Family Law & Criminal Defense Attorney
Divorce Helping You & Your Family Move Forward To A New Chapter

San Antonio Divorce Attorney

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Whether you’ve mutually decided it’s time to end your marriage or your spouse has sprung divorce papers on you without warning, the road ahead is best navigated with the support and counsel of a trusted divorce lawyer in San Antonio, TX.

At The Law Office of Derek S. Ritchie, PLLC, we offer personalized service and aggressive, client-focused representation to people filing for divorce in San Antonio. Our family law legal team wants to help you start the next chapter of your life on the right foot.

Schedule a free consultation with a San Antonio divorce lawyer today to see how we can help. Just call (210) 761-4943.

“The whole firm was very caring and empathetic towards the situation and I couldn't have asked for better legal representation!”

- Former Client

Why Choose Derek S. Ritchie As Your Divorce Lawyer?

With a passion for practicing family law, Attorney Derek Ritchie is prepared to walk you through your divorce in San Antonio and overcome any bumps in the road along the way.

At The Law Office of Derek S. Ritchie, PLLC, we handle:

  • High Net Worth Divorces: Divorce is difficult for anyone, but high net worth couples often face unique challenges when dividing property, determining alimony, and calculating child support. We offer tailored representation that accounts for your specific financial situation.
  • Uncontested Divorces: Even if you and your spouse agree on most of the terms of your divorce, it is still in your best interest to retain legal representation. With the right lawyer on your side, you’ll be positioned for success in the future. Our clients know they can count on us to protect their rights and interests.
  • Spousal Maintenance: After a divorce, spousal maintenance may be agreed upon or ordered by the court in order to help the lesser-earning spouse maintain their accustomed standard of living for a set period of time.

How to File for Divorce in Bexar County, TX

First, hire a divorce attorney near you to assist and represent you through the divorce process. Once you have representation, here are the first steps in filing for divorce in San Antonio:

  1. Pick up a divorce packet from the courthouse or download Texas divorce papers online
  2. Complete the appropriate paperwork (agreed divorce, default divorce, or contested divorce)
  3. Make 2 copies of your divorce papers
  4. File your original divorce papers and pay the filing fee
  5. Serve copies of the completed divorce papers to the other party

Before filing divorce papers, however, the first step you should really take is to consult a Bexar County divorce lawyer. A local divorce attorney can help you with the paperwork, ensure that no errors are made, and provide support and guidance as you file for divorce. Call The Law Office of Derek S. Ritchie at (210) 761-4943 to learn how we can help you!

The Basics of the Divorce Process in Texas

No one ever expects their marriage to ultimately end in divorce, but it is an unfortunate reality for many. For many, the divorce process is their first encounter with the court system and many are unfamiliar with some of the basics of what the experience entails or requires.

Although Texas provides grounds for a no-fault divorce, which is also known as irreconcilable differences, the state also recognizes divorce based on fault. In Texas, potential grounds for divorce include adultery, abandonment, cruelty, felony conviction, and confinement in a mental hospital.

The Residency Requirement

Before you can file for divorce in Texas, you must meet the state’s residency requirement. You or your spouse must have lived in the state for at least 6 months and be a resident in the county where you wish to file for divorce for at least 3 months. If you meet these requirements, the court can potentially finalize your divorce 60 days after the initial filing.

Key Issues in a Divorce

There are several key issues that must be addressed in a divorce, including property and asset division, alimony, child support, and child custody, each of which can take a considerable amount of time to resolve if you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement any of them. When spouses cannot agree on one or more of these issues, they will have a contested divorce. However, if you find yourselves on the same page, you may have an uncontested divorce.

When rendering a decision regarding your children, whether it be child custody or child support, a judge will always put their best interests first.

Below are some of the factors a judge will consider when determining custody:

  • The child’s emotional needs
  • The relationship the child has with each parent
  • The child’s developmental needs
  • The child’s age
  • Each parent’s work schedule
  • Each parent’s lifestyle and ability to provide for the child
  • In some cases, the child’s preference may be considered
  • Whether either parent has a history of domestic abuse or substance abuse
  • Any other factors a judge may consider pertinent to supporting the child’s best interests

When it comes to dividing property and assets, Texas is a community property state, which means all marital property will be divided equally. Additionally, alimony is only granted under specific circumstances. For example, the court will examine the duration of the marriage, any contributions a spouse made as a homemaker, and the earning ability of the spouse who is seeking alimony.

    Our San Antonio Divorce Lawyers Take a Tailored Approach

    Though we will strive to help you finalize your divorce through mediation, arbitration, or some other form of alternative dispute resolution, we believe that no one should feel pressured to accept a less-than-ideal settlement. Our divorce lawyers in San Antonio, TX recognize that sometimes, litigation is necessary. Should we feel that taking your case to the courtroom will yield better results, we are always prepared to do so.

