Texas Divorce Lawyers
Texas Divorce Lawyers at Soyars & Morgan Law know that going through a divorce can be challenging emotionally and financially. You will need an experienced Texas divorce lawyer to help you navigate the complicated divorce process and protect your future. Our team of divorce lawyers understand the complications that can arise during the divorce process. We help protect your interests and anticipate the steps necessary to build a strong case in your favor.
Texas Divorce Lawyers: Personalized Legal Solutions
Each divorce has its own unique issues. Whether you are facing a divorce with or without children, financial issues will often create complications that require personalized legal solutions. At Soyars & Morgan Law, our Texas divorce lawyers pride themselves on thinking outside the box to resolve complicated divorce issues that affect our clients.
Texas Divorce Lawyers: Types of Cases
Our experienced Texas divorce lawyers handle complex divorce cases, including the following types of divorce cases:
The divorce process can be complicated and overwhelming, especially if you are dealing with a contentious divorce. Let Soyars & Morgan’s experienced Texas divorce lawyers help protect you and your property rights. We handle very complex divorce cases including high-conflict divorces involving a narcissistic spouse, or divorces in which one spouse is facing criminal charges while the divorce is pending.
High Net Worth Divorce
If you have a marital estate or separate property with substantial value, you will need to take additional steps to avoid unnecessary collateral consequences and protect your net worth. Our Texas divorce lawyers work with a team of experts, including tax attorneys, forensic accountants, etc. to ensure your investments are protected and you obtain the best possible results from your divorce.
Divorce with Children
If you are facing child custody issues along with your divorce, you will be forced to make some difficult decisions regarding your child. Hiring a skilled and attentive divorce lawyer will help you anticipate issues and prevent unnecessary surprises from arising for you and your family. Whether you are seeking full custody or shared custody, let us help you navigate the child custody process.
Divorce with Business
If you own a professional business or other type of closely held business, that can create complications in a divorce. Dividing up these types of assets often require additional experts and an experienced divorce lawyers with creative ideas about how to structure a division of the Texas marital estate that protects the integrity and earning potential of your business.
If you and your spouse can agree on all or most issues, then you will be able to achieve a simple and affordable divorce. However, an attorney will still be necessary to help you submit the proper paperwork to the courts and to execute the appropriate documents to transfer the property correctly. If you are looking for a simple divorce, contact our experienced divorce lawyers in Texas to discuss how we can help you through the divorce process for a simple uncontested divorce.
Texas is home to many military families. Military divorces often create complications in the divorce process because of child custody issues and retirement benefits that must be addressed at the time of divorce. If you or your spouse is a member of the military, contact our Texas divorce lawyers to discuss how we can help you achieve an affordable military divorce.
Why Soyars & Morgan Law?
- Direct access to your legal team. Our Texas divorce lawyers work hard to provide each client with prompt responses. You will have direct access to our team of divorce lawyers so that you are able to get the answers that you need, when you need them.
- 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.
- 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. Soyars & Morgan Law sees your case through from start to finish.
When you retain the services of Soyars & Morgan Law, you can be assured that we are fully qualified to take on your case. Let our Texas divorce lawyers work with you to address your legal concerns.
Meet Our Divorce Lawyers
“There will never be enough adjectives to describe Jodi and her work ethic. I did my research and she kept coming out as one of the top 10. She should be #1! You want someone smart and strong with a great work ethic? This is Jodi Soyars! You’ll want her in your corner.”
“Carla took me under her protective, assertive, kind, and noble wings. I will forever be grateful. AMAZING LITIGATOR. AMAZING TEAM. ORGANIZED. TALENTED. ETHICAL.”
Texas Divorce FAQs
Can I file for legal separation in Texas? Texas does not recognize a legal separation. You are either single, married or divorced. Many times, our Texas divorce lawyers receive calls asking if the person can get a “legal separation” from their spouse. While some states recognize “legal separations,” Texas does not. In Texas, you are still considered married with all the duties and benefits that marriage entails, until such time as the court signs a final decree of divorce finalizing the divorce. Texas’ community property laws will continue to apply to all property acquired by either spouse during that period of separation until such time as a final divorce order is obtained.
Can I hide money from my spouse during the divorce process? Most Texas counties have standing orders that prevent and discourage spouses from doing this. If you are anticipating a divorce, you should contact a local knowledgeable Texas divorce lawyer before filing for a divorce. We recommend obtaining advice on how to organize your financial situation before filing for divorce. If a divorce has already been filed, and you would like to protect certain assets, our Texas divorce lawyers can request permission from the court to allow you to protect the asset while the divorce is pending.
