If you are considering filing for divorce, then you know that divorce is often extremely emotional and stressful. At the Moody Law Firm, we are dedicated to realistically assessing your situation and guiding you through the best course of action to resolve your divorce matter as efficiently and effectively as possible.
At your initial consultation, we will discuss your situation, listen to your concerns, and assist you in determining your wants and needs for the outcome of the divorce. We will then design a strategy that can help you achieve the most favorable realistic outcomes for all matters related to your divorce.
After a divorce, it is possible to modify the terms of the decree dealing with conservatorship, possession and access, or child support. It is important to note that modification cannot be sought just because one party is not happy. There are requirements that must be met to modify a decree of divorce or other custody agreement.
Property Division and Characterization issues
In a divorce, Texas courts have great discretion in dividing the property of a divorcing couple. There is no requirement that there be a 50%-50% split, only the general rule that the property be divided “in a manner that the court deems just and right,” considering all relevant factors. Such factors involve fault in the breakup of the marriage and the size of the parties’ marital estate. Likewise, in a divorce, the parties themselves may reach their own agreement on the division of property, which then must be approved by the court.
In Texas, “marital property” consists of all property that a spouse brings into a marriage or acquires during the marriage. With limited exceptions, all marital property in Texas can be characterized as separate property, community property, or mixed. The character of the property has great impact on how the property will be awarded during your divorce.
If a parent does not have primary conservatorship or custody of a child, he or she will likely be required to pay child support to the other parent until the child turns 18 years old or graduates from high school, whichever is later. Many parents rely on child support from the other parent to provide the best possible lifestyle for their child.
In general, child support is calculated based on a percentage of the net income of the obligor-parent. Child support also varies depending on how many children are involved.
Custody f Conservator-ship
In Texas, the paramount consideration for any family law court is deciding what is in the best interest of the child. Courts encourage children and parents to maintain a close relationship. The Court will order minimum parameters for the relationship between the parents and the children which includes a list of shared rights and duties and time periods for possession of the children (commonly referred to as “visitation.”) The Texas Standard Possession Order is the established guideline for minimum periods of possession for the parents: however, courts encourage the parents to work together and agree on periods of possession whenever possible.
The parties to a divorce can resolve their dispute through the use of the collaborative law process, which is a procedure by which parties and their attorneys agree in writing to use their best efforts to make a good-faith attempt to resolve their dispute on an agreed basis without resorting to judicial intervention. If the parties do not reach an agreement with the collaborative law procedure, the case can be set for trial.
Termination and Adoption
In Texas, a termination suit may be filed to protect the child’s best interest. Termination may be appropriate when a parent has abused, neglected, abandoned, or endangered the child. Regardless of the suit’s basis, termination of the parent-child relationship can only be granted if it is in the child’s best interest.
An adoption is a process by which a non-biological party becomes the parent of a child. All connection with the biological parent must first be severed, by death or by termination. In Texas, adults can be adopted as well.
Prenuptial and Post-marital Agreements
Prenuptial and post-marital agreements are used to give current or prospective spouses the ability to alter their marital-property rights without substantive judicial action in the event of a subsequent divorce. Often prenuptial agreements are used to preserve family monies for children from an earlier marriage or to detail what property belong to each party. Post-marital agreements, on the other hand, are often used to change the characterization of marital property during the marriage.
Trial and Appeal of Family Law Matters
If your case goes to trial, the final judgment may be subject to appeal. It is important to note that appeals are subject to strict time limitations and must be brought soon after trial.