FAMILY LAW AREAS


CONTACT INFO

The Bunger Law Firm, P.C.

Dallas Location:

3631 Fairmount St., Suite 103
Dallas, Texas 75219


Frisco Location:

2591 Dallas Parkway, Suite 300
Frisco, Texas 75034


Phone: 214-233-3400
Fax: 214-233-3806


info@bungerlaw.com



Divorce Attorney

Although few people anticipate that their marriage will end in divorce, many marriages will end. There are few events in one’s life that are as painful, stressful, and emotionally taxing as a divorce. A divorce can be one of the most devastating, emotionally challenging and difficult events that a person will ever encounter.  A divorce will change virtually every aspect of a person’s life, especially if there are children involved.  Having a seasoned professional at your side every step of the way can make a huge difference in the emotional and financial cost of getting through a divorce. Be sure to choose a Divorce Lawyer with not only the experience, but the empathy to assist.


DIVORCE LAWYER WITH EXPERIENCE

The dissolution of a marriage can often be a very frustrating and lengthy process riddled with complex and unforeseen issues that can effect the case. Even in divorce cases when the parties are cooperative, emotional tensions can arise, resulting in difficulties reaching a resolution. A divorce, even when there is little conflict or issues being disputed, is legal action.  Having an experienced divorce attorney to represent you throughout your divorce is essential in protecting your rights to property and when children are involved your rights with respect to your children.


Effective Guidance and Skilled Protection of What is Most Important to You

At a time when your worries may include preserving close relationships with your children, considerations of future child support and possible spousal support obligations, protecting your share of retirement and pension benefits, as well as many other issues, there is no substitute for straightforward, practical legal guidance. We have the skills and resources to protect your rights, manage the complexities of high-asset property division and deal effectively with all other nuances of your divorce case.


Contested and Uncontested Divorce

Although uncontested divorces are legal actions, they are typically not extremely complicated or lenghty.  However, uncontested divorces require documents to be appropriately and accurately drafted and there will need to be  some involvement in court.  Most uncontested divorces are such because the initial pleadings for the divorce itself are not in dispute nor are the issues relating to the division of marital property or child related issues being disputed.  Dallas Divorce Attorney Dave Bunger has extensive experience with divorces involving little to no community property to cases involving massive amounts of property.  


Contested divorces can be a very stressful and lengthy process, and it can get quite unpleasant at times if emotional conflict is prevalent. Having the kind of legal representation that is not only focused on the legal aspects of the case but also in guiding you through the emotional challenges that occur when relationships end and disputes over children and property emerge, can make a tremendous difference in your experience and outcome of your divorce.  Contested divorces typically appear in one of two ways: contesting the divorce itself or contesting the specific terms of the dissolution of the marriage.


​​​​​​​One Spouse Does not Want the Divorce - In this situation, one party to the proceedings does not believe that there are sufficient grounds for a divorce. The divorce is being contested, and one party to the cause of action simply does not want the divorce. In these situations, it is imperative that you seek representation.  If your spouse has filed a petition for dissolution of the marriage with the court, or if they are contesting your petition, having experienced legal representation is imperative in protecting your rights.  If the parties are unable to come to an agreement concerning the grounds for divorce, the case will need to be adjudicated before a judge.  Dave Bunger has years of experience as a Dallas, Texas family lawyer, fighting for the rights of clients going through contested divorces.


The other and more common uncontested divorce occurs when Both parties realize that the divorce action is inevitable, but they cannot come to an agreement on the terms of the divorce. They are in complete agreement that they should be divorced, but the specifics of how the marital property is to be divided and the manner in which child custody and support issues are to be handled unacceptable to the parties.   These disputes that typically arise usually stem from disagreements over real property ownership, spousal support, child custody, personal property, joint-business ventures, and other things that may be important to the parties.


Whatever the case may be, contested divorces can take many months to resolve, and even years in some cases. It is not advised to attempt these proceedings on your own. Our North Texas divorce lawyers are extremely knowledgeable on contested divorces, and they have years of experience in representing parties on both sides of the table. Our attorneys strive to reach an outcome that is satisfactory to our clients, while making an attempt to reduce the stress and burden that comes along with the process. 


Grounds for Divorce in Texas
Texas has both no fault and fault divorce proceedings. The reasons for requesting a divorce are set out in a document called a Petition for Divorce which is filed in the county in which you reside. Under Texas law a no fault divorce is one that is granted on the basis of insupportability.  In other words, the parties can simply no longer live together as husband and wife.   In such cases the cause of the divorces is typically not weighed against either party.


Under Texas law there are six grounds for divorce that if proven can be weighed against the party and the court can render judgement that can result in a disproportionate distribution of the marital estate, among other things.  


The grounds for divorce in Texas are:

1) cruelty;

2) adultery;

3) conviction of a felony (imprisoned for at least 1 year without a pardon);

4) abandonment (for at least 1 year);

5) living apart (without cohabitation for 3 years); and/or

6) confinement in a mental hospital (for at least 3 years).


Spousal Support Issues

One of few certainties in a Texas divorce is that both spouses' financial circumstances will change in significant ways. If you believe you should receive spousal support — often called alimony or spousal maintenance — it is essential to consult a knowledgeable lawyer who will analyze and build your case. If your spouse is seeking spousal maintenance from you, protection against an order that is excessive in amount, duration or both is especially critical.


