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Contemplating divorce is always difficult. Including an experienced Texas family law attorney as soon as possible in the divorce process is one of the best ways to preserve your own long-term financial and emotional health.Grounds for Divorce
A divorce is a method of terminating a marriage contract between two individuals. In Texas, divorce can either be no fault or fault-based. No fault divorce is a marital termination proceeding where the divorce is granted without either party being required to show fault (show that the other party caused the breakdown of the marriage). Under no fault rules, either party may obtain a divorce, even if the other spouse does not consent to the divorce. Married people can get a no fault divorce if their marriage has become insupportable.
Texas divorces can also be fault-based, requiring one person to give a legal reason in order to get a divorce. In Texas, divorces can be granted on the grounds of (1) adultery (2) abandonment, (3) incurable insanity, (4) imprisonment for a felony conviction, or (5) cruel and inhuman treatment. Typically, a fault-based divorce is pursued if the couple cannot reach a satisfactory settlement about property division, child support, or custody, and one party wants the court to consider the conduct of the other party when deciding the issue. Our firm can help you determine if you should pursue a fault based or no fault based divorce.Contested Divorce
Before a divorce may be granted, there are two (five if there are children involved) basic issues that must be resolved. They are:
If a divorcing couple agrees on all five of these issues in writing, they will be granted an uncontested divorce and will avoid adversarial divorce litigation.
If there is disagreement, the divorce is contested. This means it may end up in trial before a judge or jury, or in another form of dispute resolution. It is important to consult with an attorney before deciding which method is right for your situation.
Divorce litigation involves a series of document exchanges and court appearances. In some instances there are questions or situations that need to be resolved temporarily before the final divorce agreement is reached or ordered by the court. Temporary orders on support, custody or other matters generally remain in effect until the final decision is made at the end of the divorce process. The judges final decision provides the court rulings on all the issues raised by the parties.
Divorce is an emotionally exhausting and stressful situation, regardless of whether you are filing or your spouse is seeking a divorce from you. Many people have misconceptions about what the law says about divorce, custody, child support and dividing the community property. Financial issues can become even more complex for high net worth individuals during a divorce. At the Zand Law Firm, we focus on representing clients in legal matters involving divorce and family law who are looking for Richmond, Katy, Sugar Land and all throughout Fort Bend County. We have years of experience in contested and uncontested divorces. Our clients turn to our law firm because of our experience, compassion, and family values.
An uncontested divorce is when both parties have come to a full agreement on the terms of their divorce outside of the courtroom with a process called mediation. Mediation is a negotiation process in which the disputing parties are assisted by a neutral third-party—a mediator. The terms include division of assets and liabilities and creation of a Parenting Plan, Child Support and Spousal Support Orders, if applicable. It's almost always best to have a lawyer on your side who is accustomed to amicable resolution of contested issues and one thing is certain, you should find legal counsel who is strong and compassionate and who will work with you to educate you about your rights so that you can make the process as dignified and efficient as possible. Amicable divorces are cost-effective, and far more private than airing your dirty laundry in court. If you can at all avoid it, it's always best to try and keep your personal life out of the court records. Contact the Zand Law Firm if you are considering pursuing an uncontested divorce.
Alimony, Spousal Support & Maintenance
Alimony, known in Texas as maintenance, is financial support paid by one spouse to another. In Texas, a court awards maintenance in certain limited circumstances. If the court finds maintenance should be awarded, then the court will determine the appropriate amount based on the factors set forth in the Texas Family Code.
Division of Property
Texas uses the community property system to distribute marital assets. Property acquired by either spouse during the marriage is community property to be divided upon divorce. Under Texas law, the division of property does not have to be equal. The courts are only required to divide the community property between the parties in a manner that the court claims just and right, having due regard for the rights of each party and any children of the marriage. If either spouse acquired property outside of the state, a court can also divide that property using community property rules if they divorce in Texas. Individual spouses may also own separate property which is not divided in a divorce. Because classification of property and its division can become one of the most contentious issues in a divorce, you need the advice and assistance of a family law attorney familiar with Texas family laws and procedures.
Reaching the decision to end a marriage is difficult. Once you do make the decision, it is in your best interest to approach the divorce process from a rational, businesslike perspective, which is hard given that there are also emotional issues with which you must cope as well. Working with a Texas attorney, such as Dean Zand, who is experienced in family law will ease your stress and help you get through the process to begin your new life.
To schedule an appointment with family law attorney Dean Zand, call us today at 281-751-6466 or complete a short online contact form. From our office in Richmond we serve clients throughout the Houston region and across the state of Texas.