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What to expect on the day of the divorce

A legal marriage creates a hybrid entity of the two people getting married. Certain forms must be observed at the time of the dissolution of the union, after which the couple will be legally rendered asunder and no longer considered a combined being from the point of view of the state of Texas. All required classes must be completed and certificates must be obtained before the divorce will be allowed. For example, a divorce between two parents cannot be finalized if they have not completed a court-ordered parenting course.

Any divorce in Texas will be concluded with a final hearing. This would mean an appearance before a jury, unless either divorcing partner requests a bench trial before a judge. If both spouses agree completely on the details of the divorce, property distribution and child custody arrangements, then they may put their agreement in writing and submit it to the court with very little additional effort required.

A Final Decree of Divorce will be issued at the conclusion of the hearing. In addition to disposing of all community property, community debt and custody issues, the decree also makes allowances for either party to change their name back to a name that they had previously used. This will be their maiden name in most cases. It is not permitted to change one's name to a completely new name that has never been used before without going through a separate proceeding.

An attorney may be of assistance to those who wish to carry out a divorce. The process of divorce may be long and have important details that must be resolved, and an attorney may be able to smooth the way, avoid common pitfalls and ascertain that all necessary legal formalities have been observed.

Source: State Bar of Texas, "Pro Se Divorce Handbook", November 10, 2014

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Bruce Turner

In addition to his law degree, Bruce Turner has a master's degree in tax law and is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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