What happens if I catch my spouse cheating? Adultery can be used as a ground to obtain a fault-based divorce in Texas. If your divorce is granted based on fault, the Court can use this fact to justify an unequal division of the community estate.
How can I protect assets I acquired before marriage? Property owned prior to marriage is considered separate property and is not part of the community estate. The court is constitutionally prohibited from awarding separate property to the other spouse upon divorce. However, the size of a spouse’s separate estate can be used as a basis for a disproportionate division of the community estate. While the court cannot interfere with the ownership interest in a spouse’s separate property, it can affect the division of the community estate and justify a disproportionate division. The spouse claiming the property to be his/her separate property has the burden to show the property was either (1) acquired before marriage or (2) received as a gift or inherited.
Can I get a military divorce in Texas? If you or your spouse serve in the U.S. Armed Forces or services of the United States or Texas, you may qualify to file for divorce in Texas under the following circumstances:
- TEXAS RESIDENT OR SPOUSE SERVING OUT OF STATE/COUNTY. Time spent by a Texas domiciliary outside the state or county of residence while you or your spouse is serving in the armed forces or other services of the United States or Texas is considered time spent in Texas and in the county of residence.
- NON-TEXAS RESIDENT SERVING IN TEXAS. If you or a spouse is serving in the U.S. Armed Forces and has been stationed (1) at one or more military installations in Texas for the last 6 months and (2) at a military installation in a Texas county for the last 90 days, then you are considered to be a Texas domiciliary and a resident of that county for those periods for the purposes of filing a divorce suit.
Can a Non-U.S. Citizen file for divorce in Texas? Yes, a person who is not a U.S. Citizen can be considered a Texas resident for purposes of filing or maintaining a divorce suit if that person intends to establish a domicile in Texas as a resident and has been domiciled in Texas for the past 6 months. U.S. citizenship is not a required for Texas to be able to grant a divorce. However, the ability to file for divorce in Texas can be limited if your spouse does not have sufficient minimum contacts with Texas for Texas to have jurisdiction over your spouse.
Am I required to have my spouse served with the divorce? Yes, Texas requires you to have someone (other than yourself) personally serve your spouse with the petition for divorce unless the spouse waives service of process. The spouse can waive service of process only after the suit for divorce is filed. The waiver must be notarized unless the person executing the waiver is incarcerated. If you and your spouse are working together to obtain a divorce that is always a good thing, however, it is best if you retain a Texas divorce lawyer to make sure that the paperwork is done correctly. Many times, uncontested divorces can be expedited by having an attorney draft the necessary paperwork so that delays and roadblocks are eliminated.
Can I get an informal divorce or common-law divorce? While spouses can be informally married through common law marriage, they cannot be divorced through an informal or common law process. In Texas, a divorce can only occur by obtaining a court order granting the divorce. There is no informal or common law divorce in Texas.
Can I get a no-fault divorce in Texas? Yes, Texas allows no-fault divorces. Not all states allow no-fault divorces. A Texas court can grant a no-fault divorce for a marriage that was entered into in a sister state that does not recognize no-fault divorces. However, the parties must still meet the other qualifications to file a divorce in Texas in order for Texas to have jurisdiction to grant a no-fault divorce.
What is the difference between a no-fault divorce and an at-fault divorce? A no-fault divorce allows the parties to obtain a divorce without proof that one of the spouses is at fault in the break-up of the marriage. In Texas, a no-fault divorce can be granted for (1) insupportability, (2) living apart without cohabitation for at least 3 years, or (3) confinement in a mental hospital for at least 3 years. A no-fault divorce allows the spouses to avoid presenting sordid and ugly details of the other spouses conduct to obtain a divorce.
Texas also permits a divorce based off fault which means one of the spouses was at fault for the break-up of the marriage. Texas recognizes the following fault grounds: cruelty, adultery, felony conviction, and abandonment. Fault grounds, if proven, are used to obtain a greater share of the community estate and are used by Texas courts as a factor in determining the amount, duration, and manner of any spousal maintenance payments to be awarded.
Can I file for divorce in Texas? A Texas Court has authority to grant a divorce if each of the following are met:
- One spouse qualifies as a domiciliary of Texas.
- The Court has personal jurisdiction over a non-resident.
- Divorce is filed in proper county.
- Court has subject-matter jurisdiction.
