What to expect in a divorce

Divorces come in all shapes and sizes. Each has its own emotional and financial characteristics. While the personal aspects are unique, from a legal standpoint, they all tend to follow a standard process. We’ve prepared the information below to help you understand what to expect if you’re facing a divorce — from the initial filing to the final signed documents.

Fill Out and File Pleadings

The first step to getting a family law matter started is getting your attorney intake forms filled out. These forms are important, as they contain information that your attorney and paralegal will need to file the necessary forms. If there is an emergency in your case, the Court may require an affidavit that sets forth the grounds for the emergency in your own words. Once the forms are filled out, the pleadings will be drafted and sent to you for final approval, and upon your approval, they will be filed with the Court.

Provide Notice to Parties

Once a lawsuit is filed, the law requires that the other party has notice of the lawsuit and that the proof of notice is filed with the Court. There are two main ways to get notice effectuated. The first way is to have a private process server deliver the lawsuit. The second way is to more casually present (via email or a letter) the other party the lawsuit and ask them to sign a document, called a Waiver of Service, indicating that they received the document.

Response & Waiting Period

After filing and effectuating service on the other party, a small lull in the process occurs. Upon being served or receiving and acknowledging notice of the lawsuit, the opposing party must file an Original Answer on the Monday following 20 days, which starts the process. Additionally, there is a 60-day waiting period from the date of the filing of the Original Petition for Divorce until a divorce can be finalized. Note that most divorces take longer than 60 days, but 60 days is the quickest you can possibly be divorced.

Standing Orders

Many counties throughout the State of Texas have adopted what are called “Standing Orders.” Standing orders outline the things that parties can and cannot do in order to protect the parties, their children, and their property.

The standing orders go into effect for 14 days after the date of service unless someone objects to them during that time. They will continue to be in effect while the case is pending, up to and until the final orders are signed in your case.

The standing orders can be modified at any time by further orders of the Court, and should a party violate some portion of the standing orders, either party may seek relief from the Court for that person’s violation.


Discovery is the process where we obtain information relevant to your case to help you understand the issues in your case and get information that you might not otherwise have access to.

There are two major types of discovery: Written Discovery; and Subpoenas and Depositions.

1. Written Discovery can come in different forms and allows your attorney to request relevant documents, written responses, and documents relevant to your case.

2. Subpoenas and Depositions allow the parties to request information from third parties and parties to the case.

Temporary Orders

Temporary Orders are “band-aid” orders that address issues that need guidance pending a final order in your case. Those issues can include possession and access, child support, spousal support, temporary possession of real and personal property, and access to funds, and emergency issues. Temporary Orders can either be by agreement or by Order of the Court. Some courts have rules that you only get “one bite at the apple” and will only do one hearing on Temporary Orders, so it is imperative that you know your court and what relief you are requesting.

Final Orders

Once there is a final agreement or final ruling of the Court, that will be reduced to a written final Order of the Court and will likely be signed by the Court, the parties and the attorneys. It is imperative that this document be specific, clear, and accurate in order to be enforced later on.

If you are facing the prospect of a divorce, it is best to act quickly to protect your interests and plan a course of action. We keep the focus on the outcome. Contact us to arrange a no-obligation consultation. Additionally, you can find videos to help prepare for your mediation, deposition, and courtroom testimony in your family law case here.

Kril C. They approached my case with compassion and a laser focus on the well-being of my children.

Joshua C. Best law firm BY FAR! Very reputable and really care for their clients! Thank you!!! Definitely recommend!!

Shani J. Jessica Hall Janicek of KoonsFuller is a very fine family law attorney. She is a fierce advocate, compassionate, and knowledgeable.

Larissa H. They were always available to answer my questions, and they kept my case going even when I was too busy to keep track of all the changes in my personal life. They fought for my legal rights when I did not have the strength to do so.

Michelle F. Fred Adams is by far the most ethical, kind, honest family law lawyer in Dallas County.

Susanna G. I cannot emphasize enough what an excellent lawyer Chris Meuse is. From the very first day, he guided me through the entire legal process in the best and most efficient way for my particular circumstances. In the end, I got exactly the result that we were hoping — I 100% recommend hiring him as your lawyer!

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Ram K. Your commitment to understanding our cultural intricacies and achieving the best possible outcomes has given us peace of mind and reassurance during times of uncertainty. Your attention to detail, thoroughness, and diligence in handling each and every aspect has been remarkable.

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