The Ridgely Firm

Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Adoptions, Enforcement

Free Initial Consultation | Affordable Rates | Payment Plans

Office: (469) 609-0069

24 Hour:  (214) 236-7250 (Call or Text)

After-Hour & Weekend Appointments by Request

Divorce & Family Law Attorneys

Legal decisions involving your family have emotional and financial consequences that will affect you for years to come.
At the Ridgely Firm, our experienced Divorce & Family Lawyers understand the importance of learning as much as they can about your family, finances, preferences and goals.  We pride ourselves on achieving our client’s desired results quickly.  We do our best to avoid extensive legal battles, unless its absolutely necessary, to achieve your desired outcome.  Many family law practitioners have the reputation of only viewing their clients as inventory, just another file paying the bills, but that will not be your experience with us.  At The Ridgely Firm, you will have an effective Family | Divorce Lawyer who will answer all your questions and take the time necessary to prepare your case to optimize your chances for success.

This Texas Family Law | Divorce Lawyers at the Ridgley Firm offer after hour appointments so you do not have to miss work and we provide affordable representation in Adoptions and both Contested and Uncontested Divorce Matters.

How We Can Help You

Divorce

  • All Divorces
  • Complex Property Divisions
  • Child Custody
  • Separate Property (Attack & Defense)
  • Disproportionate Property Divisions
  • Spousal Maintenance (Pursuit & Defense)
  • Temporary Restraining Orders
  • Wasting of Asset Claims (Pursuit & Defense)
  • Assault Claims for Money Damages
  • Fraud & Breach of Loyalty Claims (Fiduciary Duty)

Custody

  • Child Custody
  • Establishment of Paternity
  • Child Support
  • Restricted Possession (Pursuit & Defense)
  • Possession & Access
  • 50/50 Possession Schedule (Pursuit & Defense)
  • Family Violence (Pursuit & Defense)
  • Temporary Restraining Orders
  • Enforcement of Child Support
  • Enforcement of Possession

Conveniently Request Appointment by Email

When Would You Like to Meet?

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What To Do In a Contested Family Matter

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Stay calm and control your emotions.

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Do not send out text messages, emails, or Facebook messages that you wouldn’t want a judge to read.

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Be aware that your spouse may be (probably is) secretly recording your phone conversations, so choose your words carefully.

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Don’t withhold the children from your spouse unless you truly believe they are in danger.

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If you don’t have the children, ask to see them frequently by text message and phone calls.  Be respectful.

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Contact an experienced family law attorney immediately.

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Make copies of all relevant documents (tax returns, emails, bank statements, photographs, and etc).

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Guard your phone to preserve evidence.  Back up the phone if possible.

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Don’t spend money wastefully.  If this is a divorce, stop seeing any boyfriend or girlfriend for the time being.

40 Years Combined Family Law Experience

Our Divorce | Family Law Lawyers have over 40 years combined legal experience and are well respected among their peers and judiciary in the Collin, Dallas, Denton, and Tarrant Counties.  Meet with us to learn how our team can help you.  We serve all individuals facing child custody, divorces, and other family law matters in throughout Collin County, Dallas County, Denton County, and Tarrant county and conveniently serve all residents in Addison, TX, Carrollton, TX, Dallas, TX, Plano, TX, Richardson, TX, Lewisville, TX and surrounding cities.

Common Questions about Family Law & Divorce

What are the Grounds for a Divorce in Texas?

While Texas recognizes a variety of fault based grounds for obtaining a divorce, such as adultery and cruelty, an individual is not required to allege fault.  Texas is a “no fault” state, meaning that either party can obtain a divorce simply by alleging that the marriage has become “insupportable.”  In most cases, parties should use caution in alleging fault based grounds if they believe they may reach an agreement with their spouse.  After all, it’s hard to reach an agreement after one spouse inflames the situation by broadcasting embarrassing facts.  By reaching an agreement both parties can save money by avoiding large attorney’s fees incurred in litigating a contested case.

How does Marital Misconduct Effect the Divorce?

In some cases, a spouse’s misconduct, if egregious enough, can result in the court awarding the other spouse a greater portion of the marital assets, as well as possession and access time with the children.  However, not all marital misconduct is significant enough to result in a disproportionate award of marital property and restricting possession and access time with the children.  For example, even if one spouse can prove the other had an affair during the marriage, that misconduct in and of itself might not be enough to support a disproportionate award and most likely will have little impact on the possession and access times to the children.

What is a Temporary Orders Hearing?

In most divorces and child custody cases, there will be a need to have a temporary orders hearing.  These hearings are designed to preserve the “status quo” and to obtain orders from the judge that will govern your case until a final trial or settlement is reached.  Sometimes in complicated and heavily contested cases, it may be necessary to have multiple temporary orders hearings.  Things that can be accomplished at this hearing are pretty broad.  For instance, the judge can order temporary spousal support, temporary child support, possession and access schedules for the children, the exclusion of one party from the marital residence, drug testing, psychological testing, payment of certain debt obligations, and even the selling of certain assets such as the marital residence.
These hearings are not something to take lightly.  Often this hearing is the first time the judge will hear from you and your spouse.  It is important to show well, and have your testimony and evidence prepared.  These hearings are also the only time that you can normally be “blindsided” by evidence.  Many Divorce Lawyers refer to these hearings as “Trial by Ambush” because it is usually not possible for a divorce attorney to conduct discovery and obtain copies of evidence and legal theories of the other party.  This is why it is extremely important for you to be completely honest with your attorney so they can be prepared for what the other lawyer may try and spring on you.  Some classic examples of evidence that divorce lawyers love to use at a Temporary Orders hearing are pictures of drug use, bad conduct posted on facebook, unfavorable or incriminating emails, or tape recordings of conversations.

How long does it take to finalize a Texas Divorce?

In Texas, there is a minimum 60 day waiting period from the date the petition for divorce is filed before a court can grant a divorce.  In most cases, even if the divorce is agreed to and uncontested in every way, a divorce will take a little longer than 60 days.  In a contested case, it might take 8 – 18 months before a divorce is finalized.

Still have some questions?   Please contact our office or send us an email!