Divorce is a difficult time in any person’s life and involves not only the dissolution of a marriage, but also the dissolution of the marital estate, and possibly the division of time spent with your children. Divorce is often not hastily made, but is the product of months of discussions, fights, and attempts at reconciliation. The final step of divorce should be handled by experienced family law attorneys to ensure that you receive the appropriate division of the marital estate you deserve during a divorce, as well as ready access to your children. The divorce process can be emotionally charged and therefore should not be entered into without the expertise of an experienced attorney.
Divorce in Texas
Divorce in the New World was not readily available for most couples unless there was a case of extreme abuse toward one spouse. The first recorded divorce in the New World was recorded in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1643, only after the husband refused to return to his wife. Divorce was not legal in the newly formed United States until 1701, when Maryland legalized divorce. However, for hundreds of years, many states only offered the option of divorce in cases of spousal violence or other fault-based issues.
The first divorce in Texas has been hotly disputed, although sources agree that it occurred not long after the foundation of the state in 1840. Since this point in time, divorce has been readily available throughout the state and is an option for couples who have jointly resided in the state for at least 6 months, including 90 days in the county in which the divorce petition is filed.
Division of Property
Texas is a community property state, which means that all property which is acquired during the marriage is considered property of the marital estate. As such, it will be equally divided unless the spouses agree otherwise or signed an earlier prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement. The marital estate does not only include tangible personal property, but also includes stocks, bonds, and even retirement accounts. An experienced family law attorney will assist you in determining what will be considered community property, and what will remain separate property.
Child Custody and Child Support
The biggest emotional toll on a family during divorce is the unintended victims of the divorce: the children of the marriage. Children will no longer get to experience their parents living together or being one family unit, but will instead have to split their time between both parents. One parent is often named as the sole conservator, who will have primary custody of the children and will have the emergency decision-making power. While the other parent will still enjoy access to the children, it is often on a strict schedule.
The relationship of the parents upon divorce will help determine the child custody arrangement. Some parents may see their children every day, while others may only receive access one weekend each month. A court will take into consideration the location of both parents, the child’s schools, the child’s preference, and the best interests of the child in determining child custody arrangements.
The non-custodial parent will often have to pay the custodial parent a monthly child support fee, which is dependent on the income of the paying parent. This amount is often set at the time of the child support agreement, although may be modified in the case of extreme events, such as the loss of a job.
Malley Law Firm| Houston Divorce Attorney
If you are in the process of going through a divorce, do not hesitate to contact the attorneys of the Malley Law Firm. Our attorneys understand the difficulties this time presents for both parties and will work closely with you to ensure your property and your rights to your children are protected throughout the course of the divorce. Contact our Beaumont or Houston offices today for your initial free consultation.