Divorce Attorney The Woodlands, TX
Deciding to get a divorce is a major change that can affect you emotionally and financially.
Even the most amicable divorce can be stressful and difficult.
You may have to juggle legal proceedings and your complicated feelings about the end of your marriage.
During this trying time, an experienced Woodlands divorce attorney can help you manage your stress and reach a fair divorce settlement.
The Larson Law Office will handle your case with skill and professionalism, protecting your peace of mind.
What Sets Larson Law Office Apart?
Diana and Erik Larson are experienced, top-rated attorneys, and together, they are The Larson Law Office. Erik and Diana set themselves apart from other divorce attorneys serving The Woodlands by personally helping each of their clients.
The Larsons will never delegate your case to a junior attorney that you have never met. When you contact the Larson Law Office with questions about your divorce, you will speak to Diana or Erik. You won’t speak to a paralegal or junior associate who is unfamiliar with your case.
By maintaining a relationship with each client, The Larson Law Office strives to build a high level of attorney-client trust.
This type of open and honest communication sets The Larson Law Office apart as divorce attorneys in The Woodlands. Erik and Diana will listen to the details of your case and provide you with an honest assessment.
They will tell you which facts are most likely to impact your divorce case. They will also inform you about how the Texas legal system handles all aspects of divorce, from child custody to property division.
The Larson Law Office gives you the information you need to actively participate in your divorce proceeding. When you are informed and involved in your divorce case, you are in a better position to achieve your desired outcome.
The Woodlands Divorce Lawyer That Is Right for You
Together, Diana and Erik have well over a decade of experience as partners in The Larson Law Office, and have each been in practice for more than 20 years each.
Diana and Erik have received the following recognition for their outstanding work:
- Named among Houston’s top family lawyers by H Texas Magazine every year since 2014;
- Received Texas’s Top Rated Lawyers distinctions from American Lawyer Media; and
- Earned the highest possible rating of AV Preeminent from Martindale Hubbell Law Directory based on a confidential evaluation by other Houston area attorneys.
The Larson Law Firm consists of two experienced, dedicated, and ethically conscious attorneys. With Erik and Diana handling your divorce case, you can rest assured that you are in competent and capable hands.
What to Look For in a Divorce Attorney Serving The Woodlands, TX
Divorce cases can be difficult because of the personal relationship between you and your spouse. There may be a lot at stake, either from a family perspective or because there are valuable assets to be divided. A skilled Woodlands divorce lawyer can help.
There are a few key traits to look for to make sure the attorney you hire is equipped for the challenges of a divorce proceeding.
Years of Experience
Your Woodlands divorce attorney should have experience handling divorce cases. Diana and Erik Larson of The Larson Law Firm have been practicing family law for many years.
They have helped numerous clients through all types of divorce proceedings. Their experience allows them to handle even highly contested divorce cases with confidence and poise.
Responsive and Available
When attorneys do not respond quickly to their clients, clients often feel neglected. The Larson Law Office is not a large, multi-level firm that will let you get lost in a sea of clients. The Larson Law Office is a dedicated husband and wife team who will personally handle your divorce case.
Erik and Diana do not delegate client communication to secretaries or paralegals. As a result, they are able to respond quickly and accurately to your urgent questions. The Larson Law Office employs the Woodlands divorce lawyers that are right for you.
Strong Negotiating Skills
Reaching a divorce agreement requires strong negotiating skills. From the details of child custody arrangements to property division, there are many opportunities for disagreement in any divorce case.
Your spouse may want to make the process as difficult as possible due to personal differences. One way or another, you could be looking at a very argumentative situation.
Tactful negotiators like the Woodlands divorce attorney team at The Larson Law Office can work to compromise where possible while defending your rights when necessary.
Understanding Divorce in Texas
There are a few key things you should know about the divorce process in Texas.
Fault Grounds Vs. No-Fault Grounds
In Texas, you do not have to prove fault to get a divorce. You can successfully file for divorce based on no-fault grounds. Fault grounds for divorce are circumstances showing that one party is responsible for the breakdown of the marriage.
No-fault grounds, on the other hand, are circumstances that are neither party’s fault that make it unreasonably difficult for the parties to stay married. The seven grounds for divorce in Texas—both fault and no-fault—are listed below.
There are four fault grounds for divorce in Texas.
- Cruelty: Cruelty is typically defined as physical or mental abuse that makes living together insupportable;
- Adultery: Your spouse had voluntary sexual intercourse with someone outside of the marriage;
- Abandonment: Your spouse left voluntarily, did not intend to come back, and did not come back for at least one year; and
- Felony Conviction: Your spouse was convicted of a felony during the marriage and has been in prison for at least one year.
If you file for divorce on fault grounds and fail to convince a judge, they may still grant you a divorce on no-fault grounds.
There are three no-fault grounds for divorce in Texas.
