Experienced Orange, Texas Divorce Attorney
Divorces and child custody disputes can be one of the most grueling experiences in someone’s life. Divorce is often complicated; particularly if the parties have been married for a long time, have accumulated a substantial amount of property, or have children. One step you can take to make the process less stressful is to hire an experienced divorce lawyer to represent you.
When you discuss your concerns with Orange County attorney Jim Sharon Bearden Jr., he will answer your questions in a friendly and supportive, but candid manner. He will give his honest assessment of your situation and explain what you can expect in your case and why. He will provide you with options about custody arrangements based on both his experience as a father of five and as a seasoned family law attorney. You can be assured he will fight for arrangements that will best preserve your future and your relationship with your children. Attorney Bearden is focused on resolving your case efficiently and favorably so you can move on with your life.
Jim Sharon assists clients with the following legal needs:
- Divorce settlements
- Separation agreements
- Property Division
- Child custody, support, and visitation
- Paternity testing
Jim Sharon helps Orange County clients with their various family law needs, which include prenuptial agreements, adoption, surrogacy, and retirement plans and benefits, among other services. Attorney Bearden’s top priority is your welfare.
Choosing An Exceptional Divorce Attorney Is Crucial
If you are reading this, chances are you are considering a consultation with an Orange divorce attorney. If that’s true, there are a few things you should know about Jim Sharon Bearden, Jr., and the firm:
- Jim Sharon Bearden, Jr. is an experienced family law attorney and a native of Orange. For over 23 years, Jim Sharon has helped families and individuals litigate all aspects of family law, including divorce, child custody, adoption, property division, modifications, spousal support, and marital agreements.
- Jim Sharon is the former President of the Orange County Bar Association and the current Judge of the Municipal Court of Orange. He is well acquainted with the courts and lawyers of Orange and Orange County, Texas which makes him exceptionally prepared to help you achieve the best outcome.
- As a father of five, Jim Sharon brings an appreciation of how divorce and family law issues impact children and parents. Jim Sharon will work directly with you, guide you with compassion, a depth of knowledge, and ensure the best outcome for you and your relationship with your child(ren).
- Many clients have significant assets to protect. Attorney Bearden has substantial experience representing high-net-worth individuals and those divorcing at later stages in life. He will work diligently to help you and your spouse arrive at an agreement regarding assets division, but he does not shy away from a fight when needed. Don’t trust your financial future to an attorney that is learning on the job. Experience is crucial.
- When you hire Jim Sharon Bearden you will work directly with him. Attorney Bearden believes there is no substitute for exceptional legal representation and will not hand off your case to a junior attorney. Jim limits his caseload so he can provide the best possible service and outcome for each and every client.
- The Bearden Law Firm is very proud of the testimonials from past clients. We encourage you to read our client testimonials and Google Reviews.
Skillful Guidance Through Every Step Of The Divorce Process
The end of a marriage in Texas requires following a series of steps and legal procedures. It is essential that you hire an experienced and attentive lawyer to help you successfully navigate the process and provide sound legal advice. Jim Sharon will guide you through all the steps required to dissolve a marriage and explain what you can expect.
Steps of the Marriage Dissolution Process
Step 1: Initiating a Divorce Suit and Determining Grounds for Divorce
In Texas, the divorce process begins when one spouse files a petition for divorce.
Certain residency requirements must be satisfied to file for divorce in Texas. When the divorce suit is filed, either spouse must have been a Texas resident for the preceding six months and either party must have been a county resident in which the suit is filed for the preceding 90 days.
A family law attorney will ensure all steps are followed correctly and assist you in deciding upon the grounds for divorce. A ground is basically the justification you are giving the court for the marriage’s dissolution. Texas is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that a divorce may be granted without either spouse causing the breakdown of the marriage. However, you have the option to seek a divorce on fault grounds including cruelty, adultery, abandonment, separation, or felony conviction and imprisonment of a spouse.
Whether you are seeking a fault or no-fault divorce can have an effect on child custody, spousal support, and property division. Attorney Bearden will evaluate your situation and advise if it is to your advantage to seek a divorce on fault grounds, no-fault, or both.
Step 2: Temporary Orders, Discovery, and Mediation
Once the petition is filed and answered, the next stage in the process is the entry of temporary orders. Temporary orders can happen relatively quickly—within a week or two of filing the divorce petition. Temporary orders are the ground rules that all parties must follow during the divorce process. They may dictate how often you see your children, child support, primary residence of the children, who remains in the marital home, who is responsible for bills and many other issues.
Why Temporary Orders Are Important?
Temporary orders are extremely important because temporary orders tend to become final orders. In other words, the court’s final orders concerning property, child support, child custody, and other issues often closely mirror the temporary orders. This is one reason it is imperative that you consult with an Orange County divorce attorney as soon as you are considering a divorce.
What Do Temporary Orders Do?
Temporary orders can prohibit both parties from shutting off utilities, hiding or selling assets, raiding the checking account, or removing the children from their home county or school. If you’re the spouse with less income at your disposal, perhaps a stay-at-home mom, the court can order the spouse with more money to pay your reasonable expenses while the divorce is proceeding.
Temporary orders can provide for the following:
- Inventory and appraisal of all real and personal property owned or claimed by the parties
- List of all debts and liabilities owed by the parties
- Requiring temporary support
- If child custody is an issue in the divorce, the court will define custody of the children, child support, and visitation during the pendency of the case
- Requiring payment of lawyer fees and expenses
- Awarding one spouse exclusive occupancy of the residence
- Limiting both parties from spending funds beyond what the court determines to be reasonable and necessary living expenses
- Awarding exclusive control of a party’s usual business or occupation to one spouse
- Restraining the parties from destroying property
- Restraining the parties from communicating by telephone or in writing in a profane manner and making threats of bodily injury
This list is not exclusive as the court can enter any order it deems necessary to protect the parties, property, and children.
Step 3: Discovery & Mediation
Discovery is the process where both sides gather information relevant to their case. Your attorney will request documents and answers to questions from your spouse designed to uncover information that will be useful in settling your case. Discovery is also used to identify the parties’ assets and liabilities including tax returns and bank records.
When discovery is performed skillfully it can help you achieve critical bargaining leverage and assist you in achieving the best outcome and a quick settlement. That is why working with an experienced divorce attorney that knows the questions to ask given your specific situation is essential.
Most divorce cases are settled before a final trial by reaching a mediated agreement that can be incorporated in the final divorce decree.
Mediation is a form of dispute resolution where both spouses try to reach an agreement with the aid of a neutral third-party mediator; thereby avoiding a final trial.
Step 4: Your Divorce Decree
Attorney Bearden ‘s aim is to minimize conflict and maximize solutions, so that you and your spouse can reach an agreeable outcome. If you and your spouse have reached an agreement in writing, the final hearing may be as simple as answering a few of the judge’s questions before he or she approves the agreement.
If you and your spouse cannot resolve your issues through mediation, the next step is a trial before a judge or jury. Attorney Bearden is well qualified to represent you at trial when that is your best option. You can rest assured that Attorney Bearden has the experience and skill necessary to achieve your best outcome.
Regardless of whether you came to an agreement or had a trial, you will then receive your final decree of divorce. The divorce decree provides for the division of all community property and debt, details the child custody and child support orders, as well as alimony.
Your Initial Consultation Is At No Cost
Know your options. Act now. You and your family deserve a better tomorrow. Let’s review your matter to discuss your options. Call 409-883-4501 or fill out this online contact form to make an appointment.