Denton Divorce Lawyers
Protecting Your Best Interests & Guiding You Through
The divorce process can be complicated, emotional, and stressful. Just as every family is unique, so is every divorce. When you work with The Law Office of Gregory C. Goline, we pledge to take the time necessary to learn about you, your family, and your objectives. As your Denton divorce attorney, we will work tirelessly to help you reach your goals.
Texas allows for both a “no-fault” divorce and divorce based on fault—we have significant experience representing clients in both types of proceedings. Before we file any petitions with the court, our committed team will discuss the benefits and challenges presented by each option and go from there. Our team has represented many clients in their uncontested divorces as well as highly contested cases, so we can help you succeed no matter what the situation.
Divorce Process in Texas
In Texas, the process of divorce can be quite difficult to navigate. Our Denton divorce lawyers will work with you to make this process go as smoothly as possible. Our firm has experience working through a myriad of family matters and understands the emotional toll you and your family are going through. Don't face your divorce alone, allow us to help you through it.
A divorce in Texas may include the following:
- Initial filings: i.e., the petition and response.
- Period of time governed by temporary orders: This remains in effect during the pendency of the divorce (matters of temporary custody, child support, spousal support, payment of bills, etc.). If the parties cannot reach an agreement regarding temporary orders, the court will hold a hearing and issue its own temporary orders.
- Discovery period: Very early on in the process, both parties are required to identify—and disclose to each other—all individual and marital assets and debts.
- Negotiation discussions: Throughout the entire process, and particularly when discovery has yielded a clear picture of the couple’s finances, both parties and their lawyers should negotiate and work towards reaching a final agreement with respect to all outstanding issues. This is accomplished through basic negotiation, mediation, and/or arbitration.
- Settlement and/or trial: In most cases, the parties to a divorce settle most or all the issues prior to a final trial—though it may require some litigation in order to get there. In cases where no agreement can be reached, the parties and their attorneys head to trial.
Specific Components of a Texas Divorce
In order for a Texas Court to approve a divorce agreement or issue its own final orders, the following issues must be resolved in some manner:
- Child custody
- Contested child custody
- Property division
- Child support
- Spousal support
Custody of the parties’ children and a detailed parenting schedule must be agreed upon or court-ordered before a divorce is finalized. Visit our child custody page to learn more about the specific elements that parties and the court must consider when drafting custody and parenting plans. The standard that each party, lawyer, and judge must adhere to when crafting these plans is as follows: the best interests of any children involved.
Texas is a community property state, which means all marital property acquired or incurred during the marriage—assets and debts—is subject to a just and right division. Keep in mind that this does not necessarily mean an equal division. Oftentimes a fair and equitable property division means something other than a 50/50 split. Texas courts may consider a number of factors when determining whether to order an unequal property division during a divorce, including, for example, a spouse’s fault in the breakup in the marriage.
While it is somewhat common in Texas for one spouse to pay spousal support to the other spouse while a divorce is pending (in order to pay the bills and maintain the status quo), it is important to note that spousal support might not be ordered once the divorce is finalized. When a divorce is finalized spousal support (if awarded) is called spousal maintenance.Recent changes in Texas Family Law have increased the length of time spousal maintenance may be awarded.
Specifically, depending on the length of the marriage and other factors, spousal maintenance may be granted for up to five, seven, or ten years. The person who seeks spousal maintenance must sufficiently demonstrate that he or she lacks the financial ability to provide for his or her basic, reasonable needs. Other factors can also play a part in determining whether a spouse is legally eligible for an award of spousal maintenance.
In determining whether an award of spousal support is appropriate (how much and for how long), the court will consider several factors, including the following:
- Each spouse’s financial resources
- The education and job skills of each
- The length of the marriage
- The age, health, employment history, and earning ability of the spouse seeking support
- Contributions by one spouse to the education or earning capacity of the other (for example, one spouse’s payment of the other spouse’s dental school tuition and/or all related living expenses incurred during that time period)
- Contributions of a spouse as a homemaker
When couples with children go through the divorce process, one of the most anxiety-inducing issues is the child support obligation of each parent. One of the first questions clients ask when they hire us is how much they will either have to pay or receive in child support. In calculating a child support amount to be paid to the parent with primary custody, Texas family law courts use a specific formula and follow specific guidelines that factor in the income of the party that will pay child support.
Whether you and your spouse agree on all matters and issues in your case, or whether you disagree on the custody of your children or the division of your property, we can guide you through the process and look out for your best interests.
Contact us today at (940) 400-0475 to schedule your consultation with an experienced divorce attorney in Denton and serving all of North Texas. Credit cards are accepted and payment plans may be available.
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