Divorce is never an easy process; each case is individual and unique. An attorney who handles divorce for their clients suggest that anyone considering the dissolution of their marriage learn how Texas courts view this action and what decisions are likely to made. Knowledge of the process is the best way to get through this trying legal issue with the least amount of trouble.
Following are some of the financial aspects that a divorce attorney suggests must be considered when facing divorce in the State of Texas.
Assets and Income – The court does not automatically split the marital estate in half. There are a number of considerations that affect any decision, including the income earning potential of each spouse based on their health, education, and skills. The reason for dissolving the marriage and size of the personal estates is also considered as well as many other things. Spouses can essentially be penalized for bad behavior if the divorce is caused by adultery, abuse, or other conditions affecting the decision to divorce through no fault of the other spouse.
Debt – Texas law states that any debt incurred during the marriage is the equal responsibility of both spouses, regardless of who incurred the debt. Dividing debt in a divorce may be helpful; however, debtors can continue to seek collection from either spouse. It is generally recommended by the attorney who handles such divorce issues that couples divide debts before filing for divorce to avoid such issues.
Benefits and Pensions – In some cases, a spouse may be entitled to a portion of the other spouse’s retirement plan, pension, 401(k) plan, and stocks. In Texas, there is a formula used to divide these financial accounts. Any income earned during the marriage may be subject to this division.
The two biggest concerns in divorce usually revolve around children and/or any type of marital abuse. Texas courts retain the right to dictate as necessary to protect individuals and provide what is best for children especially if abuse is alleged. Protective and restraining orders may be granted during divorce proceedings.
Assigning custody is an emotional process; an attorney involved with divorce cases advises that courts generally base a decision on which parent can best provide the necessary child care and upbringing. Child support is also decided during dissolution proceedings as is spousal support; however, alimony is not court-mandated in Texas.
Children cannot choose which parent to live with when reaching a certain age. Courts may consider a child’s preferences; however, custody is awarded base on a parent’s ability to provide for the children.
Collaborative Law Divorce
Since some divorces can be relatively easy to work out, collaborative divorce is permitted in Texas. This allows each spouse and their respective divorce attorney to work out an agreement acceptable to both parties. It may include division of assets, child custody, and child support. Divorce issues can be resolved outside of the court room, reducing stress and keeping emotions under control. As long as the agreement and associated plans are reasonable and follow necessary rules, the court will likely grant the divorce as presented.
Couples seeking a divorce in Texas with the help of their divorce attorney need to understand what options are available and discuss their situation with an experienced family law attorney. By understanding that Texas has its own laws pertaining to the division of property, child custody, and other related concerns, spouses can better prepare for a divorce and reduce strain during the process!
Reynaldo G. Garza, III
680 E. St Charles, Suite 600
Brownsville TX 78520
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