Divorce Attorneys

Southlake Divorce Attorney

Personalized Legal Representation for Your Divorce

The Law Offices of Mark M. Childress, PLLC can guide you through the divorce process in Texas. Whether you are simply considering your options, or you and your spouse have already decided whether to pursue a contested or uncontested divorce, our team prioritizes personalized strategies to ensure the divorce ruling protects your rights and interests.

Our Southlake divorce lawyers can help you address the following matters:

Divorce often brings a lot of uncertainty and questions about your child’s future, asset division, and finances. During our collaboration, our attorneys are happy to answer any questions you may have, whether at our office or via email or phone.

Are you considering divorce in Southlake? Contact The Law Offices of Mark M. Childress, PLLC today at (817) 497-8148 to schedule a consultation. Se habla español.

How Do You File for Divorce in Texas?

The state of Texas does not require you and your spouse to have lived separately before filing for divorce. However, one of you must have lived in Texas for at least six months and been a resident of the county you are filing in for a minimum of 90 days. When filing for divorce, you must include an acceptable ground for the dissolution of marriage.

Statutory grounds for divorce in Texas are:

  • Cruelty
  • Adultery
  • Felony conviction with at least one year of imprisonment and without
  • Abandonment of at least one year
  • Living apart for at least three years
  • Mental hospital confinement in a public or private institution for at least three years without any like adjustment in the future
  • Insupportability that prevents “reasonable expectation of reconciliation”

Our family law attorneys can help you determine which ground(s) fit your situation. If you are considering a no-fault divorce, only insupportability is an acceptable ground.

If you meet the residency requirements, the following steps are:

  • Filing an Original Petition for Divorce within the county where either party currently lives
  • Serving the petition to your spouse through a process server, sheriff, or constable who would have no personal gain from your case
  • Waiting for your spouse, respondent, to file an answer within 21 days of reception

If your spouse does not respond within the mandatory timeframe, you may nevertheless move forward with the divorce process.

Texas has a 60-day waiting period before a judge can issue a final divorce decree. A judge may waive this waiting period under special circumstances that involve a conviction of domestic violence or an existing and active protective order.

If both parties find an amicable and mutually beneficial agreement on all issues, the judge can finalize your divorce after 60 days. If you cannot resolve issues peacefully or need additional time to do so, a divorce can take six to twelve months.

Uncontested vs. Contested Divorce

If you and your spouse agree on all aspects of your permanent split, you may opt for an uncontested divorce. This usually means fewer costs and a quicker finalization of marriage dissolution outside of the state's 60-day waiting period.

The state of Texas has the following eligibility criteria for uncontested divorces:

  • Neither spouse has an active bankruptcy case
  • You do not share minor children
  • You do not own property together
  • You do not have retirement benefits to divide
  • Neither spouse is seeking alimony payments

Even if you pursue an uncontested divorce, we recommend that you hire an attorney to ensure that the agreement protects your rights and assets. At The Law Offices of Mark M. Childress, PLLC, our attorneys can thoroughly evaluate your situation and tailor recommendations to help secure a positive future for you and your family.

If your case involves minor children, you may choose an “agreed divorce.” This means that you and your spouse agree on all matters about your divorce and that no previous court orders for child or support already exist.

When spouses cannot agree on one or more issues, Texas considered your divorce a contested one. If you go through this process, our attorneys advocate for you at every step and help you reach your goals. We tailor our advice to your specific situation to what you and your children need.

An uncontested divorce can reach a settlement outside of the courtroom, which may include mediation if you and your spouse need a neutral third party to help you communicate and negotiate. In the event your divorce goes to trial, we continue to work with you through the litigation process.

Reasons to Avoid a DIY Divorce

While it may be tempting to handle your divorce yourself (i.e., without the help of a divorce lawyer), there are many potential risks to a “DIY” divorce.

First, divorce involves complex legal processes, including the division of assets, child custody arrangements, and financial support agreements, which can be challenging to navigate without legal expertise. A divorce lawyer can provide invaluable guidance, ensuring that your rights and interests are protected throughout the process. 

