What to expect at the final divorce hearing

Couples in Texas who are going through a divorce for the first time may wonder what to expect on the day their divorce will be granted. The answer depends on several things, including whether they have been able to reach agreements regarding such things as property division, support and custody matters or whether they will be going through a contested divorce hearing.

Most of the time when a divorcing couple has been able to reach a full agreement, judges will grant the request and issue the decree. The court will review the proposed agreement and will inquire of each party whether they believe it is fair for both. If the court is satisfied that agreement is fair, then it will be granted.

For others who have disputes, the divorce decree will be issued along with rulings regarding property division, restoration of name, child custody, parenting time, spousal maintenance and child support. At contested hearings, people should expect to call witnesses and present evidence to the court. They should also be prepared to be cross-examined by the other party when they are called to the stand, and they should expect to testify as well.

The final divorce decree and orders will result in the end of the marriage and the final decision regarding all outstanding issues. While it can be expected to be highly stressful, people should keep in mind that following the hearing and decree, they will be divorced and may then start the rest of their lives free from the marriage. Because a divorce can be so emotionally taxing, many people benefit by seeking the advice of a family law attorney.

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