Hanlding Divorce Cases in Texas
Protecting Your Rights, Safeguarding Your Interests
Divorce may be a process that refers to the legal termination of a marriage, but at its core, it can be an opportunity for a family to start new. Although the legal process can seem like a straightforward procedure, the emotional and sensitive nature of these types of cases can result in decisions made in haste, spite, or retaliation.
Do not be tempted to take actions that could cause you to look back in regret; rather, choose to work with a caring and qualified Beaumont divorce attorney who knows how to guide your steps to the most positive resolution possible.
At Shelander Law Offices, we believe in the following values:
- Offering personalized solutions to solve the most problematic issues
- Providing compassionate counsel to families in legal crisis
- Using knowledgeable, strategic counsel to get the results you need
- Focusing the total of our efforts to securing positive outcomes
From simple, uncontested divorce to divorces that involve uncooperative parties; Shelander Law Offices can handle it all. We know Texas’s divorce laws and understand how the legal nuances and intricacies play in to your specific case.
We are highly responsive and can even accept same-day appointments. Call us (409) 204-0895 or fill out a consultation form to get started.
Proactive, Honest, Compassionate
Many of our clients come to our firm after facing life-changing events that could alter their family make-up and dynamic. We tread carefully along the path ahead, making sure your children experience minimal exposure, but we are not afraid to fight on your behalf if litigation becomes necessary and unavoidable.
We have successfully handled all types of divorce-related matters, including:
- Child support and visitation
- Contested and uncontested divorce
- Father’s Rights
- Paternity (mistaken paternity)
- Property division
- Spousal maintenance
Your divorce does not have to be heated or combative. We focus our efforts on utilizing a collaborative, non-litigious approach to resolve your issue as quickly, effectively, and affordably as possible. As experienced trial lawyers, however, we can try your case if all other avenues have been exhausted.
Texas Divorce FAQ
Below is a list of common questions regarding divorce in Texas. Don't hesitate to contact our firm for additional answers and clarification.
What is the divorce process in Texas?
- Completing and Filing Divorce Petitions - Generally, a spouse hires an attorney who files a petition for dissolution of the marriage, motion for temporary orders, and notice of hearing. This spouse (the Petitioner) serves the other spouse (the Respondent) by a process server or Constable with citation and copies of the petition, temporary orders, and notice of hearing.
Answering a Divorce Petition - The Respondent has the opportunity to tell the court what he or she want in the divorce. The Respondent must fill out the court forms and “answer” within the deadline set by Texas.
Trial - If the case goes to trial, each spouse will need to present evidence, possibly including testimony from witnesses, so the judge can decide a property settlement. It will be easier if represented by an attorney at trial.
What are the residency requirements for a Texas divorce?
Before filing for a divorce, at least one of the spouses must be a Texas domiciliary/resident for at least 6 months and a resident of the county where filing for divorce for at least the preceding 90 days.
What is divorce mediation?
Many divorces settle with an agreement both parties can live with. Many states require mediation to help reach a property settlement and a parenting plan everyone can follow. Even without a formal program, the spouses can use a “collaborative” divorce process from the beginning or can use an “alternative dispute resolution” specialist to help settle the divorce.
What is the difference between a contested and uncontested divorce?
Some couples are able to reach an agreement about their divorce issues without having to involve the court. In these uncontested divorces, a couple can talk out their issues and come to a decision on maintenance or support payments, custody issues, property division, and more. Uncontested divorces can therefore save you stress, time, money, and disrupt your children as little as possible.
However, sometimes you cannot avoid a contested divorce. These occur in matters where there are contentious issues, where spouses cannot agree, or when you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement. In these cases, your attorney may ask for the court’s help in making decisions. The judge will review the facts and make his or her decision based on the circumstances and the best interests of your children.
What are Temporary Orders?
A divorce will not be granted until after 60 days have passed since the petition was filed. Temporary hearings are held within 1 or 2 weeks after filing the petition to set the groundwork while the divorce suit is pending. At temporary hearings, the court decides issues such as which spouse will retain exclusive possession and use of the residence, how property such as vehicles are to be used, and, when children are involved, where the children will reside during the divorce action during this time.
Can I ask for alimony?
Known as spousal maintenance in the state of Texas, these payments can help a spouse after a divorce. Maintenance is awarded by the court based on the circumstances of the case, including proving a need, showing that one spouse needs the training or education to join the workforce, mental or physical disability preventing one spouse from working, or an imbalance in the monetary contributions made in the marriage, among other issues.
How is property divided during a divorce?
Texas is known as a community property state, which means that most things acquired during a marriage belongs to each spouse and any property gained separately belongs to that individual spouse. Community property is divided equally, depending on the circumstances of the divorce, the financial need of each spouse, and proving any fault, along with other issues. The court may also divide a spouse’s pension, 401(k), or other benefit with a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO).
How is child support determined?
Texas employs a calculation to determine how much child support a spouse may be ordered to pay. This is based on your monthly net income, including your salary, tips, rental income, and other sources of income, minus taxes and dues, and medical expenses. This is then multiplied by a percentage based on the number of children you have.
The child support obligation continues until the child turns 18, graduates from high school, or is otherwise emancipated. In some instances where a child is disabled or has special needs, support obligations may continue indefinitely.
Texas has efficient and stringent methods for enforcing child support orders. The parent who must pay support could have his/her wages garnished, income tax refunds diverted, lottery winnings intercepted, or even committed to jail for up to 6 months for failure to make child support payments. A parent who is in arrears for back-child support accrues interest at a rate of 6% per year on the unpaid balance.
My circumstances have changed. Can I modify my agreements?
Family law courts understand that people remarry, move for work, or gain or lose employment. In these cases, it may be necessary to modify your divorce agreement and settle new terms regarding custody of your children, child or spousal support payments, or move-away agreements. In order to do this, you and your attorney will have to prove that your changed situation requires a change in terms. You may also have to prove that your child’s circumstances are dangerous or not conducive to their upbringing.
To learn more about how we can help you, contact us at (409) 204-0895.