Once the petition is filed and accepted, court dates will be set for the next step in the process, which, depending on your circumstances, could be a hearing for a protective order.
Making Modifications to Your Divorce Papers
Divorce is a strange time, with many things changing that used to be constant. Oftentimes, the situation changes so much during the divorce process that one or both spouses may wish to make a modification to the original divorce petition in Houston, Texas. This can range from child custody modification, to modifications on support payments, or other changes.
For the sake of saving time and money, it’s obviously best to save yourself from needing to make modifications down the road, but it’s important to know that this option is available if you need it. You don’t have to go into your divorce with everything completely finalized regarding custody, property, and so forth.
Your Divorce Documents Will Become Permanent Public Records
It’s important to realize that many of your divorce documents, once filed and accepted, will become a permanent part of the public record. Anybody who is so inclined will be able to look them up. It can even be helpful to you later on down the road, if you need to get copies of your divorce papers.
Public records are an important part of a society’s history, and it is very useful for scholars and historians to be able to look them up, but of course, at the individual level most of us value our privacy and would like to be discrete with how much we disclose.
This is another reason why it’s so important to file your divorce petition in Houston, Texas with the help of a knowledgeable family law attorney. At Ramos Law Group, we’ll make sure that all of your documentation is correct, and help you minimize the unintentional disclosure of any revealing information that you’d rather keep private.
Let the Experienced Attorneys at Ramos Law Group Help
At Ramos Law Group we can help you file your divorce petition in Houston, Texas. We will help you get all the paperwork right, and we’ll navigate you through the legal process.
With our years of experience and highly skilled team of family law attorneys, your divorce will be as painless and quick as possible, so that you can put this difficult chapter behind you and carry on with your life.
Contact us to begin the process of filing your divorce petition in Houston, Texas.