Frequently Asked Questions for a Divorce Attorney in The Woodlands
There are many questions you will need to ask yourself before you follow through with the divorce process. Beyond separating from your spouse, there are legal, financial and custodial issues that can greatly affect your life going forward. Consultation with an experienced Woodlands divorce attorney is crucial, and Kemp Law Firm has maintained a sterling reputation in Montgomery County and beyond for nearly 50 years. As a courtesy, our attorneys have provided answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding divorce and related matters. We hope you find this information to be helpful.
For more information about what Kemp Law Firm can do to help you move forward, contact our divorce attorneys in The Woodlands at (281) 203-0971 for an appointment in our offices.
On what grounds can I file for divorce?
Texas is a “no fault” divorce state, meaning that one spouse does not need the other’s consent to file for divorce. The process begins when a petitioner for divorce files an Original Petition for Divorce with the court and then has the papers personally delivered to the respondent to fulfill the requirement of service. If the divorce is collaborative, the respondent can waive the right to be personally served with papers. Nevertheless, if you believe that your spouse is at fault for the dissolution of the marriage, the court may take that into consideration while determining the allocation of marital property. So it is wise to include grounds for divorce in your petition. The statutory grounds for divorce are: adultery, abandonment of over a year with intent, incarceration for more than a year, confinement in a mental hospital for at least three years, living apart for at least three years, or cruel treatment that renders living together untenable. In a no fault divorce, a petition alleges “insupportability,” defined as a conflict of personality that dissolves a marriage and prevents any reasonable expectation for reconciliation.
How will our marital property be divided?
The court begins the proceeding under the presumption that all property earned or acquired by either spouse during the marriage is community property. As such, it is owned equally. If you wish to show that any property is “separate,” you must have clear and convincing evidence proving it to be so. A common form of separate property is a gift or inheritance acquired by one of the spouses. Community property is then divided by the court between the spouses in an equitable manner. Typically, that means an even 50-50 split. In other cases, fault or highly unequal earning power can influence the split of community property. Amongst divorce lawyers in The Woodlands, Kemp Law Firm has proven most capable of handling asset and property division in high net-worth and financially complicated divorces.
How is child custody determined?
Texas state law favors keeping both parents involved in the lives and upbringing of their children after a divorce. The Woodlands family law attorneys at Kemp Law Firm take every step to ensure the process of determining child custody remains civil so as to maintain a positive relationship between both parents and the children after a divorce. In most cases, both parents are named joint managing conservators of their children. This means that both parents share legal rights and responsibilities for their children. Parents also share physical custody, but even if one parent has physical custody a greater share of the time, a joint managing conservatorship can be in place. While it is uncommon for a sole managing conservatorship to be granted by the court, it may be ordered in the event where one parent proves the other having conservatorship would endanger the child’s well-being.
Even in a joint managing conservatorship, one parent will have physical custody for a majority of the time and the other will likely be granted two weekends per month as well as occasional weekday time. Holidays are typically split evenly. Visitation rights are granted to the parent with the lesser amount of physical custody, and it is preferred by the court that the parents come to an agreement that is in the best interest of the children. If the child is under the age of three or one of the parent moves at least 100 miles away from the other, the court may then choose to deviate from the visitation schedule.
How does the court determine alimony?
In Texas, a spouse requesting alimony must meet one of four requirements. They are as follows:
- The paying spouse was convicted of family violence within two years of the divorce filing
- The marriage lasted 10 years or more, the requesting spouse lacks sufficient property to provide for minimal needs and is unable to support themselves through employment due to disability
- The marriage lasted 10 years or more, the requesting spouse lacks sufficient property to provide for minimal needs and is the custodian of a child who requires substantial care and supervision, requiring the spouse to stay at home with the child
- The marriage lasted 10 years or more, the requesting spouse lacks sufficient property to provide for minimal needs and lacks adequate earning ability in the labor market.
If the requesting spouse qualifies under the first, third or fourth requirement, alimony cannot exceed 20% of the paying spouse’s gross income and can last no longer than three years. Under the second requirement, the term for alimony payment can be indefinite.