Houston Divorce Attorney
In Texas, a petition for divorce can be filed only after the petitioner meets residency requirements. The petition must clearly specify why the filing spouse is seeking a divorce. Once the document has been filed, the court clerk will assign a case number and date for a preliminary hearing.
In addition to the petition for divorce, a number of other documents may be required as well. The types of documents required can depend on whether there are children or large amounts of property involved. A few of the papers that may be needed can include:
- Marital settlement agreement
- Child support worksheet
- Financial affidavit
Jurisdiction over Numerous Matters
Local courts have jurisdiction over a variety of matters when it comes to a divorce. Some of the issues that they can rule on include property distribution, debt distribution, child support, custody and visitation rights. The court will also determine how assets such as pension and retirement accounts will be distributed. In determining how intangible assets are divided, judges will look at factors like:
- Type of plan or asset
- How long the spouses have been married
- Distribution of other assets
- Age and health of each person
In general, Texas law does not provide for the payment of alimony or spousal support. Even so, there are a couple of exceptions to this rule:
- When one spouse has committed an act of domestic violence within two years of filing the petition
- The parties have been married at least 10 years, and the requesting spouse lacks sufficient property or means to be self-sufficient
The decision to award spousal maintenance requires the court to consider a number of circumstances such as the employable skills of both spouses, special needs, duration of the marriage and financial resources of both individuals. Since the Texas laws surrounding spousal support are complicated, a person who is seeking a dissolution of marriage should call a divorce lawyer to learn about his or her legal rights.
Child Support and Custody
In Texas, the parent who is awarded child custody is known as the conservator. This parent has the exclusive right to determine where the child will live. However, the courts may limit this to a specific geographic area. A child custody order will also spell out the duties of each parent when it comes to certain responsibilities like education and financial support. The ultimate goal of a child support order is to ensure that the child’s needs are met with as little disruption to his or her upbringing as possible.
Contact a Divorce Attorney in Houston
Since there are so many aspects involved in a divorce, those who are contemplating a dissolution of marriage should not try to represent themselves, as there could be repercussions that last long after a decree is issued.
Instead, they should call Houston divorce attorney Mario Madrid and his staff at 713-877-9400 and get a complimentary consultation.