FAQ

Typically, divorce litigation takes no less than 61 days and can be up to 12 months or longer depending on whether children are involved, the size and complexity of the marital estate and the level of conflict between the parties.

At a minimum, an “agreed divorce” that does not involve children or large marital estates costs $2,500 plus filing fees. That amount will increase dramatically based on the level of conflict between the parties, disagreement as to child custody, and the need for contested hearings in court.

Typically, both parents share “standard possession” custody as “joint managing conservators” with one parent establishing the child’s primary residence and the other parent having possession of the child on Thursdays from 6-8 pm, on first, third, and fifth Fridays through Sundays during the school year, 30 days of summer possession, alternating years for Spring Break and Thanksgiving, and split possession for Christmas break.

Typically, in order to be named a “sole managing conservator,” there must be a history of domestic violence, child abuse or neglect, substance abuse, illegal drug use, or other criminal or “bad acts” on the part of the other parent which makes limiting that parent’s rights necessary to protect the child’s physical health and emotional well-being.

After signing an engagement agreement and paying your retainer fee, the divorce process involves filing a petition for divorce and negotiating temporary orders to establish rules regarding behavior, finances, and child custody and support during the pendency of the divorce. The next step is “discovery,” to obtain information and documents to establish the value of the marital estate so that it can be divided, to confirm and protect separate property of each party and to prove what type of custody arrangement is in the child’s best interests. The next step is typically “mediation,” and, if necessary, a last trial to establish final orders. Then comes the important step of drafting the final decree of divorce and documents.

The right of first refusal is a clause that states that the custodial parent has to offer parenting time to the noncustodial parent any time the custodial parent cannot watch the children, rather than seeking a babysitter first.

The no shack-up clause basically prohibits a parent from allowing someone they are dating or in a romantic relationship with from staying overnight when the parent has custody of the children.

Every state sets its own calculator for child support payments. Calculation schedules are available on most states attorney general websites; however, the court has discretion in the final payment calculation.

Spousal support is typically referred to as payments set by the court in a legal separation or pre-divorce agreement. Spousal support in this reference is not the same as alimony. Alimony is payments set by the court to be made after the divorce is finalized.

If child support payments are adjusted per court order, you need to abide by them. If you disagree with the adjustments, consult one of our attorneys to explore your options.

Yes. You need to adhere to the child support set by the court. If you suspect your former spouse’s income has increased from when the order was originally issued or that they are misusing the support, consult one of our attorneys. Changes to child support payments require a court order, and an attorney can guide you through the steps to make that happen if appropriate.

Legally, fathers should absolutely be treated fairly in court and an attorney can help ensure this is the case.

Recreational drug use is an issue when it affects the welfare of the child.

While it is not a requirement to have an attorney in a CPS investigation, it is certainly advisable.

No, only a court can terminate a parent’s rights. If the other parent fails to pay support, contact one of our attorneys. There are legal procedures in place to address failed support payments, and an attorney can guide you in this process. 

No, only a court can terminate a parent’s rights. If the other parent is not meeting their visitation obligation, contact one of our attorneys. They can advise you on what steps to take in the legal process.

The goal of mediation is to engage a neutral party or “mediator” to facilitate a resolution between spouses in a divorce settlement outside of court. Mediation can address any aspects of a divorce, but is typically used for child custody arrangements and support, as well as marital property division issues. If the parties reach an agreeable solution in mediation, it is presented to the court to finalize legally and issue the divorce decree.