Frequently Asked Questions About Family Law

Why should I hire a family law lawyer?

The importance of a competent, experienced family law lawyer cannot be conveyed enough. Not only will an attorney guide you through all the necessary steps through the divorce process, but Mrs. Klein will also provide neutral, rational insight that is crucial in what can be an emotionally-charged situation. Having the right counsel by your side during your family law matters can make all the difference and can help ensure you reach a favorable resolution.

How long will the divorce process take?

Every divorce case is different and can take a different amount of time, depending on the circumstances. The amount of time will likely depend on how many issues are contested and how quickly you and your spouse can come to agreements. The most common factors that affect the length of the process include the ability for you to cooperate with your spouse, honesty about existing assets, openness to negotiations, and willingness to make sacrifices. Stubbornness, evasion, and animosity can hurt the process and ultimately cost may more time and money.

How does the court determine child custody?

There are many different factors that are taken into consideration when the court makes a decision about the custody of your children such as: living situation, proximity to family and schools, and the income of each parent. In Texas, a jury trial is allowed for divorce and custody cases. A judge will determine a custody arrangement that best fits the child's best interests. This means that unless there are extreme circumstances that warrant a need for the child to be separated from one parent, judges typically favor joint custody arrangements. These circumstances can include any history of mental or physical abuse, drug or alcohol use, and mental or physical health issues.

 

How does the court determine child support?

In the same thread as child custody, child support is typically determined to protect the best interests of the child. Judges will weigh a number of factors, namely the ability of one parent to support the child and the financial status of the other. Additional factors that will be considered include any special education needs of the child, the physical or mental health of the child or either parent, and the credentials or ability of the recipient to obtain work.

How can child support be enforced?

If a noncustodial parent falls behind on their child support payments, you do have options for enforcing it, but they must be carried out through the court. The court can use various methods to collect any back child support payments. These methods can include income withholding, wage garnishment, interception of tax refunds, liens or attachments to property. Additionally, a court can take punitive actions if these methods are unsuccessful which include license suspension, passport denial, and possibly jail time.

Is a prenuptial agreement beneficial?

A prenuptial agreement is a personal choice of you and your spouse. If you would like to draft a prenuptial agreement, it can be very beneficial to put down the terms of what will happen to your assets, property, or children should you ever divorce.

While a prenuptial agreement can be beneficial for every marriage, typical reasons for a couple deciding to draft can include:

  • A significant difference in age

  • A significant difference in financial status

  • One or both parties have children from previous marriages and want to ensure they can inherit certain assets

  • One or both parties want to protect business partners

How is property divided in a divorce?

Property division can be quite complex, and is completed by determining which property is community property and which is separate. The property which each party brought to the marriage will be treated separately than that property which was acquired in the marriage.

What is separate property?

Separate property is property that a person owns before marriage or receives during marriage by gift or inheritance. If it is kept separate and not combined with community property remains the separate property of the person and goes to that person upon division of property at divorce. The burden is on the person claiming it to prove by clear and convincing evidence that it is separate.

Why make an appointment with Dale & Klein LLP?

When it comes to matters of divorce and family law, it can be extremely painful and emotionally straining for all parties involved. If you have children with your spouse, it can be even more difficult to navigate issues of child support, child custody and visitationon your own. This is why it is so important to have the Law Office of Dale & Klein on your side. We have provided answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive.

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