Frequently Asked Questions: Divorce
Common Family Law Questions
What is an uncontested divorce?
When a couple that wants to legally end their marriage makes their own agreements regarding asset division, alimony/spousal support, child custody and support, it is called an uncontested divorce. If any disagreements arise that can’t be resolved, the matter is deferred to the court for adjudication, also called a contested divorce.
What is required to legally end a marriage?
Couples can petition for a divorce on a “no-fault” basis, meaning that one spouse does not have to prove that the other spouse did anything wrong. The law also requires that at least one spouse lives in the state for a minimum period of 180 days before filing.
How long will it take for a divorce to be granted?
Once a divorce petition has been filed, a 60-day waiting period is legally required before the divorce is granted. A contested divorce could take longer, depending on the amount of time needed to work out agreements regarding property division, spousal support, child custody and support.
How is property divided?
Any assets that were acquired during the marriage must be equitably and fairly distributed. The property distribution process first requires compiling a complete list of assets, and then determining their value. When dividing assets, the court will consider the age and health of each spouse, their current income and future earning potential, as well as child custody arrangements.
A Galveston County divorce lawyer can review your finances and give you additional insight into the property division process.
Why should I hire a lawyer?
Ending a marriage can be difficult, even under the best of circumstances. A qualified attorney can manage the legal aspects of the dissolution, and ensure your rights and interests are protected. Your lawyer can also help mediate agreements with your spouse regarding property distribution, alimony/spousal support, child custody and support. My name is Attorney Karenko, and I have over two decades of divorce case experience. I will provide the professional and personal assistance you need when seeking a divorce, and skillfully guide you through the divorce process.
Will I have to pay alimony/spousal support in a divorce?
Alimony, more commonly referred to as spousal support, is not a mandatory facet of divorce but in certain circumstances, the judge will order you to pay. This is usually used in cases where the other parent or spouse does not make enough on their own without a second income and in the event of a divorce they would face serious financial hardship. If the marriage however was for a very short period of time or both spouses are employed and make sufficient income then alimony will most likely not be considered in this case.
In a divorce, who gets to keep the house?
In cases of divorce, the house is of equal property to either spouse. The only time things really get complicated is when children are involved. The court prefers that the children be able to stay in the home with the custodial parent. So in theory whoever gets physical custody may get to keep the house.
How much child support will I be given?
The state has a formula and a chart that helps them determine the amount of support you will receive based on multiple different factors. There are some rare cases where the court will make special exemptions but for the most part, child custody is a carefully calculated and predictable number based on the income of both parents and custody arrangement. For example, if you make less money than your former spouse but you are the primary custody parent you may get a substantial amount of support to help provide for the child.
What happens if my spouse stops paying their child support?
The state of Texas takes this very seriously and there are ways to enforce child support and get them to pay. First, you can file a motion with the court, identifying them as being in contempt of court. This means that they are in violation of the court-ordered child support agreement and if the court approves the motion then there are several things that could happen. They may sentence them to jail time, suspend their license, or even garnish their wages to get the court-ordered amount of child support that is owed to you.
Contact a Galveston County divorce lawyer if you are considering divorce to understand more about the process and how best to legally end your marriage.