As much as you’d like your upcoming divorce to move quickly, the reality is that even the most nip and tuck cases won’t be decided in a few days or weeks. They may not even be resolved in five or six months — especially when you factor in Texas’ 60-day waiting period before you can file a divorce petition. And in between that, you still have to find and consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney, determine temporary living arrangements, and get all your paperwork in order.
Then there are these five key issues — all of which must be decided in a divorce before you can go your separate ways.
What Must Be Decided in a Divorce?
You and your spouse have likely accumulated a lot of stuff throughout your marriage, and it is common for disputes to arise as you each try to claim ownership of various items you hold near and dear. This can range from big stuff like homes, cars, and land to furniture, precious heirlooms, and even airline miles. Texas classifies itself as a community property state when it comes to family law. This means property acquired during your marriage (with a few exceptions) is presumed to be equally owned by both spouses and must be divided when the marriage ends. So before a Texas court can begin dividing property, it must first classify all assets as separate property or community property, all of which takes time.
You may want to move on from your marriage, but getting a divorce doesn’t change the fact that you love your kids and want what’s best for them. Your spouse likely feels the same way, which can create a lot of emotions on both sides of the table while raising questions over who should have custody. The Court will always want what is in your child’s best interest and will do its best to determine a stable home and each parent’s role and responsibilities moving forward. Especially when children are involved, we help the client develop and execute the best strategies to avoid leaving a wake of destruction, the brunt of which falls largely on the innocent and impressionable children of divorce.
Another key area that needs to be decided in a divorce is child support. These are regular payments made by one parent to the other parent for the child’s benefit. Typically these payments are made to the parent who designates the child’s primary residence, and the payments are calculated based on a percentage of the paying parent’s income. These payments are court-ordered and designed to provide for the basic essentials for the minor child, such as clothing, food, shelter, education, etc.
While child support payments are designed to cover a child’s basic needs, spousal maintenance is regular payments made from one spouse to another to help the recipient meet his or her minimum reasonable needs. It’s important to understand that spousal maintenance is not guaranteed. A person must request and qualify for it, and the Court will look at various factors before making a final decision. You can read more about what the Court looks at when determining spousal maintenance by clicking here.
Just like you and your spouse accumulated a lot of property during your marriage, the same is true for debt. The Court will need an accurate picture of what debt exists before making a determination on whether the parties will split the responsibility or if one spouse is solely responsible for certain debt payments. There are many factors that play into this decision.
Although it is not easy, our attorneys are committed to supporting and guiding clients through the dark days of marital crisis. And that includes giving them access to information that helps them prepare for divorce.
Please call Christman Attorneys, PLLC, for your legal needs today!
Please consult an attorney for advice about your individual situation. The material on this website and in this or any blog article we publish are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. The attorneys at Christman Attorneys, PLLC believe in tailoring legal advice and solutions to your own personal circumstances.
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