Texas Divorce Attorneys
Divorce can be defined as the unnatural ending of a marriage, where both parties have agreed to legally dissolve the contract of marriage. The reality of an impending divorce is fraught with emotional pain as both parties work through the resolution of several issues. At the onset of an unraveling marriage, it is encouraged that couples seek some form of therapy or counseling, before coming to the conclusion that divorce is their only recourse. Whether it is out of choice or forced, divorce is a difficult thing to negotiate for all parties involved. In such a situation, one deserves to be informed of the rights and resources available to them, protecting their best interests while considering the interests of others involved, especially children.
Texas Divorce Law
In the state of Texas, divorce can be based as ”fault” or ”no fault.” In a no fault divorce, both parties agree that their marriage is not salvageable due to ”irreconcilable differences.” No party is obligated to show any fault. Grounds for a no fault divorce include having lived separately for a period of three years or more, and can be initiated even if one spouse is unwilling.
Fault-based divorces, however, require one of the parties involved to give a valid legal reason. In the state of Texas, the following reasons are considered legal grounds for a fault-based divorce:
- incurable insanity
- imprisonment for a felony conviction
- cruel and inhuman treatment
A fault-based divorce is most likely if both spouses cannot agree on issues of property division, alimony, child custody or child support, and when one party feels the courts should take into consideration the other party’s past behavior. At Bailey and Galyen, our experienced Texas divorce attorneys will consider your case carefully to help you determine whether a fault-based or a no fault divorce is appropriate.
Divorce Issues: What’s at Stake
Amidst the emotional turmoil and impending legal procedures, it is hard to separate feeling from fact. However, divorce in the legal sense is akin to business, with new roles and responsibilities to be delegated and assets to be redistributed. The most important issues in a divorce include:
- Grounds for Divorce (Fault or No fault)
- Alimony (Maintenance) or Spousal Support
- Division of Property
If there are children under the age of 21, issues may include:
- Child Custody
- Visitation (parenting rights: fathers’ rights, grandparents rights)
- Child Support
If both parties are able to come to an agreement regarding the fundamental issues listed above, the divorce will be considered ”uncontested”, avoiding costly litigation and trial. If however, agreement cannot be made by both parties on the fundamental issues at stake, the divorce is regarded as a contested matter, with the possibility of court proceedings, mediation, and trial before a judge.
Divorce litigation can often be lengthy and turn hostile. It is important to seek the advice of an experienced divorce attorney when contemplating how to proceed with a divorce. In cases where both parties are not in agreement but willing to work towards one, mediation might be a viable option. In mediation, a third party mediator works with both parties involved and their legal counsel, to reach an agreement on the issues in dispute. A mediator can be chosen either by the parties involved or appointed by the court, if necessary. Mediation can be a more peaceful approach in which both parties feel secure that their best interests are being looked at impartially and confidentially. In the unlikely event that an agreement cannot be reached through mediation, the case is taken to court.
Property Division in Texas
Under Texas law, any property acquired during the marriage by either spouse comes under ”community property” and is to be divided upon divorce. In this ”community property” system, it is not necessary for the division of marital assets to be equal. Rather, the courts are required to divide the ”community property” in a manner that is deemed just, regarding the rights of each party and any children involved. If there is property outside the state of Texas, acquired during the marriage, that too is subject to ”community property” laws. There are also instances in which property owned by individual spouses is subject to other legal rules. Don’t let property become your biggest contention. To learn more about property division in Texas and how to smoothly navigate property issues in divorce, contact one of our experienced Dallas divorce attorneys.
Orders of Protection During a Divorce
Sometimes, in the midst of a heated custody battle or divorce settlement, a spouse may out of intense emotions seek an Order of Protection even though they are not in any real danger. Though a court must be convinced of such an order, it is sometimes not possible for the court to discern the truth. If such a situation has occurred or is occurring right now, it could prevent you from accessing your records, property or even seeing your children, greatly altering the outcome of your case and your right to a fair trial. It is strongly advised in this situation for you to follow the Order of Protection, with any or all of its specified conditions, and seek the counsel of an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Consequences for Violating an Order of Protection
Violating a valid Order of Protection may result in the following:
- Contempt of court
- Possible Imprisonment
- Bias or influence in the outcome of a family law matter such as custody or visitation rights.
At Bailey & Galyen, we offer skilled and capable lawyers, with years of experience, to assist you in matters of divorce and family law. Don’t be in the dark about your rights. To find out more or arrange a free consultation, click here.
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The Dallas divorce attorneys of Bailey & Galyen provide trusted, skilled legal representation to individuals like you across the State of Texas.