Sometimes, people who were once in love and happily married grow apart. Simply thinking about the concept of divorce can bring a lot of heartache to the parties involved. Divorce is never easy to contend with, especially when matters of child custody and child support are involved. Even in divorce cases involving amicable relationships, emotions tend to be very sensitive.
Whether you’re in the process of starting the divorce process or you are filling out the preliminary papers, you can benefit a lot from contacting an experienced divorce lawyer in Porter, Texas. Bolton Law is devoted to helping couples go through the divorce process in a smooth and pain-free process. While no case is the same, we work hard to respect your needs while pursuing the best possible outcome for your situation.
We commit much of our practice to handling family law matters. This allows us to stay centered on an area we know and understand best, come up with personalized and effective solutions, and maintain a thorough understanding of the Texas family law system. You can be confident that we have the skills, resources, and knowledge to help you from the start until your divorce is resolved.
What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Texas?
Under Texas law, there are seven main different grounds for divorce, including a “no-fault” option. Proving the grounds for divorce is often a complex matter, and it’s always recommended that you work with an experienced divorce lawyer in Porter about your case. Still, it pays to understand what it takes to be eligible for divorce in Texas.
The Texas family code says that you should prove one of the following grounds for divorce:
The statute defines cruelty as when one spouse files a divorce petition because their partner is guilty of cruelty such that future living together is impossible.
This is a “no-fault” basis of divorce that lets you petition for a divorce, no matter who is at fault, if the marriage becomes insupportable because conflict has destroyed the marriage beyond repair, preventing the possibility of reconciliations.
To be eligible for divorce as a result of adultery, the individual filing the petition must be able to prove that their partner has committed adultery.
Conviction of a Felony
To be granted divorce as a result of a felony conviction, the party seeking the dissolution of the marriage must be able to demonstrate that their partner was convicted of a felony offense, has spent at least one year in prison, and has not been pardoned for the felony. If the party filing the petition gave testimony that led to the conviction, this ground for divorce becomes inapplicable.
This is another “no-fault” option ground for filing a divorce. If both partners have been living separately without cohabiting at any one point for at least 3 years, the court can grant a divorce on this basis.
To demonstrate abandonment, the partner filing the divorce petition must show that their spouse left intending to abandon them and stayed away for at least one year.
Confinement in a Psychiatric Hospital
If one of the spouses is confined to a psychiatric hospital and recovery seems unlikely, then the court can grant a divorce based on this ground.
What Is a No-Fault Divorce?
A no-fault divorce is meant for spouses who are no longer able to live together and get along as a result of differences. In Texas, neither party is responsible for the dissolution of the marriage in a no-fault divorce. No-fault divorces are the most common type of divorce in Texas.
Both parties agree that they no longer want to be married and agree to file a no-fault divorce. This essentially states that neither is guilty of any misconduct that caused the end of the marriage. The Texas Family Code doesn’t require proof that someone was at fault before getting a no-fault divorce.
Nonetheless, matters such as arranging for child support, property division, and deciding on child custody can quickly complicate the divorce process. At Bolton Law, we can help you throughout the entire process and work day and night to obtain results that suit you and your family.
What Is the Difference Between Legal and Physical Custody?
Legal custody gives a parent the ability to make important life decisions for their child. A parent with legal custody essentially has the right to make decisions about the child’s education and schooling, medical care, and religious upbringing.
Physical custody gives the parents the right and responsibility to take care of the child on a day-to-day basis. It allows the parent to have the legal right to live with a child. In most cases, one parent is given the primary physical custody of the children, while the other partner gets secondary physical custody.
The main difference between physical custody and legal custody is that legal custody deals with decision-making about the child’s life. In contrast, physical custody involves taking care of the child daily.
How Is Child Support Determined?
Physical custody determines who will pay child support. The non-custodial parent, the parent who spends less time with the child or children, is therefore responsible for paying child support. However, no matter which parent you are, child support payments are solely meant to benefit the child. Texas has specific formulas and guidelines used to calculate child support payments.
How Will the Property Be Split in the Divorce?
Texas is what is referred to as a “community property state,” meaning that both parents have equal ownership of all the assets and debts that are acquired by either party during the course of their marriage. The courts will require that the couple split marital property equally during a divorce. This also includes any debts incurred together.
