Family Law Attorney in New Caney

Family law is broad, encompassing legal issues about marriage, divorce, child custody, restraining orders, adoption, and more. The scope of the different legal requirements in family law can be intimidating and confusing. It is best to work with an experienced and reputable family law attorney in New Caney to help you navigate the various legal issues regarding family relationships.

At Bolton Law, we know how family conflicts can turn messy, and kids tend to be most impacted as the parents or guardians go through a divorce. Furthermore, marital properties and financial obligations are top concerns. But we are sure that we can help you navigate the murky waters to find solid ground to set new foundations forging the way forward as you dissolve the marriage or have other family-related issues.

Our family law lawyers can help you understand what the law says and draft the necessary legal documents like custody agreements, adoption papers, and more. We also have years of experience in helping families settle their disagreements. Thus, we can help bring all parties to the discussion table, advise them on the best way to approach the matter, and ensure they reach an amicable understanding.

Call our law firm in New Caney, Texas at 281-351-7897 to speak to an accomplished family law attorney.

Table of Contents

What Qualifies as a Family Law Case?

When handling family law cases, the focus primarily centers around addressing disputes with a family. The cases are handled under civil law and will cover matters causing disagreements between spouses, kids, and parents. Hence, the issues qualified as family law cases include:

Contested and Uncontested Divorce

The family court in Texas can handle divorce or marriage annulments and will oversee separation requests regarding child custody, property ownership, alimony, and more. The divorce process can be contested, where one spouse does not agree to divorce, or it can be uncontested, where both parties agree on the dissolution of the marriage and the terms of the divorce.

Parental Rights, Child Custody, and Child Support

A man seeking to know if he is a child’s biological father or be declared the dad can file a paternity request with the family court, and the judge’s pronouncement that he is the father grants him parental rights. However, either parent can file a request for paternity determination.

At Bolton Law, we have handled other family matters like child support, visitation rights, and child custody associated with paternity determination or divorce cases.

Spousal Support and Alimony Agreements

The family court can order one spouse to provide or pay alimony or spousal support to the other after the dissolution of their marriage and if one partner files such a request. Sometimes, a spouse will have a signed prenuptial agreement defining the grounds that disqualify one from requesting or getting alimony or spousal support. The court will review the prenuptial agreement when pronouncing its ruling.

Legal Name Changes

Children or adults can desire to have their names changed, which they can do by filing for a name change with the family court. However, parental consent is necessary for children who want to change their names legally. Both parents must agree to the matter, although one parent’s approval can also qualify the name change in rare instances.

Restraining Orders

A spouse who feels threatened by the other can request the family court to issue a restraining order. Such matters are common in situations where a partner is filing a criminal case related to domestic abuse like sexual assault, domestic violence, or harassment.

DSS Cases

The DSS has oversight on matters of child welfare. They handle cases regarding neglect and abuse, which often place a parent’s rights as the child’s legal guardian at stake because the DSS (Department of Social Services) can cite child endangerment.

Our law firm helps clients accused of child abuse or neglect to protect their parental rights. We also guide families through the adoption process.

What Are the Grounds for Divorce in New Caney, TX?

The laws of Texas recognize various grounds for divorce including a no-fault option. Proving grounds for divorce isn’t a walk in the park. Thus, you should always involve a seasoned divorce attorney.

  • Insupportability: This is a “no-fault” basis for divorce. In other states, insupportability is referred to as “irreconcilable differences.”
  • Cruelty: When one party is found to be guilty of cruelty that makes it impossible for the couple to live together in the future, the other spouse can file a divorce petition.
  • Adultery: You can file for divorce because of adultery. But, to be eligible, you must submit proof that your spouse committed adultery.
  • Conviction of a Felony: The spouse seeking divorce must prove that their partner has been found guilty of a felony offense, has served a one-year prison sentence, and has not been pardoned for the felony. This basis may not be allowed if the spouse gave testimony leading to a conviction.
  • Abandonment: To prove abandonment, the spouse seeking marriage dissolution must prove that their partner left and stayed away for at least a year.
  • Living Apart: Living apart is another “no-fault” divorce basis. The court can grant a divorce if you and your spouse have lived separately for 3 or more years without cohabiting.
  • Confinement in a Psychiatric Hospital: You can also be eligible for divorce when your spouse is mentally ill and has been confined to a psychiatric hospital with little or no hope of recovery.

Young couple with torn paper heart, divorce concept

How Do You Start the Divorce Process?

