Terry L. Hart, Attorney at Law

Houston Family Law Blog

On what grounds can I get a divorce in Texas?

Texas, along with many other states across the country, allows both no-fault and at-fault divorces. An at-fault divorce is one in which one spouse can point to the other's conduct and claim this is the reason for the marriage coming to an end. However, before asking for a divorce based on fault, the alleging party must be able to prove that they should be given a divorce based on the reason they are alleging.

Texas also allows for a no-fault divorce. This means that neither party has to prove that the other is at fault. The petition will cite insupportability as the cause of the divorce. Legally, this means that the marriage cannot be supported due to a conflict of personalities or a dispute that destroys the legitimate ends of the marriage and there is no realistic expectation of a reconciliation. The couple must have been separated for three years to avail this ground.

We resolve complex family law issues in a divorce

Now that you have decided to get a divorce and have begun the legal process for doing so, it might feel like everything is on the line, especially if you have children. For a parent going through a divorce, children are often the most important asset they simultaneously wish to protect and fight over in custody battles.

Some couples may be able to avoid a child custody dispute by coming to a mutual agreement over the terms of the custody agreement. While it's difficult to imagine what life would be like without having a child under one's roof all the time, using this motivation to engage in a lengthy dispute will only create bitterness in an already emotionally charged time. Accepting this reality and working out an agreement that works for both parties and retains the loving, supportive environment that children have become accustomed to works for everyone in the long-run.

Factors affecting best interests of children in custody decisions

Couples with children who are going through a divorce in Texas will most likely find that child custody decisions are the most difficult to make. Going from a house always full of children to a house where children are only present half the time can make divorcing couples more emotionally charged and unable to agree on what the best custody arrangement is. When a couple is unable to make this decision, the court steps in and makes the custody award based on the best interests of the children involved.

The best interests of the child means not only their physical and financial needs, but also their emotional and mental needs as well. Judges can either grant sole physical custody to one parent-known as the sole conservator-or joint physical and legal custody to both parents-called a joint conservatorship.

Is there a relationship between careers and divorces?

While no one goes into their marriage expecting it to end, according to some data, divorce might be predicted by the career one has. According to an analysis of data collected by the U.S. Census, young married couples are facing higher divorce rates based on the field they are working in.

While Houston residents might think this means that married individuals should not work, this is not what the data claims. In fact, the research suggests reasons for why remaining married might be difficult in particular fields. For example, one of the top spots in the survey was held by military jobs. This could be because frequent deployments, moves and difficulties in reintegrating upon return, strain a marriage. The same could also be said for other careers that involve a lot of travel.

Bird's nest custody: A creative way to handle custody

Among the many painful factors that accompany divorce is the impact it has on time with your children. Moving to a new home and shuffling the kids back and forth between parents can be a nightmare for both of you.

However, a new alternative could help parents make a custody agreement that is less stressful on the whole family.

We help clients navigate the technical aspects of divorce

Deciding to end one's marriage is often a difficult decision made by Texas residents. But, once the decision is made, many find themselves in a rush to finally finish their legal bond with one another and move on with their lives. This is why many Texas men and women end up agreeing to terms in the divorce agreement that are most likely detrimental to them in the long run. However, by shortchanging oneself in either the divorce agreement or spousal agreement, one can end up facing a number of challenging years ahead.

There are a number of reasons a spouse might require spousal support during the first few years after the divorce or why a parent might prefer having joint physical custody, and it's likely that the only time to voice those concerns is during the divorce process. There are also a number of other issues that need to be addressed prior to finalizing a divorce and attorneys may be able to provide help in how to proceed.

What should women do to get ready for divorce?

Divorce is a complex process that can greatly alter your future and your long-term goals. Women who are expecting to divorce in the near future will find it beneficial to consider how they can take steps now to prepare for what is ahead and shield their finances for the future. Even if you are not quite ready to move forward with this process, there are things you can do now that will help you down the road.

There is often a surge in divorce filings after the holidays, and you may plan to file after the New Year. Whether you have a date in mind to initiate this process or you believe it is simply a possibility, it is always prudent to be prepared. Divorce planning can significantly impact your financial stability and post-divorce success.

What child custody options do I have for the holidays?

When a Texas court is determining how to divide child custody, it must do so while keeping the children's best interests in mind. This means whatever decision is made must be made in order to benefit the children, emotionally, physically, or financially. Regardless of how difficult it is, parents should put their children's best interests first when determining who should have custody during the holidays.

If parents have divorced amicably and live near one another, they might decide to split the hours of the holiday equally. However, this arrangement might end up backfiring, as children might find going from one location to another chaotic or stressful. It could also increase the amount of interaction parents have with one another post-divorce, which they may be trying to avoid. Therefore, while this arrangement could be beneficial for amicable parents with older children, it might not be the best option for ones with an acrimonious relationship.

Celebrating Thanksgiving as a divorced parent

The quintessential Thanksgiving image to many is a family sitting around the table cutting the turkey with a smile on their face. The holiday is often promoted as a time where parents and children get together after they respectively have their work and school days off. A lot of stress and preparation is involved for this one day, but many find it worthwhile to work hard for one of the few days of the year where all can celebrate being together.

Parents that recently divorced face a different obstacle this holiday season. It is their first time going into Thanksgiving without a spouse and potentially without their children on their days off. This could be one of the toughest parts of the year as several divorcees in Texas are constantly reminded of what they once had. However, no longer having a spouse should not stop you from celebrating the occasion. Your status presents opportunities to create new lifelong traditions.

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Terry L. Hart, Attorney at Law
4265 San Felipe Street
Suite 1100
Houston, TX 77027

Toll Free: 877-576-7390
Phone: 713-581-1773
Fax: 713-968-9817
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