Divorce Laws in Texas: Important Things to Know
Before you start your divorce, you need to make sure that both of you meet the eligibility requirements. You also need to file in the proper court.
Texas law requires that both parties be considered equally responsible when deciding what should happen to their assets. Judges take into account whether there was any fault on either side when dividing up the property. A spouse who files for divorce must prove that the other spouse committed some kind of wrongdoing before getting divorced.
A divorce is a legal procedure where two people get separated. Divorce is initiated by filing a petition with the court. The person who wants to be divorced is called the petitioner, and the person who doesn't want to be divorced is called a respondent. The petitioner has to serve the respondent with divorce papers. The respondent then has to file an answer. Once the answer is filed, the court issues rulings on matters such as child custody, property, and debts. After that, the couples can engage in discovery if the couple believes they do not have all of the facts. They can try to settle the case themselves or hire a lawyer. If they cannot settle the case, the judge sets a date for trial. The law requires mediation before the trial starts. Once the trial is over, the lawyer prepares a final decree of divorce for the judge to sign, containing all of the rulings that were made during the trial.
In Texas, the courts assume that everything that either spouse earns during the marriage is community property. So, if you earn money while married, half goes to your spouse. Half of any debt you incur during the marriage is also shared by both parties. Separate property includes anything earned before the marriage, such as gifts received before the wedding. You can also claim that certain items belong to you alone, but you need to prove it to the court.
In Texas, courts can distribute community property however they see fit. They may consider factors like age and health, as well as each spouse's earning potential. They also take into account what spouse will be primarily responsible to take care of any children. They also consider whether or not you bought anything during your marriage. This includes things like homes, cars, and jewelry. In this example, the wife was at fault for the divorce. She lost any possible future earnings due to the divorce. Her health was bad. She had less money than he did. He was older than she was. Both parties were healthy. Neither party was married before. There were no gifts from either party to another person. No one else knew about the affair. Property holdings in jurisdictions outside of TX. Custody of children, spousal support obligations during divorce proceedings. Parties can enter into agreements regarding property division during mediation. Court decides all other issues.
Child Support Guidelines in Texas are based on the number of children and the income of each spouse. Alimony is ordered if there is no other source of income. Spouses should work out an agreement regarding child support and alimony before going to court. Spouses who want alimony must be physically or mentally disabled. A spouse who receives alimony must have custody of a child from a previous marriage. Alimony recipients must provide proof of their disabilities.
A couple who used a workplace retirement plan like 401(k) or an IRA to save for their retirement could end up having to divide them. Any money saved during the marriage is considered shared property, and this includes any retirement savings. Even if only one spouse contributed to the account, any gains made from those contributions are eligible to be divided. After your retirement plan assets are split, you should send a QDRO to your plan administrator.
A QDRO explains the court's decision on what to do with your retirement plan. You may want to consider having an estate plan in place, as this is important when you're divorced. Texas law allows you to keep your inheritance even while divorcing. You do not need to divide up your assets with your ex-spouse. Your ex-spouse and relatives are now considered non-survivors. Any trusts or guardianships you have set up for them should be changed. Your kids are now your main concern. Divorce could change who gets what if you have established trust.
You must meet residency requirements before you can file for divorce. A couple who wants to get divorced should first make sure they meet the legal requirements before filing for divorce. Then they can go to a mediator or lawyer for help drafting their own divorce agreement. Divorce is a very emotional time in life. It is important to get legal advice from a qualified lawyer if you are divorcing. Your lawyer should help you understand the laws governing divorce and how these laws apply to your situation. He/she should also represent you in negotiations regarding property division, child custody, child support, spousal support, and other such matters. After your divorce is finalized by the court, your lawyer should draft an agreement detailing what was agreed upon during the negotiations. This document will then be presented to the judge for approval.
Divorce can be a very difficult time for everyone involved. There are many different ways to handle a divorce, including uncontested divorces, mediated divorces, collaborative divorces, and contested divorces. Each type of divorce requires a specific set of rules and procedures.
Divorce is hard enough without having to worry about child custody and support. You need to talk to an attorney in Harris County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Houston, Sugar Land, Missouri City, Stafford, Texas at Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC, before going through the process of a divorce. A good lawyer will advocate for the arrangement most beneficial to your child and make sure you get what you deserve.