Frequently Asked Questions

Divorce FAQs

Texas is a community property state, meaning all property acquired during the marriage is divided equally unless there is a convincing argument for unequal division based on factors listed in the Texas Family Code.

The minimum time is 60 days from the date the divorce petition is filed. The duration can be longer depending on the complexity of the case and whether it is contested.

Not necessarily. If you and your spouse agree on all terms of the divorce (uncontested divorce), you may not need to go to court. However, contested divorces often require court intervention.

Yes, you can request a modification of certain aspects like child support, custody, or spousal maintenance if there’s been a significant change in circumstances.

Custody FAQs

Child custody, known as conservatorship in Texas, is determined based on the best interests of the child, considering factors like parental abilities, the health and safety of the child, and the child’s preferences.

Legal custody refers to the right to make significant decisions about the child’s life, while physical custody concerns the child’s living arrangements.

Relocating with a child can require court permission, especially if it significantly disrupts the current custody arrangement or the other parent’s access to the child.

A possession order outlines the specific times each parent spends with the child. Texas provides standard possession orders but can customize schedules based on the child’s best interests.

Support FAQs

Child support is calculated based on a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s income, considering the number of children. The Texas Family Code provides guidelines for these percentages.

The duration of spousal support depends on several factors, including the length of the marriage and the recipient’s ability to become self-sufficient. Texas law sets maximum durations for spousal support based on the length of the marriage.

As of the 2018 tax reforms, spousal support is no longer tax-deductible for the payer and is not taxable income for the recipient. Child support payments have never been tax-deductible.

Failure to pay child support can lead to enforcement actions, including wage withholding, liens on property, suspension of licenses, and even criminal charges.

Grandparents Rights FAQs

Grandparents may seek custody or visitation rights under certain conditions, such as if the child’s welfare is at risk or if their parent is deceased or incarcerated.

No, grandparent visitation rights are not automatic. The court must be convinced that granting visitation is in the best interest of the child.

Generally, grandparents’ rights are terminated if the child is adopted by someone other than a stepparent or another family member, unless the adoption decree specifically maintains those rights.

Yes, but only if the court finds that the child’s current living environment endangers their physical health or significantly impairs their emotional development.

Mediation FAQs

Mediation is a confidential process where a neutral third-party mediator helps disputing parties reach a voluntary agreement. The mediator facilitates communication but does not make decisions for the parties.

While not all disputes require mediation, many courts encourage or mandate mediation before the case proceeds to trial, especially in family law and small civil cases.

If mediation doesn’t result in an agreement, parties can still take their dispute to court. Mediation discussions are generally confidential and not admissible in court.

Yes, agreements reached in mediation can be made legally binding if they are put in writing and signed by both parties, often forming part of a court order.

Estate Planning FAQs

While not mandatory, consulting with an estate planning lawyer ensures your documents comply with state laws and your wishes are clearly articulated, reducing the likelihood of disputes.

A will details how your assets should be distributed after death. A trust allows you to manage and distribute assets before and after death, potentially avoiding probate.

Probate is the legal process of distributing a deceased person’s assets. Proper estate planning, especially through the use of trusts, can minimize assets going through probate, speeding up the distribution process and reducing costs.

Common documents include wills, trusts, power of attorney, healthcare directives (living wills), and beneficiary designations.