Additionally, DIY divorces often result in incomplete or incorrect paperwork, which can lead to delays, disputes, or even the need to redo the entire process. Moreover, emotions can run high during divorce proceedings, and having a lawyer to handle negotiations and communications with your spouse's legal representation can help reduce conflict and stress. 

Finally, a lawyer can help you anticipate and address potential issues that may arise in the future, such as modifications to custody or support agreements, providing long-term peace of mind. Overall, while it may seem cost-effective to pursue a DIY divorce, the potential risks and complications far outweigh any short-term savings, making professional legal representation essential for a smoother, more successful outcome.

To summarize, reasons to avoid a “DIY” divorce include:

  • Incomplete or incorrect paperwork, leading to delays or disputes.
  • Lack of legal expertise may result in unfair asset division or custody arrangements.
  • Emotional stress and conflict may escalate without professional mediation.
  • Future issues such as modifications to agreements may be overlooked.
  • Short-term savings can be outweighed by long-term complications and costs.

How Much is a Divorce Lawyer?

The cost of hiring a divorce lawyer can vary significantly depending on several factors, such as the complexity of the case, the lawyer's experience and reputation, and the location. Generally, a divorce lawyer in Southlake will charge an hourly rate; however, some law firms charge a flat fee for handling the entire divorce process.

There may also be additional expenses associated with a divorce case, such as court filing fees, mediation fees, expert witness fees, and deposition costs. These expenses can add up quickly, increasing the overall cost of the divorce. 

If you are considering a divorce, it's essential to discuss any lawyer fees and potential additional costs upfront before hiring a divorce attorney.

Contact The Law Offices of Mark M. Childress, PLLC today at (817) 497-8148 to schedule a divorce consultation in Southlake. Se Habla Español.

The Opinions That Matter Most

  • My questions were heard and answered without having to ask twice.

    “Value a capable team with experienced staff. For the past 9 months, the folks at the Law Offices of Mark Childress handled my case with class and empathy. My questions were heard and answered without having to ask twice. I felt like I was kept in the loop and always briefed properly. As I move forward with other ventures I wouldn't be surprised if we crossed paths again. And hats off to Konner, THANK YOU!”

  • Mark was there to answer every question, every phone call and did it in a way that I felt as if I were his only client.

    “I needed an attorney who would stand up for me and my child during a very hard time. Mark was there to answer every question, every phone call and did it in a way that I felt as if I were his only client. He was very knowledgeable not only about the law but about the opposing attorney and the judge. He prepared me well and we won our case. I would recommend Mark Childress to anyone who is fighting for custody or in need of child support.”

  • I highly recommend him and his staff. They are courteous, prompt and they care.

    “I called in inquiring about a divorce and how it all happens. I had 2 people call me back within an hour and in an hour maybe 2 I was talking with the lawyer. I highly recommend him and his staff. They are courteous, prompt and they care. Divorce is the hardest thing we will go through minus losing a kid and his team will be retained. He even called me back himself the next day to see how I was. Great service.”

  • This guy is amazing. In a matter of minutes, he accomplished what no other attorney could in 6 years.

    “This guy is amazing. In a matter of minutes, he accomplished what no other attorney could in 6 years. He had my case figured out in 1short conversation and had what he called "a convoluted mess" fixed. I'm pretty sure my ex felt like he'd been hit by a bus. My family is finally in tact and everyone is finally happy.”

Why Choose Us For Your Family Matters?
  • Direct Access To Your Attorney

    Our Attorneys personally handle each case themselves. You will have direct access to your attorney to be able to get the answers that you need. 

  • Transparency
    Honesty and transparency are critical in building trust with your attorney. You will always know what is going on with your case every step of the way.
  • Team Oriented

    At our firm you're not just a case number, our staff will always know the status of your case and help to make your situation more manageable.

  • Personalized Approach
    Our team understands that no two cases are the same. Your strategy will be tailored specifically to you and your family's goals.