One of the most challenging things you can face is the end of your marriage. During this challenging time, you face emotional turmoil, fear, and uncertainty. It is difficult to put aside your feelings to concentrate on the many different legal aspects of your divorce including child custody, property division and support issues. This is why it is essential to have a strong legal partner, a divorce attorney who will listen to what you say, who understands your situation, and takes the time to understand your goals for the future. William D. Bloodworth II, the founding attorney of the Bloodworth Law Firm, P.L.L.C., personally experienced a contested divorce and custody battle before becoming a lawyer. Attorney Bloodworth has not forgotten what that felt like, and that experience fuels his passion for fighting for his client’s rights and their future.
Top 10 Things NOT to Do in a Divorce Case
We at the Bloodworth Law Firm believe it is important to educate our clients about their rights in a divorce, and to guide them through the process from start to finish. We want to help you through the process and ensure that you have the information necessary to make the best possible decisions at this critical time, for your family and your future. Many people make horrible mistakes and bad decisions while contemplating or going through a divorce. While considering whether a divorce is best for you and your family, it may be helpful to understand how divorce works in Texas. For a list of things not to do during a divorce please watch the video “10 Things Not to Do in a Divorce.” If you are looking for a divorce Woodlands divorce lawyer, a Conroe divorce lawyer, a Huntsville divorce lawyer, or Livingston divorce lawyer, then call us today to schedule your initial consultation and learn more about the divorce process.
General Overview of Divorce in Texas
In Texas, a person can be married in a “formal” marriage ceremony, informally by common law (provided they meet certain requirements), or by filing a “Declaration of Informal Marriage” document in the official records of the County Clerk. A marriage, whether ceremonial or informal, can be dissolved only by a court order or by the death of a spouse. The process of obtaining such a “court order” is called “Divorce”. This process is begun by the filing of an “Original Petition for Divorce” in which a person provides information to the Court about each party to the marriage, identity of children of the marriage (if any), and asks the Court to terminate the marriage and divide the property of the parties at the time the marriage is terminated. This petition also describes to the Court how that party is asking that the property of the parties be divided, and may include other requests of the Court, i.e., Spousal Maintenance, Child Support, Medical Support, Temporary Orders, and restrictions on certain conduct of the parties to the marriage.
3 Basic Ways to Start a Divorce or Child Custody Case
There is a mandatory “waiting period” in Texas, which requires a party to wait a minimum of 60 days from the date the Petition for Divorce is filed before a Court has the authority to “grant” a divorce. During this waiting period the parties may reach agreement on the terms of their divorce, but if not, there are many other decisions to be made and actions that must be taken in order to be prepared to obtain a divorce after the “waiting period”. There are many decisions to be made with your lawyer about the custody of minor children, division of property, division of debts, and the need for future support by one spouse of the other. You will need to make decisions regarding obtaining health care, possibly a new job, or higher education. You need the experience and guidance of a dedicated divorce lawyer to guide you through this complicated process. Although it is possible for you to represent yourself in Court, without the services of a lawyer, and obtain a divorce, that is like performing surgery on yourself. If you do not understand what rights you have according to Texas law, how to use the Texas Family Code, and how to use the Texas Rules of Evidence and Civil Procedure, you will lose or forfeit many of your legal rights to possession of your children, rights as a parent, regarding your children, possible alimony, your fair share of property, or a “just and right” division of debt. An experienced lawyer can advise you of what problems other well intentioned “do it yourself” divorces have created and how to avoid them. Often times a “do it yourself” divorce ends up costing more, when you ultimately have to later hire a lawyer to undo the mistakes made in the “do it yourself” divorce, if anything can be done at all. By hiring an experienced divorce attorney in The Woodlands, Conroe, Huntsville, or Livingston, like the Bloodworth Law Firm, you can avoid the stress of trying to figure out the rules and procedures for a “do it yourself divorce” and relax knowing that a professional expert in Texas Family Law is handling your case for you and will guide you through this difficult time, positioning you for success going forward. Call the Bloodworth Law Firm today to schedule your consultation with Attorney William D. Bloodworth II, Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board Of Legal Specialization.
Uncontested, Contested and Collaborative
There are essentially three types of divorce cases in Texas:
- Uncontested/Agreed Divorce
- Contested Divorce
- Collaborative Divorce
Uncontested/Agreed Divorce– In an uncontested divorce both spouses agree to be divorced on the grounds of insupportability, sometimes referred to as a ‘no-fault’ divorce. Both spouses also must agree on all other issues related to the divorce including: division of property accumulated during the marriage, division of retirement, child custody and visitation, and child support.