What do I do if my spouse wrongfully filed for divorce in Texas? If you believe that a divorce suit has been wrongfully filed against you in Texas, you must file a Special Plea in Abatement (not a motion to transfer). Failure to do this properly can cause you to “avail yourself” of the Texas Court’s jurisdiction and get stuck defending a divorce in Texas when you have little (if any) actual contact with Texas. In this instance, it is best to retain an experienced divorce lawyer to make sure you don’t get stuck fighting a divorce in Texas.
What Texas county can I file for divorce? In a divorce case, Texas requires a spouse to have resided in the county for at least 90 days before filing a divorce suit in that county. For a county to qualify as a person’s residence, the person must be physically present and living in the county. A spouse can have more than one county of residence. Temporary absences from the county will not break the continuity of an established residence. For a party to establish a residence in a second county, the residence must be (1) a fixed place of abode within the party’s possession, (2) occupied or intended to be occupied consistently over a substantial period of time, and (3) permanent rather than temporary.
When a divorce can be properly filed in more than one county, the court in which the divorce is first filed will have dominant jurisdiction. This is often referred to as the “first to file” advantage. If you are considering divorce and there are other proper counties that qualify to hear the divorce, do not delay in filing or you could wind up defending a divorce action in an inconvenient venue/county.
Does Texas have personal jurisdiction over my spouse in my divorce case?
Can I get a divorce in Texas if my spouse lives out-of-state?
Possibly. Texas requires personal jurisdiction over your spouse which means your spouse must have had a minimum level of contact with Texas before Texas will be able to impose a binding court order over your spouse. You cannot get a divorce in Texas if your spouse has no connections to Texas.
Examples of what may allow for Texas to have jurisdiction over a non-state resident spouse include:
- Your spouse is properly served with process while in Texas.
- Your spouse waives service of process and agrees to proceed with a divorce in Texas.
- Your spouse makes a general appearance and does not contest Texas’ jurisdiction.
- Your spouse has had minimum contacts with Texas that are sufficient to meet the fair-play requirements of due process under the Texas and Federal constitutions.
Examples of sufficient minimum contacts include:
- The other spouse was a domiciliary of Texas when the divorce suit was filed.
- Texas is the last marital residence.
- The divorce suit is commenced within 2 years after the marital residence ended.
- If the spouses intended to maintain their marriage in Texas while living in separate states.
- Non-resident spouse participated in search and purchase of Texas home.
- Non-resident spouse paid monthly stipend to resident spouse while living in Texas condo to cover utilities and mortgage payments.
- Non-resident kept personal possessions in Texas residence.
- Non-resident spouse visited Texas frequently for holidays and wedding anniversary and had “intimate” visits with spouse while in Texas.
Examples of Insufficient Minimum Contacts include:
When one spouse has moved to Texas and the other spouse has not, the Court looks to see if the other spouse availed themselves of the privilege of conducting activities with Texas and invoked the benefits and protections of Texas laws. There must be a substantial connection between the nonresident and Texas arising from the non-resident’s action or conduct. One spouse cannot, solely by actions in which the other spouse is not involved, create the contacts between Texas and the non-resident spouse necessary for personal jurisdiction over the objection of the non-resident spouse. Here are some examples where Texas courts have found insufficient minimum contacts:
- Single act of designating Texas as residence during military service did not support jurisdiction.
- Unilateral act of moving to Texas and acquiring property did not support jurisdiction.
- Corporate functions performed from abroad while serving as a manager of a Texas company did not support jurisdiction over non-resident spouse.
- Attending a business convention in Texas 9 to 10 years prior did not support jurisdiction.
Fair Play & Substantial Justice
Even once Texas finds that there are sufficient minimum contacts, Texas can still decline to exercise jurisdiction if the exercise of personal jurisdiction would not comport with fair play and substantial justice. Factors the court considers are (1) the burden on the respondent, (2) the interest of Texas in adjudicating the dispute, (3) the petitioner’s interest in obtaining convenient and effective relief, (4) the interstate judicial system’s interest in obtaining the most efficient resolution of controversies, and (5) the shared interest of all the states in furthering fundamental substantive social policies. Given modern transportation and communication, courts in San Antonio and Central Texas have found that the distance between Texas and the respondent is usually insufficient to show burden.
Call Our Texas Divorce Lawyers
If you’re ready to take the next step, contact our Texas divorce lawyers to schedule a confidential consultation. Soyars & Morgan Law will take a deep dive into your case, discuss your concerns and provide answers to any pressing questions you may have about the divorce process.
For in-person meetings, our offices are conveniently located in downtown San Antonio. Prefer to communicate with us virtually? We’re happy to “meet” with you via videoconference or by phone.