There’s nothing as daunting and embarrassing as having to deal with a divorce. At the time of marriage, you presume that you’ll be with the love of your life forever, and will have invited family and friends to witness the best day of your life. So, when it all falls apart and you have to separate for one reason or the other, the divorce proceedings that ensue can prove to be emotionally demanding.
With so much uncertainty and a lot on the line, the proceedings can be very charged, presenting several hurdles to overcome. You’ll want a seasoned divorce lawyer in Spring to prioritize your future and welfare, and protect your rights while navigating you through this tumultuous period in your life.
Potential subjects of disputes include child custody and support, alimony, property division, and visitation rights. At Bolton Law, we will advocate for your interests through settlement negotiations, mediation, and go to trial if need be.
Our family law attorneys in Spring, Texas provide compassionate and knowledgeable legal support over a broad range of divorce issues and personalize solutions based on your unique needs. If you need legal aid with your divorce proceedings, please reach out to us at 281-351-7897 to book an appointment and talk more about your case. No matter the intricacy, we can help! Call NOW!
What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Texas?
Texas courts require separating couples to have a strong reason for doing so. To be granted a divorce, you must mention and prove no less than one divorce ground for a Texas court to award the divorce. Actually, Texas Family Code recognizes seven different grounds for divorcing your spouse in Texas.
These grounds are classified into no-fault or fault divorces. These categories may be pertinent when it comes to awarding alimony, property division, and to some degree, parental fitness. It will be in your interests to seek legal counsel with a divorce lawyer in Spring, Texas to understand your rights.
You can file a no-fault divorce under ‘insupportability’ grounds, whereby you claim that the marriage has reached its conclusion and is no longer sustainable due to ‘irreconcilable differences’ between the couple. Living apart without cohabitation for a period of 3 or more years also falls under the no-fault divorce category.
The fault grounds for divorce in Texas include:
Texas law describes cruelty as any willful action that causes suffering or pain to your partner. For the judge to grant a divorce to the complaining spouse, they will need to show that the cruelty is persistent and willful, which renders the marriage insupportable.
If your partner has been sentenced to jail, that is sufficient grounds to seek divorce from said partner. A judge will award your divorce if, in the duration of the marriage, your partner was: sentenced due to a felony, jailed for at least a year, and felonies haven’t been pardoned.
Adultery refers to the consensual engagement of sexual intercourse with another person(s) besides your spouse. If you’ve got clear and definitive proof that your partner is cheating on you, you have eligible grounds to seek divorce.
The judge may award a divorce based on abandonment where the spouse looking for marriage dissolution proves that the other spouse has not been in the residence for at least a year. Note that for the abandonment ground to hold, it must be continual for a whole year period. For instance, if your partner spends a few nights within this duration, this could potentially reset the time caveat again.
Mental Hospital Confinement
This is granted when one spouse has been restricted inside a mental institution for 3 or more years, and the spouse is unlikely to recuperate.
Courts will award a fault divorce based on several reasons. Other grounds that may be used include:
- Alcohol or substance abuse
- Homosexuality (for married heterosexual spouses)
- Religious or cultural differences
- Financial support
What Is a No-Fault Divorce?
Couples looking to dissolve their marriage in Texas have various facets they can explore, but many opt to go for a no-fault divorce. This kind of divorce is the most frequent in Texas, probably since it offers one of the fastest and simplest ways to divorce. Nevertheless, there are various considerations to bear in mind before opting for a no-fault divorce. So, how does no-fault divorce work?
As the name suggests, a no-fault divorce applies when couples believe that a divorce is the best course of action, but neither party is responsible for the problems in the marriage. Since Texas permits a no-fault divorce, you can essentially get a divorce if you feel there are irreconcilable differences between you and your partner.
Also called a no-blame divorce, no-fault is a more amicable and straightforward way to separate. With no finger pointing at the other, both parties are on equal ground and only have to be concerned about other aspects of the divorce such as asset division, and child custody to settle the divorce.
What Is the Difference Between Legal and Physical Custody?
Legal custody refers to having authority over the essential aspects of the child’s life. This includes their education and schooling, healthcare, and religious beliefs.
Physical custody encompasses the everyday upbringing of the child. This type of child custody gives the custodial parent the responsibility and right to live with the child(ren). One parent is usually chosen as the primary physical custodian.
How Is Child Support Determined?
In Texas, child support is determined by regulations stipulated in the Texas Family Code. Typically, the parent who doesn’t spend most of the time with the child(ren) is the one responsible for paying child support. This spouse who doesn’t have physical custody of the child is referred to as the ‘noncustodial parent’.
Both parents can agree on the child support amount that the noncustodial party pays, even consenting to zero child support.
