Important Things You Need To Know About Divorce in Texas
Whether you have been married for five years or fifty, wed in a church or in a common law relationship, or are a same-sex couple whose marriage is now legally recognized - the same rules generally apply to everyone who decides to divorce in Texas. In fact, there are very few exceptions to the general rule. If you're getting divorced in Texas, we've put together a list of the most important things to know about how the process works.How Do I File for Divorce in Texas?
The first step is to determine whether you want to file for legal separation or divorce. A legal separation allows couples to remain married while living apart. This type of divorce is usually filed within six months of filing for legal separation. If you choose to file for divorce, it must be done within one year of the date you filed for legal separation.
Once you've determined whether you want to file a legal separation or divorce, you'll need to hire an attorney. Your attorney will likely begin working on your case immediately upon receiving your request for representation. Your attorney will help you draft paperwork such as affidavits, pleadings, motions, etc. Once everything is finalized, your attorney will take care of the necessary court filings.
An experienced divorce attorney in Harris County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Houston, Sugar Land, Missouri City, and Stafford, Texas at Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC, can provide guidance and offer advice throughout the entire process. Contact us today at www.thorntonesquirelawgroup.com for a free consultation.Can I Just Sign the Papers?
No. There are many reasons why you cannot simply sign the documents without having someone review them. First off, signing the final decree of divorce is considered perjury. Second, once the judge signs the final decree, it becomes irrevocable. Therefore, you could potentially lose certain benefits or property if you signed the wrong document. Additionally, some courts require that spouses receive counseling prior to entering into a final agreement.Do I Need to Have Fault Grounds to File for Divorce in Texas?
The law allows people to separate without having to prove fault. This is known as a "no-fault" divorce. But it doesn't mean there aren't reasons why one person wants out of a marriage.
In fact, most of our clients come because they're unhappy with their partner. They think things are getting worse, and they want to end the relationship.
But even though you don't have to prove fault, sometimes both parties do claim fault. If someone says something like, "I'm filing for divorce because my husband didn't pay child support," he or she could be accused of being "at fault."
This means that the court must decide whether the other party caused the problems in the marriage. And if he or she did, the court might consider how much money each side lost during the marriage.
If you've been married less than five years, however, you probably won't have to worry about proving fault.How Much Alimony Can I Expect Following My Divorce in Texas?
Alimony is one of those things where people assume they are entitled to something just because they want it. In reality, there are many factors involved in determining whether or not you will receive alimony. If you think you might qualify, here are the things you should know about alimony in Texas.
- You must prove you lack sufficient property to meet your needs without alimony and show that you cannot support yourself financially.
- You must prove that you do not have the sufficient earning ability in the job market. This includes proving that you cannot earn enough money to maintain your standard of living.
- Your spouse does not have to agree to pay you alimony. However, he/she must consent to the court ordering him/her to pay you.
- For most cases, the judge determines how long you will receive alimony based on your financial situation. There are no set guidelines regarding duration.
- You can request alimony even if you don’t ask for child custody. However, you cannot seek child support at the same time.
- If you are seeking child support, you cannot collect alimony.
Child support is clearly defined in Section 154.001 of the Texas Family Code. A parent must provide support for his or her children unless he or she is dead, disabled, incarcerated, or voluntarily unemployed. The court determines what amount is needed based on the needs of the child and the ability of both parents to contribute. If there are multiple children involved, the court considers the needs of each child individually.
In Texas, the party required (the custodial parent) to pay child support pays twenty percent of his or her gross monthly income for one child, twenty-five percent for two, and increases to five percent per child for each additional child up until forty percent for four or more children. This percentage applies regardless of whether the payments go directly to the child or to the custodian.
A child support withholding order will issue for one of the parties, and the wage will be ordered withheld from the other party's paycheck and can be directly deposited to the other party's bank.