HOUSTON FAMILY LAW ATTORNEYS
HOUSTON FAMILY LAW ATTORNEYS & DIVORCE LAWYERS
Experienced & Dedicated Houston Divorce Attorneys On Your Side!
The dissolution of a marriage is a trying time and it affects every aspect of one’s life. As such, you need a competent and experienced attorney to counsel and guide you through this confusing and frustratingprocess. Even if you and your spouse have agreed on all essential issues, speaking to an experienced divorce attorney provides you with the knowledge of your rights and obligations at the time of divorce. The experienced Houston Divorce Attorneys and the Southwest Houston Divorce Lawyers have assisted numerous clients through this difficult time. If you have any questions regarding your divorce, the division of community assets, division of debts, real property, car, boat, custody of your children, obtaining child support, obtaining a paterniy test, drafting prenuptual and post-nuptuaol agreements, creating a wills, trusts, or estate planning, please contact our office at 713-517-6645 to speak to one of our Houston Divorce Attorneys and our Houston Divorce Lawyers to set up a personal consultation.
Preparation For Your Divorce
Divorce is likely to upset nearly every aspect of your life more so than probably any other of life’s changes. Finances, family and friends, relationships with your children, credit, and lifestyle are but a few of the major life areas that are directly impacted by a broken marriage. As if these disruptions are not enough, divorce, unlike other types of litigation, is peppered with emotional land mines. Divorce will also rearrange your time spent with your children.
These special circumstances oftentimes cloud one’s ability to make sound decisions and carry out the everyday functions of life and plan for the future. Added to the severe impact of divorce on one’s mental state, having to make important decisions that affect your life and the lives of your children can sometimes be overwhelming, especially if you do not know what is legally permissible or what could be the result of making an uninformed decision. It is during these times that you need the counsel of a family law attorney who can apply your facts to the law to help ensure you get the best possible outcome under the circumstances. The Houston Divorce Attorneys and the West Houston Divorce Lawyers at Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham can help you understand your options and what is best in your particular situation. However, in addition to contacting our Houston Divorce Lawyers, there are some things that you should prepare and keep in mind in preparation for your divorce.
To avoid missteps during the divorce process, you must secure support systems that include professionals, friends, and family. The first and most obvious place where you can turn to for emotional support is your family. In such difficult times, your family may be able to provide you with shelter and address your emotional needs. In addition, if you do not have a job or are having difficulty finding monetary support, your family may also assist you financially until you are back on your feet. In addition, having family and friends to talk to and to comfort you in during your divorce will ease the difficult journey.
Because of such high level of emotion inherent to divorce, a person may not make the most logical, reasonable decision without proper counsel. Having a diligent, caring, and compassionate attorney on your side during your divorce is part of the support system you need to build. You must understand that your attorney is not here to simply make you feel better; but rather, your lawyer is here to look at your best interests, and those of your children, based on the law and fact. You must trust and allow our Southwest Houston Divorce Attorneys and our Houston Divorce Lawyers to make independent decisions on your behalf. You will thank them later for having the strength and professionalism to provide you the logical, legal support in times of need. Obviously, our attorneys are open to ideas, suggestions, and questions and will work with you to resolve your concerns.
In additional to having family and legal support, you also need to make preparation for a possible a long and hard battle ahead. Like any many other emergency preparations, two things come to mind. First, you will need additional cash to care for living expenses for yourself and your children, as well as for expenses related to your divorce. You will need extra cash for personal and legal expenses. Second, you will need a safe place to live while going through the divorce. It is important to know that you do not have to leave your home in order to file a divorce. If there is reasonable belief that your spouse can be violent and may endanger yourself or the children, it is important to let your our Houston Divorce Attorneys know. The Houston Divorce Lawyers and the Houston Divorce Attorneys at Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham will assist you n filing Temporary Restraining Orders and Protective Orders so that your spouse may be ordered to stay away from your place of residence, restraining from acting in ways that are harmful to you and the community property, and not to contact you in any hostile manner until the final adjudication of your divorce. If you leave your home, there is a presumption that you have abandoned your place of dwelling and may be difficult to negotiate or regain your possession of the property at a later time. However, you may be able to receive your ½ interest in the equity of the home. Please contact our Houston Divorce Attorneys and our Southwest Houston Divorce Lawyers for more information.
