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We cannot give legal advice unless we already have a working relationship with you as a client. If you are not a client already, you must call us at 817-285-2855.  Please call only for legal matters near Tarrant County, Texas.

 

The Adversarial Divorce Model

 
     The adversarial/law model is described by family law attorneys as: inefficient, scary (for clients), arbitrary, expensive, slow, ineffective for changing behaviors or to dealing with emotional issues.  The primary contact that the client has with the attorney's office may be through the paralegal.

A typical contested divorce requires the following steps:

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The Original Petition for Divorce is filed and personally served on the Respondent. 

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The Respondent then has until the next Monday following the expiration of 20 days from the date of service to file an answer.

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One of the parties to the divorce will usually request temporary court orders by filing Request for Temporary Hearing. At this hearing, the judge will make temporary child custody, support and restraining orders.  The court will determine who will live where, who pays what bills, who gets use of what property.  All of the orders will be for the duration of the the divorce or until the court changes them, whichever period is shorter.

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The parties then engage in discovery, which is the process by which parties to the divorce exchange information and documents that are relevant to the case. (Information Gathering) One of the required aspects of discovery is the preparation of an Inventory and Appraisement. This is a  form in which each party lists the community and separate property. Other forms of discovery are interrogatories (written questions) and depositions (oral examination under penalty of perjury).

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If custody is an issue, then a social study will be initiated.  The parties may be required to attend Access Facilitation.

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After the discovery is completed the parties and their attorneys (if they are represented) will discuss settlement of the case. The parties and their attorneys may attend mediation.  If the case is resolved by agreement, one of the attorneys will prepare a Decree of Divorce.  After is is signed by all parties, the petitioner, (usually) will go to court to finalize the divorce.  This hearing takes place in the morning.

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If the parties are not able to agree on all of the issues in the case, a trial will take place.

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After the trial has concluded, one of the attorneys will prepare Decree of Divorce. This is the document that contains all of the court's orders. When the Decree of Divorce is signed by the judge, the case is concluded.  Either side has the right to appeal or ask for a new trial for thirty days after the judge signs the petition.  During this time period one cannot remarry unless the judge had given written permission.

This article was adapted from the work of California attorney, Glenn Rabenn

Last updated 12/06/12

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to contact an attorney for the application of information contained herein to your situation.  
 Diane M. Wanger - Texas Family Law Divorce and Family Law Attorney
 304 Harwood Road Bedford Texas 76021 (817)285-2855
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2001-2012 Diane M. Wanger All rights reserved