A family law attorney in New Caney can help you navigate the divorce process. Here are the six main steps of the Texas divorce process:

Define Your Grounds for the Divorce

Grounds refers to the reason or reasons you are seeking a divorce. For the court to accept the dissolution of your marriage, you must present at least one acceptable reason according to Texas law. If you are unsure if your reason is valid, consult a family law attorney.

Filing a Petition

When filing a petition, your lawyer will help you file a petition for dissolution. The law of Texas allows you to file for a divorce petition when you and/or your spouse have:

  • Lived in Texas for at least six months before filing the divorce.
  • Have lived in the county where you are filing the petition for at least 90 days.

Provide Your Spouse With a Notice

Make sure to serve your ex-spouse with a notice beyond letting them know that you filed for a divorce. You can do this by hiring a process server, making a publication or posting, or providing a waiver.

Spouse’s Response and Counter Petition

From the date you serve your soon-to-be ex-spouse with a petition, they have twenty days to respond. After their response, they are expected to avail themselves of court hearings. Counter petitions allow the respondent to state their reason for filing for a divorce if it is different from the petitioner’s.

Waiting Period

Texas has a waiting period for divorce cases. The court can only grant a divorce petition after 60 days.

Divorce Decree

If the parties involved do not get a way to reach specific agreements outside the court, the issue is taken up by the judge for a hearing. The divorce decree states child custody rules, debt, dividing property, alimony, and child support.

How Does the Division of Property Work in Texas?

Under the Texas equitable distribution law, marital property can be divided according to what the court determines is fair and just depending on the facts and circumstances of the case. When deciding property division, the family court will consider factors like children, employability, capacity to meet daily needs, education, age, and more.

Texas is a community property state. This means that only assets classified as community property will be divided, while all separate property remains with the owner. In general, assets obtained during the marriage are community property, while assets obtained before the marriage or as gifts or inheritance are separate property.

How Is Child Custody Decided?

At Bolton Law, we have a deep concern for the children who are often caught in the middle as their parents wrestle with each other in a divorce. That is why we advocate for an amicable approach that can help settle the matter as fast as possible without putting the kids through such trauma.

We also are sure that child custody issues will be a heated battle in many contested divorce cases. However, we shall focus on your rights, needs, and interests in the matter and show the family court that you qualify to get child custody.

Some of the factors the court will consider when deciding child custody include:

  • The child’s wishes (if old and mature enough)
  • Any history of domestic violence by either parent
  • Ability to support the child and provide a stable home
  • The child’s relationship with each parent

Family law book, concept of family law attorney in New Caney

How Is Child Support Determined?

Texas has specific guidelines for calculating child support based on the needs of the child and the income of the parents. The courts consider the following factors when deciding the amount of child support:

  • The child’s age
  • Child support or alimony paid or received from a prior marriage
  • Either parent’s salary and paycheck deductions
  • Either parent’s daycare obligations and expenditure
  • If one or both parents cohabitate with new partners who contribute to the family’s financial needs]

What Is Alimony, and How Is It Decided?

The family court in Texas will consider all the facts when determining whether to grant alimony, what amount to award, and how long it must be paid. Therefore, alimony is no simple matter. The courts in Texas award spousal maintenance in order to allow the spouse who has no income (or earns a lower income) to remain financially stable.

The party seeking alimony must prove at least one of the following:

  • A child born into the marriage is suffering a mental or physical disability that prevents the requesting spouse from earning enough income.
  • The other party has committed family violence.
  • The requesting party is unable to earn enough income due to a mental or physical disability.
  • The marriage lasted for ten years or more, and the requesting spouse lacks the ability to earn sufficient income.

Looking for a Family Law Attorney in New Caney? Let Bolton Law Family Law Fight for You!

Bolton Law is a firm that understands the meaning and significance of family. We know the pain and stress that family disagreements can cause for everyone, especially the children. The little ones are confused and wonder why they are forced to pick one parent over the other during a divorce. Moreover, family law cases regarding property ownership, domestic violence, and restraining orders also present challenges.

The situation can get messy, and that is where you must consider expert guidance from a family law attorney. At Bolton Law, we are sure that we can help you navigate through the murky waters to find solid ground where to set new foundations forging the way forward as you dissolve the marriage or have other family-related issues.

Our family law lawyers can help you understand what the law says and draft the necessary legal documents like custody agreements, adoption papers, and more. We also have years of experience in helping families settle their disagreements. Thus, we can help bring all parties to the discussion table, advise them on the best way to approach the matter, and ensure they reach an amicable understanding.

Call us at 281-351-7897 to speak to an accomplished family law attorney in New Caney, Texas.