The “Agreed Divorce” is generally the quickest and least expensive method of divorce, however, both spouses must agree on all issues for this process to work. In these situations, where couples can cooperate, share truthful information, and freely disclose all necessary details, facts, and figures, it is possible for them to obtain an “Agreed Divorce”. An “agreed divorce” is certainly the lowest cost way to end a marriage, but it requires genuine cooperation. We at the Bloodworth Law Firm, P.L.L.C. have worked with many clients to obtain an “agreed divorce”. If you are looking for a divorce lawyer, call us at the Bloodworth Law Firm. We represent individuals all over the State of Texas, but especially in Montgomery County, Walker County, San Jacinto County, Polk County, and the surrounding East Texas counties.
Don’t Be in a Hurry! Don’t be so eager to obtain a divorce, or so insistent that it be agreeable, that you obtain an “agreed divorce” but at the price of a “terrible agreement.” Said another way, “Don’t do a bad ‘deal’ just to get a ‘deal’ done.”
You need the Bloodworth Law Firm, P.L.L.C., to advise you of what your rights are, and what you may be entitled to, in order to ensure that you are in the best possible position after divorce that you can be in. Life after divorce is difficult, especially for the spouse who has custody of the children and/or who is the lower salaried earner. You need the valuable assistance of an experienced attorney like William D. Bloodworth II to advise and counsel you on making the best ‘deal’ possible in your agreed divorce.
An “agreed divorce” begins by one person hiring the Bloodworth Law Firm, P.L.L.C., as their attorney. That person then provides the firm with the necessary personal information on the parties to prepare and file a “Petition for Divorce”. Then, the other party who is unrepresented by an attorney is provided with a copy of the “Petition for Divorce” and is also provided with a “Waiver of Service” which, among other things, allows the divorce case to proceed without that person being served the “Petition for Divorce” by a Texas sheriff or constable. This service by a uniformed sheriff or constable can be very embarrassing and many couples want to avoid publicizing their marital troubles. Sometimes uniformed sheriffs and constables serve spouses legal documents at their jobs or other public places, which can cause embarrassment and intrusion by neighbors and coworkers. After your spouse signs the “Waiver of Citation” in front of a Notary Public and returns it to us, we will file the “Waiver” with the Court and begin preparing the document that the Judge signs which grants your divorce, called a “Final Decree of Divorce”. This document contains all the necessary details to identify and divide the marriage assets and debts. Additionally, if there are children of the marriage the Final Decree of Divorce will also have provisions to establish custody, visitation, and child support of any children of the marriage. Once this document is completed it will be reviewed by you and your spouse and you both will sign this “Final Decree of Divorce” indicating to the Judge that you are both in agreement with the terms and conditions of the decree. After both parties have signed the decree the Bloodworth Law Firm, P.L.L.C. will arrange for a final hearing date, when you will appear in Court before the Judge with your attorney William D. Bloodworth II, founding attorney of the Bloodworth Law Firm, P.L.L.C. Attorney Bloodworth will ask you the necessary questions that the Judge wants to hear your answers to, and if those answers are acceptable to the Judge, the Judge will pronounce the Divorce and sign the “Final Decree of Divorce” prepared by the Bloodworth Law Firm, P.L.L.C., which you and your spouse have signed. After an additional 30-day waiting period has passed your divorce will be “final”. If you are looking for a Conroe divorce lawyer, Huntsville divorce lawyer, Livingston divorce lawyer, or Woodlands divorce lawyer, then look no further than the Bloodworth Law Firm. William D. Bloodworth II is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Contested Divorce- Although most families considering divorce hope and believe that they and their spouse can get along well enough to make agreements on how to end their marriage, provide for their children, and divide their property, this is often not the case. The same issues that contributed to the end of the marriage often prevent the cooperation and compromise at the necessary level to obtain an agreed divorce. Just because parties cannot agree to all of the terms and conditions of their impending divorce does not necessarily mean that the divorce must be filled with high conflict, anger, and rage. With help from the Bloodworth Law Firm, P.L.L.C., we can help you skillfully navigate the divorce process and use our over 26 years of experience in helping you minimize conflict and promote a fair and equitable conclusion to your marriage, making an “Agreed Divorce” possible, even though the divorce may be legally “contested,” because your spouse has hired their own attorney. Individuals or families with ‘high net worth’ are those parties who have accumulated substantial assets during their marriage. ‘High Net Worth Divorces’ differ from the standard divorce process and require the guidance of an experienced law firm like the Bloodworth Law Firm, P.L.L.C. This guidance is the key to deciding the best legal strategy and obtaining the best results. Often multiple properties, retirement accounts, stocks, and closely held businesses need to be divided. This requires legal skill, special planning, and expert legal strategy. Complex financial documents often need to be analyzed, sometimes by specialized experts, in order for a fair and equitable division of property to occur. William D. Bloodworth II, is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. If you are looking for a Woodlands divorce lawyer, then call the Bloodworth Law Firm.
