Brandon Young Bell

Contact Brandon Young Bell for a Consultation
Phone: (972) 668-1462
For Inquires Call To Schedule an Appointment

Address: 38 1st Street NW, Paris, Texas 75460

Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce

1. Why do I need an attorney for an uncontested or simple divorce?

First, a completely uncontested divorce is very rare. Furthermore, even simple divorces require a number of documents and may require at least one appearance in court. The lawyer is responsible for helping his client through that process. A competent attorney will advise the client with up-to-date information on the laws involving parental rights, child support, and property division. A lawyer can help clients avoid future problems by providing advice on issues that may be overlooked by an individual who is going through (hopefully) the only divorce in their life.
2. What does a divorce cost?

Costs and fees for a divorce can vary greatly. The hourly rates charged by attorneys vary from one lawyer to another. Just as any other legal proceeding, the more lengthy drawn-out disputes will be more costly than the relatively simple divorces that do not take as much time. The client can often be helpful in reducing the amount of time necessary to resolve the issues. A well organized client with a clear goal in his/her dispute can be of great assistance in reducing the time and cost of litigation. Please review the Client Intake link to begin compiling information that will assist an attorney in resolving a divorce case. Also, a great deal of an attorney’s day is spent on the telephone and attorneys will record their time on the telephone in dealing with a particular case.
3. How long will it take to finalize my divorce?

Under the Texas Family Code, a divorce cannot be finalized before the 60th day after the initial Petition for Divorce is filed with the court. Therefore, at a minimum, a divorce will take 60 days. However, the nature of the dispute will be the primary determinant of the length of time in a divorce. Disputes involving children or large marital estates can cause a divorce proceeding to take much longer. Also, the schedules of the attorneys, clients, and the Court must be coordinated throughout the proceedings.
4. If my spouse and I agree to all the terms that are to be included in the divorce decree, can we use the same attorney?

No. An attorney cannot represent both parties in a divorce action. However, there is no requirement that both parties be represented by an attorney. It is advisable that each spouse seek the advice of counsel.
5. What if I need immediate action to resolve a problem?
Within the realm of a family, and in some cases even a “dating relationship”, emergency action can often be taken to insure the protection of a client or a client’s property.
A protective order is a civil court order issued to prevent continuing acts of family violence. A protective order will be issued if the court finds that family violence has occurred and is likely to occur in the future. A “full faith and credit clause” is a Federal law that was established for “nationwide enforcement” of these protective orders from any court in any state. As with a divorce, an experienced private attorney can be helpful in obtaining and enforcing a protective order.
In general, restraining orders are intended to keep a party from harassing, threatening and/or causing physical harm to the other party. A restraining order is also intended to keep a party from draining financial accounts prior to the time that a hearing can be held. Restraining orders are also intended to keep a party from destroying, hiding or selling community assets prior to the time a hearing can be held. In other words, the purpose of a temporary restraining order is to help maintain the status quo between the parties until there is a hearing.
6. How will assets be divided in a divorce?

Many believe that assets belonging to spouses will be divided equally. However, this is not a certainty. While community assets are generally divided equally, the court is obligated only to make a just and right division of the community property leaving some discretion to the court.
7. Is alimony available in Texas?

Yes. However, the Texas Legislature has chosen to call it Spousal Maintenance. Also, there are limits on the amount of maintenance the court can order and a court cannot order maintenance that remains in effect for more than three years. The party from whom alimony (or maintenance) is requested must have, within two years before filing for divorce, been convicted of a criminal offense that constitutes an act of family violence. The Court may also order maintenance if the parties have been married for at least ten years prior to the time the divorce action was filed. Under the latter requirement, the Court will also assess whether the party seeking alimony lacks the ability to provide for their own minimum needs. There are also a number of other factors that the court must consider when making a determination of whether alimony is appropriate in a particular case.
8. Where can a divorce be filed?

You must live in Texas for six months and reside in a county for ninety days to file for a divorce in that county. However, other factors need to be considered especially when children are involved.
9. If my spouse and I are named joint managing conservators of the children, does that mean the children will live with each parent one half the time?

Probably not. Joint managing conservatorship means that the parents will share some of the responsibilities and duties concerning their children such as decisions concerning the health of the child or education. Parties can be named joint managing conservators with parent being awarded primary possession of the children and the other being awarded visitation. The amount of time the children spend with each parent is generally set out in a Standard Possession Order. However, the Possession Order can vary either by agreement of the parties or under certain circumstances if the Court sees fit.
10. If I am awarded custody of the children, how much child support can I expect?

As a general rule a party who is awarded custody of the children can expect to receive child support equal to 20% of the non custodial parent's net income for one child, 25% for two children, 30% for three children and 35% for four children and so on. As additional child support the non custodial parent will be required to either provide health insurance for the children or, if the custodial parent is providing health insurance for the children, reimburse the custodial parent for the cost.
11. How old does a child have to be before they can choose who they want to live with?

A child who is 12 years of age or older may sign a statement to be filed with the court setting forth the name of the person who the child prefers to have the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child. However, this is far from the child deciding who he or she will live with. Judges generally recognize the tendency by some parents to attempt to influence their children's preference, and will approve of a change only if they are satisfied it is in the child's best interest.

Brandon Young Bell

Areas of Practice
  • Family Law