Divorce can be an incredibly confusing time for many people, especially since divorce law changes depending on the state you live in. We’ve assembled a few frequently asked questions people ask us about their cases.
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Not all divorces wind up in court. Around 95% of all divorces in the United States are uncontested, meaning the couples agreed on most issues regarding such things as alimony, child support, visitation, and property division. When couples can agree on how they can go about separating their lives, they don’t need to spend countless months fighting each other in a court of law. With uncontested divorces, spouses work together to negotiate settlements. They can collaborate with a mediator to come to agreements on essential divorce issues. After the entire process, they then can bring the agreement before a judge for finalization. If an out-of-court settlement is impossible, then the case will go to trial as a contested divorce.
In Texas, the presumption the court makes is all property belonging to both spouses is community property. This means both spouses acquired and shared the assets during the marriage. Unless the house was bought exclusively for the use of one spouse by one spouse, the house would be considered community property. Since all divorces require an equitable division of all community property, one of the spouses will get the house, and the other will receive an equitable amount for half of what the house is worth. For example, if you decide to give up the house to your ex, you may be awarded alimony.
Modern law allows either spouse to get alimony; however, this is based on the judge’s determination that one spouse is negatively affected financially by the divorce. For example, if one spouse took time off of work to care for a child, the spouse would likely receive alimony until he or she was able to transition back into the workforce. Likewise, a spouse caring for a child with physical or mental disabilities might need to stay home at all hours to look after that child. In cases like these, the court may award alimony for as long as such care was required. A spouse with a disability that prevents them from working might also be awarded spousal support.
Because same-sex marriage is relatively recent, couples might be confused about how custody works in LGBT relationships ending in divorce. An experienced Dallas LGBT divorce attorney can help you create a parenting plan that works for both parents if they are both legal parents of the child through adoption. However, separation becomes more complicated if the child is a natural-born son or daughter of one partner and no legal adoption by the other spouse was attempted before the divorce. For these cases, it’s essential to go to court with evidence the non-biological parent had care, control, and possession of the child. Courts will determine custody based on the wellbeing of the children. If a child is negatively affected by a separation from their non-biological parent, a judge may still award visitation rights.
If you need more information about questions not listed here, contact us today for an initial consultation.