Fort Worth Divorce Attorneys
Seeking The Best Possible Outcome For Your Divorce Case
Ending a marriage can be a stressful time - emotionally, practically, and financially. In addition, you must follow a specific legal process and meet several requirements before the court will issue a final divorce judgment. Without this judgment, you are still legally married, and you will not be able to marry anyone else.
At the Law Office of Kyle Whitaker, our goal is to help clients obtain divorce orders with favorable terms as efficiently as possible, so they can move forward with their lives. If you are considering divorce, or if your spouse has already filed for divorce, do not wait to contact a Fort Worth divorce lawyer to discuss your situation.
The Divorce Process in Texas
While you might be focused on the emotional toll a divorce takes on your life, ending a marriage is also a legal process, and you must follow certain steps to legally terminate the marriage. First, one spouse must file a divorce petition with the proper family court. One spouse must have lived in Texas for at least six months and in the county where the case is filed for at least 90 days before filing.
The divorce petition must include specific information, such as:
- Identifying information about the spouses and their shared children
- Grounds for divorce (as we explore below)
- What the petitioning spouse requests as part of the divorce settlement
The law also requires spouses to resolve several issues before their divorce can be finalized, including property division and, as applicable, child custody, child support, and alimony. If the spouses reach an agreement on how to resolve such issues before filing, they can include their settlement agreement with the divorce petition for the court to review and approve. If approved, this settlement agreement becomes part of the official divorce order.
On the other hand, if the spouses cannot find a middle ground regarding one or more issues, their attorneys will likely negotiate or possibly recommend mediation. If there is still no agreement, the unresolved issues will need to be addressed in court, and the family judge will decide how to resolve them before granting the divorce.
Why You Need the Right Fort Worth Divorce Attorney
Many people think they can handle the divorce process on their own and without legal representation, though this is a risky situation. Without an attorney on your side, you risk getting a divorce order that is not in your best interests. Such an order can impact your future - both financially and regarding your relationship with your children.
Even if you can agree on some or all of the relevant issues, it is still critical to have an attorney guiding you and protecting your rights. Look no further than the Fort Worth divorce lawyers at the law office of Kyle Whitaker.
What are Grounds for Divorce in Texas?
When you file for divorce, the law requires that you cite grounds for the termination of your marriage. Texas is one state that allows you to choose between no-fault grounds and fault-based grounds, and this decision can impact your case in many ways, so you want to discuss this matter with your attorney carefully. You can cite one of the following on your divorce petition:
- In supportability of the marriage (no-fault)
- Living separately for three years
- Cruelty by your spouse
- Adultery by your spouse
- A felony conviction that resulted in one year or longer in prison
- Abandonment by your spouse for one year or longer
- Your spouse is confined to a mental institution
Is Property Split 50/50?
Texas is a community property state, which means the law considers property acquired during marriages to be owned equally by the spouses. However, when it comes time to divide community property in a Texas divorce, the split might not be exactly 50/50. Instead, Texas courts determine what type of division would be “just and right” based on the circumstances. Factors considered include:
- Fault for the divorce
- The earning ability of each spouse
- The education and health of each spouse
- Each spouse’s separate property
- Child custody arrangements
You want the right lawyer protecting your rights to the community property you deserve.
How is Custody Determined?
Child custody is a main issue in any divorce case involving shared children. Texas law refers to custody as “conservatorship” of a child, and parents often share both decision-making powers and physical time with their children. Courts base conservatorship decisions on what is in the best interest of the child, and they can consider:
- The willingness of each parent to cooperate and facilitate relationships with the other parent
- The ability of each parent to care for the child
- Behaviors that might put the child at risk of harm
- Special needs of the child
- Any other relevant information
Alimony Issues in Texas Divorce Cases
Texas law refers to alimony as “spousal maintenance,” and this is financial support that one spouse is ordered to provide to the other for a period following the divorce. Alimony is not an issue in every divorce case, and it will not arise if both spouses can sufficiently support themselves following the divorce.
In some cases, however, one spouse might not work or might earn significantly less than the other. In this situation, the spouse who was the primary earner might have to provide support for the other until they can obtain the training, education, or work experience they need to support themselves.
Alimony is often a contentious issue, as one spouse might truly need support, but no one really wants to continue paying their ex-spouse. If you think alimony might be at issue in your divorce - whether you might receive or pay support - you should seek help from a divorce lawyer with experience handling alimony cases.
Learn How an Experienced Fort Worth Divorce Lawyer Can Help
The Law Office of Kyle Whitaker has been representing clients during the divorce process for more than 20 years, and we know how to achieve the best possible results in each individual case. You do not have to face your divorce alone, as we are ready to help. Call 817-332-7703 or contact us online for more information about how a Fort Worth divorce attorney might assist you and your family.