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Divorce in Texas—Some Basic Questions

Texas Divorce Law—The Basics

Whether you are filing or have been served with a complaint for divorce in Texas, you’ll have a lot of questions about the process. Here are some answers to basic questions.

How Long Does the Process Take?

It’s difficult to say with any certainty how long your divorce will take, as each situation is unique. If you can work amicably with your ex, you can come to agreement on issues related to custody, visitation, support and property fairly quickly. Under no circumstances, though, can a divorce be finalized during the 60 day period following the filing of a complaint.

Does Texas Recognize a Right to Alimony?

As more and more couples involve both working spouses, the need for alimony or spousal support has declined, but the concept still exists in Texas. Though the application of the principle is limited, an ex-spouse can petition the court for some level of support if he or she does not have the capacity to be self-supporting, or cannot take care of his or her own basic needs. Alimony may be:

  • Temporary—for a stated time, allowing the recipient to move toward self-sufficiency
  • Rehabilitative—paid until such time as the recipient becomes self-sufficient
  • Permanent—paid until the death or remarriage of the recipient

How Is Property Divided?

Texas is a community property state, which means that all property and debt acquired during the marriage is divided equally, with very few exceptions. Conversely, all property brought into the marriage is considered separate property and customarily goes back to the party who originally owned it.

Contact Us

At the office of Linda Stewart Law, PLLC, in Baytown, we bring more than 8 years of experience to clients in south Texas. To learn how we can help, call our office at 281-420-8020 or contact us online. We offer an initial consultation at a reduced fee of $50. We accept credit cards and will set up a payment plan, if appropriate. Our offices are open Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., and until noon on Fridays. Evening and weekend appointments can be arranged upon request.

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Texas Divorce Law—The Basics

Texas-Divorce-Law-The-Basics

Your marriage is in trouble and you are considering filing for divorce in Texas. Here are some important things to understand.

Eligibility to File in Texas

Texas won’t have jurisdiction of your divorce complaint unless you or your ex-to-be have lived in the state for at least six months immediately prior to the filing of the divorce complaint. In addition, at least one of you must have resided in the county where you file for a minimum of 90 days.

These requirements apply to military personnel, too. Though there’s no requirement that you lived in Texas before your assignment there, you must have been on active duty at a base in the state for six months prior to your filing.

The Different Types of Filings

Like all other states, Texas offers no-fault divorce, where you simply have to indicate that you had irreconcilable differences. However, you can also allege fault, which may give you advantage in custody, support or property determinations. The factors that can be stated as cause for divorce in Texas include:

  • Adultery
  • Abandonment
  • Conviction of a felony
  • Physical or mental cruelty
  • Confinement to a mental hospital

Child Support, Child Custody and Visitation

Child support is calculated using a state-established formula, taking into account all income of all parties. The court always has the discretion to amend the order, based on the needs of the child and a parent’s ability to pay/provide. Custody and visitation are based primarily on the best interests of the child, but the Texas courts favor involvement by and regular contact with both parents.

Contact Us

At the office of Linda Stewart Law, PLLC, in Baytown, we bring more than 8 years of experience to clients in south Texas. To learn how we can help, call our office at 281-420-8020 or contact us online. We offer an initial consultation at a reduced fee of $50. We accept credit cards and will set up a payment plan, if appropriate. Our offices are open Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., and until noon on Fridays. Evening and weekend appointments can be arranged upon request.

Se Habla Espanol | ASL and ESL Services Also Available

Who’s at Greater Risk for Divorce—Doctors, Lawyers or Business Owners?

Who's-at-Greater-Risk-for-Divorce-Doctors,-Lawyers-or-Business-Owners

It’s a cultural stereotype that doctors lead the way when it comes to divorce—the long hours, the high income, and the stress all are considered to contribute to the high rate of divorce among medical professionals. But a recent study indicates that other professions may be in greater peril of marital discord.

According to a study conducted by the British Medical Journal, in which more than 6.5 million divorces were reviewed, including nearly a quarter of a million involving medical professionals, doctors trail many other professions. The research showed that less than one in four (24%) of physicians went through a divorce. Health care executives had a significantly higher rate—31% –and nurses were even higher, at 33%. Though lawyers divorced more often than doctors—27% experienced a marital breakup—the rate for non-medical professionals as a whole was 35%.