Should you have any questions as to how you should prepare for your divorce, please contact our West Houston Divorce Attorneys and our Houston Divorce Lawyers at 713-517-6645.
THE DIVORCE PROCESS IN TEXAS
Jurisdiction of The Court
In Texas, you must first establish certain requirements prior to being able to file an Original Petition for Divorce. First, you must establish that the court has jurisdiction to grant you a divorce. Texas law requires that at least one of the parties must have lived in Texas for at least 6 months and at least 90 days in the county where the case is filed.
Unlike many other states, Texas is a no-fault state and does not require that you have to establish fault. Therefore, all you have to show is that there are irreconcilable differences between you and your spouse. However, when and if applicable, you may show that the other parties are at fault for the dissolution of your marriage. While fault is not necessary to get a divorce, if one party is predominantly to blame for the breakup, depending on the facts, you may be able to get an unequal distribution of the community property instead of a fifty-fifty split. The facts supporting an unequal distribution vary. So, a consultation with a Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham's Houston Divorce Attorney or a Southwest Houston Divorce Lawyer can help you better understand your rights.
Spousal Support – The So-called “Alimony”
Under Texas law, alimony is rarely awarded, but when it is awarded, the court must consider a number of factors in determining the duration of spousal support and how much one spouse will be required to pay towards the support of the other spouse. Some factors are objective such as the age, education, and ability of each spouse to be self-supporting. Other factors are less objective such as whether there are convictions for acts of domestic violence by one spouse towards the other. Post divorce spousal support can be agreed to for a period certain to help a spouse find work to support him or her until steady and sufficient income is realized.
Property Division – Community Property vs. Separate Property
Texas is a community property state. In a community property state, property is classified as either community property or separate property with the presumption that all property is community unless proved otherwise. Community property is everything that a husband and wife own together from the start of their marriage until the date they separate. Generally, community property includes all income and assets that either spouse acquired during the marriage.
Separate property is anything the husband or wife owns separately, such as property owned before the marriage, gifts or inheritances received during the marriage and maintained as separate property, and post separation earnings. The character of property can be changed after the marriage by the parties agreeing to the re-characterization. This agreement is called a post-marital agreement. The parties may also agree to the characterization of certain property prior to marriage. This type of agreement is called a prenuptial agreement.
Because classification of property and its division can become one of the most contentious issues in a divorce, seek the advice and assistance of a Texas divorce lawyer familiar with the particulars of Texas community property law prior to making any decisions about splitting up property in a divorce situation.
Child Custody & Visitation
Texas law requires family law judges to consider the best interest of the child in making any determination regarding custody and visitation. Texas law also presumes that joint legal custody is in the best interest of the child, with the exception of cases involving domestic violence. Child custody matters can become emotionally charged to the detriment of both the parents and children involved. Because this is so, if you and your spouse have a dispute over the custody of your children, obtain the guidance of a lawyer well-versed in Texas child custody matters.
Texas child support guidelines include a complicated formula used to calculate the amount of support to be paid by a parent. The guidelines are presumptively fair and equitable and take into account several factors, including the general standard of living in the state, the cost of raising children in the state, both parents' income and resources, as well as other factors. If a judge deviates from the guidelines, specific reasons for the deviation must be set forth in the child support order. The parties can agree to a specific support scheme if it passes the best interest test. A downward deviation from the support guidelines will be scrutinized heavily by the court while an upward deviation will not.
Reaching the decision to end your marriage is tremendously difficult. Given the complicated and emotional issues with which you are faced in the process, the best advice is to work with a lawyer experienced in Texas divorce law. A lawyer experienced in the legal process can ease your stress as you go through this emotional legal process. The Houston Divorce Lawyers at the Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham are prepared to assist you immediately in your time of need.
Please DO NOT rely on the information above to replace a personal consultation with our Sugar Land Divorce Lawyers and our Houston Divorce Attorneys. The information on this site only covers the basic Texas divorce process an Texas divorce law. There may be other legal issues, depending on the facts and circumstances of your particular case that can dramatically change the best legal position to take during a divorce. Those facts may not be listed here and could have great impact on the desired legal result. Every case is unique and requires our Houston Divorce Attorneys and our Sugar Land Divorce Lawyers to review and to provide a personal consultation unique to your situation. Please feel free to give us a call at 713-517-6645 or complete our Contact Form.