Family Law FAQ's
At the time the suit is filed, either you or your spouse needs to have lived in Texas for preceding six months or longer and have been a resident of the county in which the suit is filed for at least 90 days.
An agreed or uncontested divorce means that the parties agree to the main issues, specifically, property, funds, child custody and support. The attorney files the petition, waiver, drafts the final decree, and appears in court to have the Judge approve the decree. These cases typically involve marriages where there are no children or property.
Yes, but the process is much less involved. The judge needs to approve your agreed order or decree and grant the divorce. Usually the divorce decree is signed and only one party will need to go before the judge for a signature to finalize the divorce. Your attorney will go through the important points of the divorce by asking you to answer yes or no to certain questions before the judge, then the judge grant the divorce.
No, temporary orders can be obtained from the court while the divorce is pending. The Court will determine where the children will live temporarily and the appropriate amount of child support that will be paid while the suit is pending.
Generally, community property is a legal concept that all property, income, and essentially everything other than seperate property, belong to the marital community. Based on this legal concept, a 50/50 split will be the initial presumption for any cash, real property, retirement funds or other property. Seperate property, such as assets owned before marriage, proceeds from a personal injury suit, gifts or inheritances, will need to be legally accounted for to not be considered a part of the community. If you feel that a 50/50 division would not be fair for you, it’s especially important to consult an attorney so that your case can be properly presented to the court.
This is true to a degree. In Texas we have what is called spousal support and you must qualify to receive it. Generally, if it is awarded, it is only for a limited time. It is designed to allow one spouse to “get back on their feet” after the divorce and be able to support themselves again. In deciding aspousal support, a judge will consider numerous factors including, but not limited to, the length of the marriage, whether there was any domestic violence, and the income of each spouse.
Child Support FAQ's
What is commonly referred to as custody is known as conservatorship in Texas. Sole managing conservatorship means only one parent has custody and decision making rights for the child while Joint managing conservatorship means both have certain rights. One parent may have more time and/or rights than the other. In Texas, the Court generally orders both parents as joint managing conservators.
In Texas the Court must always consider what is the best interest of the child while determining custody or conservatorship. Generally, courts do not consider the gender of the parent and/or the child when determining the child’s best interest. Usually, courts in Texas are most likely to grant joint managing conservatorship of the child to both parents.
If the child is 12 years or older, the Court may interview the child to better understand the child’s wishes. Also, if the child is older than 12, he/she may inform the court in writing. In either instance, the Court will follow the “best interest of the child” standard when making its determination, and not necessarily the wishes of the child.
Child support in Texas is determined by a formula established by the state legislature. The formula is based upon the percentage of the Obligor�s net income. For example, an Obligor with one child should pay 20%, if 2 children, he or she should pay 25% of his or her net income. The more children there are, the greater the percentage, within limitations. Further, if the Obligor has another child with another parent, then the child support obligation is reduced by a small percentage.
If you have a court order to receive child support, you may bring an enforcement action in court if it is not being paid. In an enforcement action, along with some other remedies, you may ask the Court to order your ex to go to jail for failing to pay child support. You may hire an attorney or call the Office of the Attorney General to enforce your case. Each option has its advantages and drawbacks. The advantage of hiring an attorney is the speed and certainty that your case will get to court.
No. Child Support is not tied to visitation, which means the opposite scenerio would also be true. If your ex is not making child support payments, you cannot withhold the child. Doing either of these things would be in violation of Court order and will only get you in trouble with the court. Instead, you should pursue enforcement of the visitation or child support order by filing a motion for enforcement and/or contempt.