However, if there’s no agreement, the court will use these parameters when determining the child support amount:
- 1 child: 20% of net income
- 2 children: 25% of net income
- 3 children: 30% of net income
- 4 children: 35% of net income
- 5 children: 40% of net income
- 6 + children: at least 40% of net income
Despite the aforementioned guidelines, the judge can deviate (up or down) from the Texas Family Code guidelines of child support and use the following factors to determine the support amount:
- Needs, special expenses, and age of the child(ren)
- Parents’ resources, assets, income, and financial capability
- Child care expenditures
- Custody care and other child support costs
- Existing alimony expenses
- Health and medical care costs and insurance
- Educational costs including college
- Financial responsibilities of parents
- Employer benefits
- Salary deductions
- Lease or mortgage payments
- Travel expenses affiliated with child visitation
The court will take into account special guidelines where there’s joint child custody or split custody scenario. There are also special considerations if you’ve got other children from different relationships. A court can also modify the amount of child support the noncustodial parent is to pay if there’s been a sudden change in financial circumstances following the initial child support order.
How Will the Property Be Split in the Divorce?
Splitting property can be among the most difficult aspects of a divorce. The prolonged the marriage duration, the more likely your financials are intertwined. Figuring out who receives what in the divorce can cause a lot of conflict among separating spouses, and in some circumstances, courts are forced to determine how property will be divided.
Spring residents should be conversant with Texas laws regarding property division and factors the court may take into account when splitting property. With regard to splitting assets in Texas, Texas follows a ‘community property’ law, which is different from ‘equitable distribution’.
As a ‘community property’ state, you’d expect debts and assets from marriage to be divided 50/50 between the couple, however, the Texas Family Code mandates that courts deal with property division differently. Before the court even initiates the procedure of splitting assets, the courts will have to group the assets owned by both of you as either community property or separate property.
Per the Texas Family Code, separate assets encompass any assets that were in your possession before the marriage date, any assets you obtained in the course of the marriage through inheritance or a third party, and any assets you obtained in the course of the marriage as damages in a personal injury claim.
Just about all other assets, unless explicitly left out of the possibility of division through a postnuptial or prenuptial agreement, will be categorized as community property. The Family Code in Texas describes community property as property, besides separate property, obtained by either party during the marriage, which includes debts and assets. Examples of community property include retirement accounts, art, jewelry, real estate, bonds and stocks, and other investment portfolios.
Unless otherwise proven, you should note that any assets that either spouse owns at the time of divorce are presumed to be community property. To mark your assets as separate property, a spouse must prove this using ‘clear and convincing proof’.
What Is Equitable Division and How Does it Work?
This is the division of community property in a way that the court deems to be fair. Earnings and assets acquired during the marriage are distributed fairly (equitably), but not evenly.
The court may use the following factors when determining how to distribute property equitably. Each spouse’s:
- Earning capacity
- Separate property
- Training or skills
- Custody of children
- Reason(s) for the divorce
What Happens to the House?
You may be wondering what will happen to the familial house after the divorce proceedings. Well, the answer to that is heavily dependent on if the home is community property or separate property.
The first thing you should note about what occurs to a home after a divorce in Texas is that Texas follows community property law. If you acquired the household after marriage, both of you own it, regardless of the mortgage and title are undersigned with one name. That implies that when you separate, you’ll have to divide the house somehow. Both parties can get half of the proceedings from selling the home.
Another consideration to be taken into account is if somebody paid for the home before the marriage or utilized separate funds for the payment, or if the house was acquired through inheritance or a gift from another third party. In such instances, the house is theirs.
How Long Will Divorce in Texas Take?
After you file a petition for divorce in Texas, there’s a compulsory 60-day waiting duration. The soonest that you can have your divorce finalized is 61 days. However, it usually takes around 6 months to a year to conclude a divorce depending on the extent of conflict and complexity of issues. Additionally, divorces involving children or assets will be prolonged.
How Much Will a Spring Divorce Lawyer Cost?
The average cost to enlist a divorce lawyer in Texas ranges from $130 to $415 per hour. The estimated total lawyer charges range from $3,000 to $15,600 but are considerably reduced in uncontested divorce cases. Our Bolton Law divorce attorneys will calculate your hourly charge after finding out more regarding your case during your initial consultation.
Enlist an Expert Divorce Lawyer in Spring to Fight For Your Rights!
The effect of a divorce can unsurprisingly be distressing, both emotionally and financially. Still, the divorce settlement can either give stability, enabling you to subsequently care for your family, or it can stifle you and inhibit your healing ability. Though divorce can be difficult, it offers you the chance of beginning afresh. It would be in your interests to have a divorce lawyer in Spring, Texas present during settlement negotiations, mediations, and even court if it gets there.
Our Texas divorce lawyers at Bolton Law can assist you to remain grounded through the entire divorce proceedings and ensure that you get some sense of closure and self-confidence that you’re leaving the marriage with everything you require to live a fulfilled life. We can use the divorce to actually improve your life. Please get in touch with Bolton Law at 281-351-7897 to schedule a consultation.