Note that even if your name is not on the car titles or property deeds, the courts will still consider this as communal property if they were purchased during the marriage. So, unless you had a prenuptial agreement that states otherwise, you and your partner will have to determine how the property can be divided justly and fairly.
Some divorcing couples might try convincing the court that certain marital property is separate property. This would apply to property that was either acquired before the marriage, received as an inheritance, or gifted by a friend or family member to the specific spouse.
However, the court will have the ultimate say in determining whether the division of property is fair and balanced. To ensure equitable division, the court will consider several factors, including:
- The primary caregiver for the children
- The earning potential of both parties
- The amount of separate property either spouse owns
Considering the sheer number of factors that go into the division of assets, it’s essential to have an experienced divorce lawyer in Porter, Texas by your side throughout the process. Your lawyer will assess your property and help you keep the property that rightfully belongs to you.
What Is Equitable Division and How Does it Work?
Equitable division simply means that the property is divided between the two spouses in a way that is fair or equitable. In Texas, the presumption is that marital property is community property. This means that when getting a divorce, the court would presume that all marital property in existence is owned by the community and it’s therefore divisible.
The couple can rebut this presumption by claiming various pieces of property that are separately owned by either of you. Separate property cannot be divided by a family court, while community property will be divided by the judge in your divorce. You have the option of dividing the community property however you wish, but if both parties can come into agreement, the court will be brought in to do the job for you.
The court relies on the Texas family code to help establish how community property should be divided equitably. It’s worth noting that equitable division does not necessarily mean equal. An equitable division means that the division will be just, based on the principles of equity and fairness.
What Happens to the House?
You likely purchased your house during your marriage and the house is community property. In case you do not reach a marital agreement, the court will equitably divide the house, accounting for the rights of each spouse and the children of the marriage.
Some of the factors the judge will use to determine how the property is divided include:
- The income disparities between the partners
- The spouses’ education level
- The spouses’ abilities and capacities
- The spouses’ financial condition and relative needs
- The benefits the spouse without fault should have reasonably received had the marriage continued
- The spouses’ relative physical conditions
- The spouses’ separate estates
- The spouses’ contributory fault in ending the marriage
- The spouses’ difference in age
- The nature of the property to be divided
There are no specific rules that determine who will get the house in a divorce. Depending on your case, the house could go to either party. However, the factors outlined above will help prepare you for how your decree could turn out, and what proof you will need to keep the house.
In case you have material equity in your house, the court might have your ex buy out your interest and refinance it. Or, the court may award you other assets to offset the value of the house. If this is not possible, there’s a chance that the court may order you and your ex to sell the house and split the proceeds.
How Long Will the Divorce Take?
Texas imposes a mandatory 60-day waiting period, meaning the absolute quickest a marriage can be dissolved is 61 days. However, realistically speaking, it will take much longer than that, usually anywhere from 6 months to one year. The more contested the divorce, the more the assets, and the more the lives affected by the divorce, the longer it will take.
How Much Will a Divorce Lawyer in Porter, Texas Cost?
Getting an attorney is one of the most expensive elements of a divorce, and attorney fees will vary based on several factors. Family law attorneys usually don’t represent clients on a contingency fee basis, so you can expect a flat rate or an hourly rate. An hourly rate can increase the cost significantly if the divorce takes a long time to finalize. In uncontested divorces, the attorney has a lot less to do, meaning they will charge for fewer hours.
Moreover, aside from reviewing agreements, drafting paperwork, and attending hearings, the lawyer’s role is a lot less involved in uncontested divorces than in contested ones. On the other hand, contested divorces will require a lot of back-and-forth interactions as well as a lot more hours in attorney fees. This means the costs could add up as the case will require much more attorney involvement.
An uncontested divorce is preferable as it lets you avoid expensive legal fees especially when the case is litigated. This is especially true if you work with an experienced lawyer who can effectively work to reduce the length and complexity of the case.
Get a Quality Divorce Representation in Porter, Texas
When facing a divorce, there are several important aspects of your life that you need to make decisions on. These may include spousal support, child custody, division of assets, child support, and more. The legal system can be complex and small mistakes could end up having serious repercussions, especially in family law matters. If your spouse has hired an attorney, you will want to retain representation as soon as possible.
If you are looking for a divorce attorney that will stop at nothing to advocate on your behalf in or out of court, reach out to Bolton Law in Porter, Texas. We are committed to doing everything in our power to pursue and secure a favorable result on your behalf.