If someone is initiating the suit, they should expect to file a petition for a divorce and request citation to serve their spouse with the divorce proceeding. When someone initiates a divorce petition, they must list all of their requests in the petition. Then, they must request the district court to issue citations to serve the opposing party. Then, the petitioner must get a private process server or a constable to serve those documents. The constable must be in the county where their spouse or the opposing parties lives. Because the Missouri City divorce process can be so complicated, it is important to reach out to a skilled attorney if you are thinking about dissolving your marriage.

What is the Role of the Spouse who Initiates the Divorce Filing?

The spouse who initiates the divorce proceedings is the petitioner, and their role is to file the petition for divorce, pay the fees associated with filing and initiating the divorce. This person also has the duty to serve the opposing party with the petition for divorce. The petitioner, in most situations, is required to draft the final decree and any orders of a court.

The petition should include the names of the parties, the county where the petition is being filed, what court the case is being heard in, and the case number to the petition or the divorce proceedings. It should also include the petitioner’s last three numbers of his or her security number and the last three digits of their driver’s license number.

It also should list the respondent’s address and location. The petition should describe whether or not there are any protective orders between the parties, as well as any children that are subject to the suit. Finally, the petition should also include what the petitioner is seeking the court to order on their behalf.

The Role of the Responding Spouse

The spouse responding to a divorce must give a prudent answer to the divorce petition. Once the opposing party is served with the documents, they generally have 20 days to file an answer or until 10 am on the following Monday. The respondent should also file a counter petition listing out what they are seeking out of the divorce as well. If the opposing spouse does not respond, the petitioner can seek a default divorce by filing the necessary paperwork with the district clerk. Through this process, the petitioner may obtain anything they requested within the petition. If the respondent files an answer, both parties must attend mediation before going before the court to get the divorce. A lawyer in Missouri City could help someone with the divorce process if they have been served with a petition to dissolve their marriage.

How Does the Divorce Process in Missouri City Differ if There are Children Involved?

A parent who is seeking a divorce must list the children subject to the suit of the marriage. During the divorce process, parents in Missouri City must address possession and access, child support, and medical support for the children. An amicus attorney or attorney ad litem can be requested or get involved within the divorce proceeding whenever children are involved to represent the children’s interests.

Divorces involving children can take longer because it is two separate suits combined into one. There are more issues that need to be addressed. In a divorce proceeding, we are only addressing the dissolution of the marriage, and the property and debt of the couple. Whereas in a divorce with children, they are addressing those issues as well as possession and access, child support, and medical support of the children.

Is There a Period of Time in Which the Divorce Process Must Be Completed Once the Petition is Filed?

There is no set time for the divorce process to be completed in Missouri City. Some courts have what is called a DWOP. This is when the court dismisses the case because no activity has occurred within the case over a certain period of time. Every court has a different procedure which is why it is important for them to get an attorney who is familiar with the court’s procedure on DWOP. It is important to note that if a petitioner has heard no response from their spouse 60 days after filing for divorce, they may file a final decree and move on with the legal proceedings without them.

Contact a Missouri City Attorney for Help Navigating the Divorce Process

The way that our legal team helps someone navigate the Missouri City divorce process is by drafting documents and filing them on our client’s behalf. We could also explain the procedure and law, and what courts are likely, in most situations, to rule in their particular situation. If you need help protecting your family through this challenging time, call our firm today.