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Divorce in Dawson County
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Online Divorce in Dawson County
Please note: OnlineDivorce.com is not a law firm. The materials provided by this website are for informational purposes only and should not be perceived as legal advice.
If you both agree on the divorce, and the terms of the separation, you can avoid a trial and save time and money by pursuing an uncontested divorce. You can make the process even more straightforward and inexpensive by using the help of OnlineDivorce.com for your amicable uncontested dissolution.
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Valid grounds to get divorce in Dawson County
According to Texas Family Code, Title 1, Chapter 6, based on the petition of either party to a marriage, the court may grant a divorce without regard to a fault if the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation. If the spouses choose this no-fault ground, divorce can be arranged as a no contest.
Additionally, the court may grant a divorce in favor of either spouse if the spouses have lived apart without cohabitation for at least three years or based on so-called fault grounds for divorce. These grounds for divorce in Texas include:
cruelty or violence;
abandonment/desertion (1 yr.);
insanity ( confinement in a mental hospital for at least 3 yrs.);
conviction of felony and imprisonment at least 1 yr. (unless spouse testifies against convicted spouse).
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Regarding this, the court may appoint either sole or joint custody (in legal terms, these are sole managing conservator or joint managing conservators), depending on what would be fair in the particular divorce case.
However, the state of Texas has adopted a presumption that parents should be named as joint managing conservators (JMC) unless proven otherwise.
Joint managing conservatorship in Texas implies that both parties share the rights and duties of a parent, even though their shares of the responsibility may vary. The exclusive right to make certain decisions may still be awarded to one parent only (by the court decisions or the parents' agreement).
According to The Texas Family Violence Benchbook, the court cannot grant one parent an SMC (sole custody), and the child cannot be isolated from either parent until the court has strong evidence of the danger of such contact for the child.
Among reasons that indicate such a danger and allow the court to assign SMC contrary to the current presumption are:
one parent's willful abandonment of parental duties;
the parent has a history of family violence or neglect;
the parent has a history of drugs, alcohol or other criminal activity;
the other parent has been absent from the child's life;
an extreme conflict between the parents over educational, medical, and religious values.
In any other circumstances, each child custody case in a divorce should be considered separately. The court evaluates numerous factors that help to determine what would be in the best interest of the child, taking into account the parents' wishes and opportunities. In an uncontested divorce, the judge considers and approves the Parenting Plan created jointly by the spouses.
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Rules for child support in Dawson County
When going through the process with a child, either or both parents may be ordered to make payments for the support of the child. Nevertheless, despite the presumption of joint custody, Texas courts usually order child support to be paid by the parent with whom the child does not live.
According to Chapter 154 of the Texas Family Code, child support usually has to be paid until the child reaches 18 years of age or until graduation from high school, whichever occurs later. If a child is disabled, the court may order that child support be extended longer.
The amount of support is generally based on a percentage of the non-custodial parent's income. When calculating payment amounts, the court first determines the monthly net resources of the parent paying child support (without social security taxes, federal income tax, state income tax, and expenses for health insurance coverage for the obligor's children).
Thus, referring to Texas Family Code, Sec. 154.125, child support amounts are based on a percentage of the monthly net resources of the obligor (the spouse who is ordered to make child support payments) and the number of children as follows:
One Child: 20% of net resources
Two Children: 25% of net resources
Three Children: 30% of net resources
Four Children: 35% of net resources
Five Children: 40% of net resources
Six Children: Not less than 40% of net resources
If the obligor must support other children as well, the calculation should be made according to the simple chart below. It determines the percentages of net resources based on the number of children before the court and any other children (biological or adopted) which are also being supported.
Number of children before the court
Number of other children the parent has a duty to support
Rules for spousal support in Dawson County
According to the Texas Family Code, Chapter 8, Sec 051, the court may order alimony for either party, but only if the spouse seeking spousal maintenance lacks sufficient property (including separate property) to provide for their minimum reasonable needs. Additionally, the paying party must have the financial capacity to pay alimony.