Sometimes, despite your best efforts to be agreeable, you may face a “knock-down-drag-out” legal battle. Attorney Bloodworth’s experience as a Family Law Expert, coupled with his proven preparation techniques and reputation as an attorney who fights for his clients, is the best choice to be your partner in a “contested divorce.”
Collaborative Divorce- Collaborative Divorce is process in which you and your spouse will each have your own specially trained and experienced Collaborative Divorce attorney and work though the issues of your case using a method known as “interest-based negotiation,” which enables spouses to formulate agreements that focus on their most important individual and mutual goals. It is confidential, all issues are resolved out of court, allowing parties to concentrate and spend their money on finding solutions instead of spending it on going to court.
CAUTION – Once the collaborative process is started, if for whatever reason, an agreement cannot be reached or the case becomes contested, both parties must hire completely new attorneys and begin the same process as other “contested divorce cases” all over again. After spending money on Collaborative Attorneys and on new attorneys to handle the contested divorce some couples decide the risk of double paying for attorneys is just not worth the risk and choose to place their efforts in filing an “Agreed Divorce”; while working to maintain an amicable climate of agreement and cooperation.
For this reason, the Bloodworth Law Firm, P.L.L.C., does not offer Collaborative Divorce services. We want to be available to represent you in court, where we are skilled, prepared, and passionate about representing our clients and their causes. However, the Bloodworth Law Firm, P.L.L.C., works very hard to create and maintain a climate of agreement with the opposing party and their attorney, so that an Agreed Divorce can be achieved, if at all possible. In the event that a divorce becomes contested the clients of the Bloodworth Law Firm, P.L.L.C., have no need to hire a new attorney, because the Bloodworth Law Firm, P.L.LC. is already on the case, and can easily shift into “litigation” mode, and begin preparing you and your case for presentation to a Judge or Jury, so that a divorce can be achieved, while protecting your children, finances, well-being, and peace of mind.
At Bloodworth Law Firm, P.L.L.C., a large portion of our practice concerns representing Texas residents in family law matters. We do this because we understand how contentious this area of law can be. Our law firm has achieved a high rating for our handling of these cases because we aim at litigating family law cases in the right way. Our Founding Attorney, William D. Bloodworth II, is an Expert in Family Law; certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. If you are looking for a Conroe divorce lawyer, or a divorce lawyer in The Woodlands, Texas, you can depend on the Bloodworth Law Firm, P.L.L.C., to fight for your rights. Although our principle office is in Conroe, Texas; we provide services in Huntsville, Texas, Livingston, Texas, Coldspring, Texas, Trinity, Texas, and all over the State of Texas.
Extensive Family Law Representation
Attorney William Douglas Bloodworth, II, has been providing all aspects of family law representation since 1992. This includes being there for you from the first consultation until there is final resolution of your matter.
The family law representation we provide includes:
- Divorce and separation
- Child custody and visitation
- Child support and alimony
- Grandparent rights
- Modification of existing family law orders
Bloodworth Law Firm, P.L.L.C., will fight the legal battles that accompany family law matters for you. The reason we are so passionate regarding this area of law is because we understand the consequences of family law disputes. If the family disintegrates due to such squabbles, future relationships within your family are likely to deteriorate as well.
Looking Out For The Rights Of Grandparents
Grandparents’ rights is a badly misunderstood area of law. Because of this, many grandparents fail to assert their rights. At Bloodworth Law Firm, P.L.L.C., we concentrate heavily on this area of law. We will help you understand the process and work toward maintaining your rights as a grandparent. We accomplish this through skilled negotiation and, when necessary, litigation. If you are looking for a Huntsville grandparents’ rights attorney; or a Conroe grandparents’ rights attorney, look no further than the Bloodworth Law Firm.
What Your Family Law Consultation Will Be Like
During the initial consultation with our firm, you will meet with our lawyer, paralegals and entire staff. Every member of our firm keeps themselves informed about the cases we handle. Our approach to family law is to work together as a team. By working as a team, with you, we keep you informed about what is going on in your case.
During the course of the consultation, we will answer all of your questions, address any misconceptions you may have regarding the legal process, and provide guidance so that you can avoid making any mistakes that could jeopardize your family law matter.
It is also important to us that you understand what services you are paying for. Therefore, we will answer any questions you have concerning fees and our billing practice.
Providing Compassionate Understanding Concerning Your Family Law Case
In the event you are going through a divorce or dealing with some other family law issue, please contact the Bloodworth Law Firm by calling 936-291-3100. . Bloodworth Law Firm, P.L.L.C. has offices by appointment only in The Woodlands, Conroe, and Huntsville, and we provide representation across all of Texas.