One area where medical professionals did experience high numbers of divorces—female doctors. The study found that female physicians were 50% more likely to be a party to a divorce than their male colleagues. Researchers say the challenges of being a working mother in the medical profession account for much of the difference. In an interesting twist, the data showed that the rates of divorce when up for female doctors who worked more than 40 hours a week, but went down for male doctors when they worked overtime.

Contact Us

At the office of Linda Stewart Law, PLLC, in Baytown, we bring more than 8 years of experience to clients in south Texas. To learn how we can help, call our office at 281-420-8020 or contact us online. We offer an initial consultation at a reduced fee of $50. We accept credit cards and will set up a payment plan, if appropriate. Our offices are open Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., and until noon on Fridays. Evening and weekend appointments can be arranged upon request.

Se Habla Espanol | ASL and ESL Services Also Available

I’ve Inherited Money During Our Marriage. Do I Have to Split that If I Divorce?

You will not have to split money that is inherited with anyone except Uncle Sam. That is the case whether or not you divorce. The money you inherit is yours. It is not considered marital property.

If, however, you have signed that money over to your spouse, or placed that money in a joint bank account, the money then becomes marital property. So, it is wise to keep inherited money separate if you are anticipating a divorce.

The inheritance and any gift given to you alone for that matter, is yours and yours alone. Community property is everything that a husband and a wife own together. Community property would include such objects and assets and earnings that were acquired during the marriage. These would include a business and a house, regardless of who purchased it and whose name it is in. This would also include al debts that are contracted during the marriage.

Separate property includes inheritances and gifts received during the marriage, anything that was owned by one spouse before the marriage began, and anything either spouse had earned after the couple separated.

Divorce, Property and Inheritance Division Questions? Family Law Attorney, Baytown, Texas

Stewart Law, PLLC, located in Baytown, Texas, provides legal counsel to individuals involved in support and custody matters, divorce, and other family law cases. If you have questions about keeping an inheritance that you were given during your marriage, property division, divorce, or any other family law matter, we can give you advice that will help you decide how to proceed. For an initial assessment and consultation, contact our family law firm online or call our office at (281) 420-8020, at a reduced fee of $50.

How to Keep Expenses Down in a Texas Divorce

Divorce is expensive. There’s no doubt about it. If you are thinking about getting a divorce, it is wise to think ahead about how to save money before, during, and after the divorce process. You might think it strange that a divorce attorney would offer suggestions for saving money, since we make our living from the fees our clients pay. However, at Stewart Law, PLLC, we are committed to our clients’ best interests, which includes saving money during the legal process. Here are our suggestions:

  • Resolve as many disagreements informally as possible. Divorces get expensive when the conflicts get heated. That’s when attorneys’ fees pile up. It benefits your bottom line to limit your disagreements to those that are absolutely critical to your future happiness and success. Don’t fight every step of the way.
  • Agree with your spouse ahead of time that you will strive to keep costs low. This only works, of course, if you are involved in an amicable divorce.
  • Don’t forget about tax implications. Every divorce has implications for your future income taxes, and it can save a lot of money in the future if you consult a certified public accountant before you sign any agreement.
  • Don’t overlook any assets. Texas is a community property state, which means that assets acquired or enhanced during the marriage are presumed to be equally the property of both spouses. Really comb through your marital history to recall any and all assets that you can make a claim to.
  • Make a realistic assessment of whether you need financial help from your spouse to get back on your feet and into the workforce. Alimony may be almost dead in Texas, but it has not breathed its last. In some situations, for example in the case of a stay-at-home parent who must rejoin the workforce, Texas divorce judges will still grant temporary spousal maintenance.

You can estimate the amount of child support you will receive or pay using the Texas child support calculator offered online by the Texas Office of the Attorney General.

Looking for additional information about lowering costs during a divorce? Stewart Law, PLLC, can provide advice and guidance. Located in Baytown, Texas, we have provided legal counsel to men and women in divorce and family law matters for 8 years. For an initial assessment and consultation of your case, contact us online  or call our office at
(281) 420-8020, at a reduced fee of $50.

 
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