The criteria used in determining the right to receive alimony for a spouse seeking maintenance are as follows:
inability to earn sufficient income to provide the minimum reasonable needs because of an incapacitating physical or mental disability; the marriage was ten years or longer, and the applicant cannot earn sufficient income to provide for reasonable needs; alternatively, the spouses' child requires personal supervision because of a physical or mental disability that prevents the custodian spouse from earning sufficient income.
Sec. 8.052 of the Texas Family Code provides other factors in determining spousal maintenance, which should also be considered by the judge in a divorce lawsuit. These factors include each spouse's financial resources and earning capacity, their education and employment skills, as well as their age, health, any history of family violence, adultery or cruel treatment. Also taken into consideration is the length of the marriage, whether either spouse is paying child support, and whether either spouse spent community property excessively or fraudulently disposed of joint property.
Thus, each alimony request in Texas is considered separately based on the unique circumstances of each couple.
Uncontested Dawson County divorce with children
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Property division in Dawson County
The Final Decree of Divorce in Texas includes an Order concerning how property is divided (the real estate, assets, and other property jointly held by the spouses). According to Sec. 7.001 of the Texas Family Code, the court distributes the property as it deems just and right, having due regard for the rights of each party and the children of the marriage.
Many people expect that, since Texas belongs to community property states, all the property must be divided 50/50. However, Texas courts have broad discretion when it comes to defining a just and right division. There are different options for the division of joint assets. In contested cases, the judges take into account a long list of factors when determining what kind of property distribution would be equitable. In an uncontested divorce, the spouses are eligible to allocate property the way they want. The court will approve any Settlement Agreement if it is fair.
Mediation support in Dawson County
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution option aimed to help spouses to negotiate constructively. Divorce mediation assists the spouses in jointly drafting a Marital Settlement Agreement that will be approved by the court. Negotiating is not easy. So the mediator works with the couple, helping them to engage in a productive dialog and come up with mutually beneficial solutions faster.
In Dawson County, divorce mediation is not a mandatory stage of marriage dissolution. However, courts may order mediation in some cases, or the parties may participate in mediation voluntarily.
How to file for divorce in Dawson County | Step-by-Step
First of all, the couple has to meet residency requirements to obtain a divorce in Dawson County, Texas. According to the Texas Family Code, Chapter 6, Sec. 6.301, either spouse must have been living in the state for the prior six-month period and in Dawson County for at least the previous 90 days before filing the Original Petition for Divorce.
Which court should be used to file for divorce is based on the place of residence. In Dawson County, Texas, family law matters and divorce cases fall under the jurisdiction of District Courts.
The filing spouse (plaintiff) should collect the required divorce forms for their divorce in Texas, fill out these divorce papers, and file a Petition for Divorce through the District Clerk's office. According to the Texas Constitution, Article V, Section 9, the District Clerk acts as registrar of all court papers that are part of any legal cause of action in the District Courts.
The plaintiff has to submit two copies of the Petition For Divorce to the Clerk. The original will be stamped with a case number, and both copies will be dated. This date is considered the official start of the divorce procedure. One copy will be returned to the plaintiff, and the other has to be given to the second spouse to notify him or her of the divorce proceeding. This process is called serving divorce papers in Texas. You can learn how to serve your spouse with divorce documents in the Clerk's Office or at the Texas courts' website. The procedure for serving varies, but the copy cannot be delivered personally by the plaintiff.
Offline and inconvenient process with attorney representation for each spouse. Costly attorney
fees resulting in unforeseen expenditures. Lengthy and expensive option.
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Each spouse has to hire an attorney, which automatically doubles legal costs
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Filing fees for divorce in Dawson County
At the same time that the Petition for Divorce is filed, the plaintiff has to pay a court filing fee, which is approximately $300 in Dawson County, Texas. The exact amount of the filing fee, as well as other court costs, will depend on the case. Although the cost of divorce varies based on numerous factors, the court filing fee is mandatory for all.
Following the Family Code, Sec. 6.702, the divorce timeline in Texas implies a mandatory waiting period. In Dawson County, a divorce cannot be finalized before the 60th day after the date the suit was filed.
Exactly how long it will take to get divorced in Texas is impossible to predict. There are too many factors that can affect the length of the divorce process. Contested divorces usually take much longer than uncontested divorces. Hiring an attorney and going through a trial usually takes much longer than a do-it-yourself divorce. Even a simple, uncontested DIY-divorce can be a pretty complicated task for a person without a legal background. There is no single fastest way to get divorced.