    Discuss your case with our San Antonio divorce lawyer today. Contact us online or by phone at (210) 761-4943.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    • Q:How much does a divorce cost in San Antonio?

      A:In Bexar County, the filing fee for divorce is $293 without children or $344 with children. Keep in mind that this is not the final cost of divorce, since it does not include attorney fees or any additional court or filing fees that may arise during the divorce process.

    • Q:What are the grounds for divorce in Texas?

      A:Texas allows for both fault-based and no-fault divorce. If a Texas couple wants to file for no-fault divorce, then they would do so using the reason of “insupportability”. This simply means that the marriage can no longer be supported. No further reasons need to be given. Additional ways to file for no-fault divorce include: Separation – If the couple has been living apart for 3 or more years, then they can file for a no-fault divorce. Mental Instability – If one spouse has been in a mental hospital for 3 or more years with an unlikely recovery, then the other spouse can file for no-fault divorce. However, Texas also allows for a spouse to file for fault-based divorce. The primary grounds include: Cruelty Adultery Felony Abandonment

    • Q:Do you have to be separated before filing for divorce in TX?

      A:In Texas, you are not required to be separated before filing for divorce. However, one of the grounds for divorce in Texas is "living apart" – if you and your spouse have not cohabited for at least three (3) years, then you could file for divorce based on living apart.

    • Q:How long does it take to get a divorce in San Antonio?

      A:The fastest a divorce can be finalized in Texas is 60 days, because there is a required 60-day waiting period from the date you file your petition for divorce until the date a divorce decree can be finalized. That being said, most divorce cases take longer. Uncontested divorces generally take a few months, while contested divorces often take a year or longer to be finalized due to busy court schedules and complex issues like custody and support disputes.

    • Q:What should you NOT do in a divorce?

      A:Divorce is a complex and very personal legal process, especially in contested cases. There are countless things that you should and should not do during the divorce process, but here is a good starting list of what not to do in a divorce:

    • Q:Do I need a lawyer for my divorce?

      A:Yes. Even if both parties are in agreement, the divorce process is still complex and has a lot of room for error. The best way to be certain that your interests are protected is by hiring a local divorce attorney with the skill your case needs. Your divorce lawyer can help you fill out the paperwork and represent you throughout the divorce process, from discovery and settlement negotiations to custody battles and courtroom trials.

    • Q:How do I know when it is time to divorce?

      A:No one can decide for you when you want to file for divorce. The best advice we can give you as a divorce law firm is to listen to your gut and remember that you deserve to be happy. For more information about deciding to divorce or not, you might be interested in speaking with a marriage counselor.

    • Q:What if my spouse doesn’t want to divorce?

      A:You do not need your spouse’s approval or permission to file for divorce. If you want a divorce, then you can start those proceedings on your own and with the help of an attorney. Finalizing your divorce and figuring out a fair divorce agreement will be a bigger challenge if your spouse does not want to divorce and will not cooperate, but it is not impossible.

    • Q:Will I have to go to court for my divorce?

      A:At some point, your Texas divorce will bring you to the courtroom for the final hearing. This process involves the judge reviewing the final divorce agreement and approving it, assuming that it has been drafted legally and fairly. If you and your spouse cooperate during the steps of divorce, though, then this might be the only time you have to go to court. For all other court appearances, an attorney can usually stand in your place and act on your behalf. With this said, many people divorce and only go to court once.

    • Q:Can the same attorney represent both me and my spouse?

      A:In Texas, a divorce attorney cannot represent both spouses, even if each spouse wants to get a divorce. This division is caused by the fact that a divorce is technically a lawsuit and representing both parties would be a blatant conflict of interest.

    • Q:Are Texas divorces public records?

      A:The majority of divorces in Texas are public records that can be accessed by interested parties. Some details might be omitted for confidentiality, such as if a pending domestic violence case pertains to the completed divorce. Overall, though, you can assume that information about your divorce can be searched in Texas state records.

    • Q:Can I cancel a divorce once it starts?

      A:A divorce is not complete until the divorce agreement is approved during a final court hearing. Up until that point, the divorce proceedings can be canceled if the spouses reconcile and want to stay together. If the divorce was started by one spouse, then that one spouse can withdraw the petition. But if it was started by both spouses, then both need to agree to withdraw.

    What Differentiates Us

    Results-Focused Tenacity
    • Complimentary Consultations

      We strive to create an environment where you feel safe and protected. We recommend starting with a complimentary consultation to review your case together. Evening and weekend consultations are available by appointment only.

    • Work Directly With Your Attorney

      Derek will work directly with you through every step of your case. It's important to us that your case receives highly personalized attention. You instilled your trust in us and we will work to meet and exceed your expectations.

    • We Fight to Win

      We're competitive by nature and have a versatile legal style. We always seek an amicable outcome among different parties. We're also prepared and ready to take your case to trial.

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