- Insupportability: One of the most common reasons for divorce. Basically, you and your spouse have differences that make living together unreasonably difficult.
- Living Apart: You and your spouse have lived separately for three or more years.
- Confinement to a Mental Hospital: One spouse becomes confined to a mental hospital for three or more years, and their diagnosis is such that a permanent recovery is very unlikely.
Divorce grounds can also affect your final settlement. For example, if you file for divorce due to adultery and you are successful, a judge may reduce your spouse’s share of marital property in some circumstances.
It can be difficult to decide on which grounds you want to file for divorce. You may be unsure if a court will consider your spouse’s actions to be cruelty.
Maybe you want to seek a divorce, but you would rather not bring up your spouse’s affair due to privacy concerns. The skilled Woodlands divorce lawyer duo at The Larson Law Office can steer you in the right direction.
Contested Divorce Vs. Uncontested Divorce
Not every divorce proceeding is a heated, drawn out legal battle. Many divorces are uncontested. To get an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse must agree on all of the terms of the divorce.
This includes all property division, spousal support arrangements, and child custody arrangements. If you and your spouse are completely in agreement, you can file a petition for divorce that states your agreement.
The court clerk will schedule a hearing, and as long as you and your spouse’s agreement is reasonable, a judge will sign your decree of divorce at this hearing. The decree of divorce finalizes the divorce.
If your relationship with your spouse is still amicable, you should attempt to reach an agreement for an uncontested divorce. The process is much faster, and you can save money on legal fees.
However, even in an uncontested divorce, Texas law states that at least 60 days must pass between the filing of the petition for divorce and the date the divorce is finalized.
What Does the Divorce Timeline Look Like in Texas?
Getting divorced involves several steps that can take varying lengths of time depending on your specific circumstances.
Filing a Petition
The first step in getting a divorce is filing a petition for divorce with the court. The petition states the grounds for divorce and outlines the desired terms of the divorce.
If you and your spouse reached a complete agreement on divorce terms before filing, the petition for divorce states these terms. If you did not reach an agreement, the petition will state the divorce terms that you, the petitioning spouse, want.
After filing the petition, you must give your spouse legal notice of the divorce proceeding. This notice must be in writing, and if possible, you or another adult should hand it to your spouse personally.
You can also send notice via certified mail if you do not want to personally serve your spouse with divorce papers. Legal notice includes a copy of all of the divorce papers that you filed with the court.
If your spouse (the respondent spouse) disagrees with any of the divorce terms in your petition, they can file an answer with the court stating their disagreement.
Hearings and Mediation
When you file your divorce petition, the court schedules a hearing. What happens next depends mostly on whether you and your spouse agree on the divorce terms in the petition.
If you are seeking an uncontested divorce, a judge will most likely finalize the divorce at the original scheduled hearing.
If you and your spouse disagree over one or more terms, you must attempt to reach an agreement through mediation. Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party tries to help you and your spouse reach an agreement.
If you and your spouse each have an attorney, the attorneys can participate in the mediation process as well.
The level of agreement you and your spouse reach before filing a petition for divorce is the most important factor in determining how long the divorce proceeding will take. Fewer disagreements mean less to negotiate during mediation.
Fewer disagreements also mean you and your spouse are more likely to reach a settlement during mediation without the need for a trial. However, it is not always possible to discuss disagreements and work out a solution that both parties find acceptable.
If the couple cannot reach a settlement through mediation, the court will schedule a trial. At trial, you and your spouse will both produce evidence that supports your respective positions in the disagreement. A judge will rule on the terms of the divorce after hearing both parties’ arguments in the trial.
How Long Do You Need to Live In Texas Before Filing for Divorce in Texas?
To file for divorce in Texas, you or your spouse must have lived in the state of Texas for at least six months as of the filing date. The state in which you file for divorce should be the state in which you or your spouse are residents, not the state in which you were married.
To file for divorce in a particular county in Texas, you or your spouse must have been a resident of that county for at least 90 days as of the filing date. If you do not meet the state and county residency requirements for a Texas divorce, your divorce case may be dismissed.
What Is the Mandatory Waiting Period in Montgomery County Before the Court Grants Your Divorce?
Just like the rest of the state of Texas, Montgomery County requires a waiting period of at least 60 days between the date you file your divorce petition and the date on which a judge can sign your decree of divorce.
How Much Are Divorce Filing Fees at Local Court Houses?
In Montgomery County, there is a $297filing fee for divorce cases. This does not include additional fees for electronic filing.
In neighboring Harris County, the filing fee is $283 for a divorce suit if you and your spouse do not have children and $310 if you do have children. The filing fee in San Jacinto County is about $300.
Contact Divorce Lawyers Serving The Woodlands, TX, for an Initial Consultation
The Larson Law Office is ready to answer any questions you have about the divorce process. Contact us online or call (713)221-9088 for a personal consultation and start taking the first steps in your divorce case.