Nevertheless, on average, dissolution is usually much quicker if both parties can reach an agreement, and the divorce is no-fault and uncontested.
Filing for divorce in Dawson County | Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a divorce cost in Dawson County?
The cost of divorce in Texas mainly depends on whether the case is contested or not, as well as whether you are going to seek legal assistance or proceed on your own. At a very minimum, the cost of a DIY divorce will consist of the court filing fee. If an attorney is hired, they typically charge an hourly fee which can significantly increase the total cost of divorce. Other additional costs may include mediation, parenting classes, appraiser's fees, as well as any other service fees that may be required.
How do you file for divorce in Dawson County without a lawyer?
Despite its benefits, DIY divorce doesn't fit every couple. There may be some difficulties with the bureaucracy, especially if the spouses have children or any major assets or debts. A DIY divorce is not always as fast as it seems. For couples that want to get divorced without a lawyer, but need some help, OnlineDivorce.com can be an excellent and inexpensive option. This service will complete all the divorce paperwork for you at a reasonable cost and provide all the information you need for the filing process.
What forms are required for an uncontested divorce in Dawson County?
The following are the primary divorce forms required to be filed in an uncontested divorce in Texas:
Petition for divorce
Waiver of Service
Final Decree of Divorce
Notice of Final Decree
Other divorce forms and worksheets may be needed in certain cases. For example, a Child Support Order, Military Affidavit, Orders Re Property and Debts, Power of Attorney to Transfer Motor Vehicle, Affidavit of Inability to Pay, etc.
Can I file for legal separation in Dawson County, Texas?
Unlike most other US states, there is no such procedure as legal separation in Texas. Texas courts do not grant any separation orders without getting dissolution of the marriage.
When is it allowed to remarry after a divorce?
According to the Texas Family Law (Sec. 6.801), neither party of a case can legally remarry until 31 days after the divorce has been granted. The divorce is finalized the day the judge signs the Decree of Divorce, so the date of divorce does not always match the day of the final court hearing.
Divorce in Dawson County online
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Here is how OnlineDivorce.com makes completing divorce papers easier:
We provide the full divorce packet required by the local court - clients do not need to drive to their local courthouse to get the blank forms or search for the right divorce forms online. In rare cases, local county forms can vary in color, paper material, size, or bar code, so they may need to be obtained directly from the county clerk's office.
We complete the necessary forms for clients based on their answers given in a simple guided online interview - clients do not need to understand family law or read through complicated instructions to figure out how to fill out the forms themselves.
We give detailed, easy to follow step-by-step instructions for filing a divorce with the court - so the client knows exactly what to do to get his/her divorce finalized.
We provide unlimited technical support - if a client needs assistance through the online process, he/she can always reach out to us via phone, email, or live chat, and we'll do our best to help.
We save our clients time and money - if divorcing spouses agree regarding the terms of their divorce, they typically don’t have to pay thousands to a lawyer to handle their divorce forms and don't need to spend hours trying to do it all by themselves.
We guarantee 100% court approval on divorce papers prepared through our website or your money back - we have 21 years of experience in completing divorce forms so clients can be sure the court will accept their documents without issues.
With a contested divorce, spouses will have to go through numerous steps before the divorce is finalized, including:
prepare, file, and serve (deliver) the divorce petition
respond to the petition
interview and hire an attorney
pre-trial legal motions and hearings
settlement proposals and negotiations between attorneys
if settlement fails, prepare for and complete a court trial
appeal, if you dispute the trial judge’s decision(s)
Prepare to pay exorbitant attorney's fees - at least $2000-3000 depending on your case’s complexity.
Hourly rates vary with different attorneys and average $250-300 per hour. In rural areas, attorneys
may charge less. However, if you live in a large city, local attorneys may charge up to $1000 per hour.
At first glance, using such sites may look like an easy way to go, but it may turn into additional
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lack of guidance during the process
hidden fees, e.g., for any, even the simplest, revisions
outdated divorce forms causing court rejection
Did you know that some online divorce providers have virtual addresses in the US because they are
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