Divorce and family law
ANSWERS TO COMMON DIVORCE AND FAMILY LAW QUESTIONS
Divorce and other family law matters are typically stressful situations that lead to many questions. Instead of relying on advice from family and friends, it is best to speak with a lawyer about how the law will apply to your unique situation.
Please take a look at the frequently asked questions below and then contact us for more in-depth information.
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR DIVORCE?
Whether you are considering divorce or think your spouse is going to file for it, you can benefit from divorce planning. A few of the steps you can take to prepare yourself include:
- Consult an experienced attorney
- Be aware of the tax implications of divorce
- Note which property is separate and which is community/marital
- Consider what marital debts you share and how you will be able to pay your portion on your own
- Determine whether you may pay or receive alimony and/or child support
- Start thinking about custody and how much time you will get with your children
- Think about how you can help your children cope with the divorce
- If you will have to move, think about where you will go and how much you can afford for rent or a mortgage
Speaking with a lawyer can help you address many of these questions and concerns. You may want to talk with our experienced attorney as soon as possible so you can make good decisions during this critical time.
WILL ALIMONY/SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE BE A PART OF MY DIVORCE?
The subject of alimony and spousal maintenance in Texas can be complicated. There are three types of support:
- Temporary support – This lasts only as long as the divorce is in progress.
- Contractual alimony – In these cases, the parties negotiate the amount and duration of support outside of the courtroom, giving them more freedom and control of the situation.
- Spousal maintenance – After a trial, a judge may decide to award spousal maintenance to one party. There are laws that mandate how much and how long spousal maintenance will be. Talk with a lawyer to learn how these laws may apply to you.
This is a notoriously challenging matter in Texas. You are encouraged to seek an attorney’s counsel to determine whether these types of support will be available to you or if you will have to pay support to your ex-spouse.
HOW ARE PROPERTY AND DEBTS DIVIDED IN A TEXAS DIVORCE?
Texas is a community property state, which generally means that each party is entitled to half of the marital estate and responsible for half of the debts. Separate property or debts are the responsibility of the relevant party.
It can get complicated when there are disputes over which assets and debts are separate and which are marital. Valid premarital or postmarital agreements can help determine the division of assets and debts. If there is no such agreement, we can assist you with tracing separate property to prove to whom it belongs.
HOW IS CHILD CUSTODY DECIDED?
In Texas, there is a presumption that parents should be joint managing conservators in custody cases. While this does not necessarily mean that they will each get 50% of time with the children, it does allow parents to make choices about the children’s upbringing together.
Custody and visitation are referred to as “possession and access” in Texas. There are standard and extended standard schedules, but the parents may choose to determine their own schedules by working together in negotiation or mediation. As long as it is in the best interests of the children, judges typically sign off on these agreements. This is usually the best way to settle custody matters, but we will be prepared to represent you in court if that is necessary.
DO YOU HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS?
Please call us in Houston at 713-369-5932 to speak with attorney Lacy LaFour. She can assist you with a broad range of divorce and family law matters, no matter how complex or overwhelming they may seem. Contact us today.