Spousal maintenance in Texas is not something that occurs automatically in divorce cases.  In fact, the majority of divorces do not result in spousal maintenance.  However, If the marriage lasted 10 years or longer and one spouse's earning capacity is limited or certain other factors apply, spousal maintenance may be an issue that can have a profound effect on a person’s financial future. North Texas Attorney Dave Bunger will advise you concerning the complexities of spousal maintenance and defend your rights every step of the way.


Unlike child support, which is based on State guideline and is ordered in nearly every divorce with children, spousal maintenance is often overlooked and almost always contested. Disputes over the higher-earning spouse's actual income and the financial needs of the wife or husband seeking maintenance are likely to be extremely disruptive. There are two types of spousal support under Texas law.  Temporary and Post Divorce Spousal Maintenance. 


Temporary Spousal Support - In disputed cases in which the divorce may take considerable time to reach a final dissolution of the marriage Temporary orders are often issued at a hearing soon after the divorce petition is filed. These temporary orders establish specific instructions to the parties based on evidence presented to the Court.  In cases in which there is a disproportionate level of income or lack of access to community funds, the Court can order the other party to pay temporary spousal maintenance while the case is pending.  This can be critical in situations in which one of the spouses has limited or no access to community funds and does not have the ability to pay for living expenses or pay for legal representation.


Post Divorce Spousal Maintenance - Under Texas law, in some circumstances a spouse may be ordered to pay post divorce spousal maintenance to the other spouse for a period of time after the divorce has been finalized. Texas is not a traditional alimony State and sets specific limits to the amount to be paid and the length of time in which the spousal maintenance will be ordered to occur.  The intent in most cases of spousal maintenance is to offset the effects that a spouse may have incurred from the result of not having the access to career growth, adequate education or in some cases disabilities that interfere with the person’s ability to earn a sufficient income.
 
Contact the Bunger Law Firm to learn how Dallas Divorce Attorney Dave Bunger can help you with your contested or uncontested divorce.


 COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS - DIVORCE

What is common law marriage?
Texas allows for two types of marriages.  Ceremonial and informal or commonly called Common Law marriage.  The basic requirements for common law marriage is that the couple must have the intent to live together has a married couple and hold themselves out to others as a married couple. If it has been determined that an informal or Common Law marriage exists then under Texas law the marriage must be dissolved through a divorce proceeding as if it were a ceremonial marriage.

Do I need a divorce?
No one plans on getting a divorce at the time they get married. However, over time the relationship between spouses can deteriorate to the point in which living together is not longer sustainable.  No one can really say or suggest that any particular couple should divorce.  It is often believed that when married couples can no longer function as a married couple, then getting a divorce may come as a relief.


What if I was married in another country?

The residential requirements for filing a divorce in Texas is that one of the parties must have lived in Texas for at least six months prior to the filing of the divorce petition and must have lived in the county in which the petition is being filed for at least 90 days prior to the filing of the petition.  As long as you are legally married, where you were married is not typically an issue when petitioning a Texas court for divorce.


What is Legal separation?

A legal separation is typically a legal action that addresses child custody and property issues but does not dissolve a marriage.  Texas law does not have provisions in place that effectuate a legal separation.  However, in some cases, a married couple that do not want to divorce but do want to live separately can file an action called Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship, which will cover issues such as custody, support and possession and access.  As far as division of property goes, the primary mechanism for that would be through a petition for divorce.


What are the requirements to file for divorce?

Texas law requires that a valid marriage be established in the pleadings and that one of the parties must be a resident of Texas for 6 months prior to the filing of the petition and must have resided in the county in which the petition is being filed for at least 90 days prior to the filing of the petition.


How is property divided?

Generally there are two ways in which marital property is divided in a divorce. One is by agreement of the parties,  This can be memorialized into a separate property settlement agreement that will later be a part of the final divorce.  Or the provisions that disperse the marital property can be included in the final decree itself.  Typically the attorneys will assist the parties in coming up with a fair agreement that both parties can be comfortable with.  Sometimes through the process of mediation a property settlement agreement can be brokered that will ultimately be finalized in the divorce proceedings.  The second way marital property is divided is by trial.  The dispute about the distribution will be settled by the trier of fact and will be based on evidence presented to the court. 


How long will it take to finalize my divorce?

It depends.  Under Texas law there is a 60 day requirement which is commonly referred to as the “cooling off period.”  However, there are some circumstances such as military deployment, in which the parties can request a waiver from the court of the 60 day requirement. Often it is the parties that play a significant role in determining how long it will take to finalize their divorce.  If the parties cannot reach an agreement as to property division or child custody or any other aspect of the divorce that needs to be resolved, then it can take some time to either get to a final hearing or find a resolution.  The attorneys at the Bunger Law Firm are dedicated and skilled at assisting their clients in reaching an agreement based on what is important to them and in such a way as to always be focused on efficiency and cost control.  If a trial is necessary, the Attorneys at the Bunger Law Firm are experienced litigators and will aggressively fight for your rights in the courtroom.