During the process of ending a marriage, both spouses typically undergo tremendous emotional strain. The legal process involved in either a divorce or an annulment is complex and includes a wide spectrum of issues, like distribution of property, child custody, spousal support, and child support. Divorce can have profound consequences with the potential for long-lasting effects on a person’s finances and property.
If you are considering divorce, you should consult with an Austin divorce attorney. Kirker Davis LLP has years of experience dealing with family law issues in Austin and can provide you with sound legal counsel on your ideal course of action.
There are many ways a divorce can proceed and many circumstances under which a divorce can become more or less challenging. Some common divorce issues include:
An uncontested divorce is a situation in which both parties are in agreement about how the separation should be carried out. While you may agree on the big picture issues, the implementation of your separation can be difficult to negotiate. Your divorce lawyer can come to fair terms with your ex or their attorneys.
When a divorce is “contested” it means the parties involved cannot come to an agreement on an issue. In these cases, the divorce may proceed to a trial setting, where a ruling will be made. While it’s usually best to come to an agreement with your ex, some points are non-negotiable and worth fighting for. An Austin divorce attorney can help you determine which points you are most likely to win and which contentions might not be worth your energy in the long run.
In a mediated divorce, the spouses or their lawyers meet with a neutral third-party mediator in an attempt to find a fair solution to their differences. A mediator can help the separating individuals find common ground or sustainable compromises. Having your lawyer present can do a lot to ensure the deal doesn’t favor your spouse.
A collaborative divorce is a divorce in which both parties try to work together to expedite the process. This works best when both individuals are willing to negotiate to avoid taking the matter to court, where the process would become more costly and time-intensive.
Divorces that involve businesses can have additional complications. Whether it’s a family business passed from previous generations or a fresh startup, it will need to be properly categorized and divided between the divorcing spouses. A business divorce attorney from Kirker Davis LLP can help you understand how your divorce will affect your business.
When you’re a professional, your time is incredibly limited and valuable. While it may be difficult to juggle the demands of a challenging career while going through a divorce proceeding, our experienced attorneys can help you understand better and make it through the process.
Divorces between two individuals who have a high net worth are almost always made more complex by the money involved. Because marriage is considered a sort of partnership, any wealth you’ve accrued while you were with your spouse must be divided in a relatively even way, regardless of who earned the wealth. You probably want to keep what you see as unearned wealth out of your ex’s pocket, but it is illegal to hide assets during a divorce. An Austin divorce attorney can help you remain transparent and preserve as much of your wealth as allowed.
In a divorce, all your community assets will have to be split up between you and your former spouse. Coming to an agreement on how to divide high-value assets between the two of you can be a complicated ordeal and it is unlikely that you will reach an easy agreement. Texas law says assets must be divided in a way that is “just and right.” We can help argue on your behalf for an outcome that is fair and maintains a claim on the items you hold most dear.
When a divorce is all said and done, the court will issue a divorce decree, a document that finalizes the divorce. It should be reviewed and all deadlines set forth within it should be followed. However, sometimes people can’t perform the duties outlined in their divorce decree and need to modify them. An attorney from Kirker Davis LLP can help you through the modification process if you or your ex cannot meet the terms of your divorce decree.
If you are seeking a divorce, understanding exactly what your situation is can be extremely important to help you figure out what courses of action are possible.
Under Texas law, the Court may grant a divorce on grounds of insupportability, which is described by the statute as a discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation; insupportability essentially operates as a no-fault provision for divorce. So, your divorce, like the divorces of a majority of couples, may be considered a “no-fault” divorce. This may be true even in the event you or your spouse is alleged to have acted improperly during the marriage. Two of the other most common grounds for divorce in Austin include:
Other fault-based grounds for divorce also exist, but they are less likely to be applicable.
Texas has statutory provisions for the annulment of a marriage. An annulment may be obtained if the marriage is either ‘void’ or ‘voidable.’ A marriage is void if the spouses could not legally have entered into the marriage in the first place, meaning it was invalid from the beginning. If there was some significant fact that one or both parties did not have knowledge of at the time of the marriage, which would have led one party not marry, it is a voidable marriage. One spouse may petition for annulment for any of the following reasons:
For a court to grant an annulment, the petitioner is required to refrain from voluntarily cohabiting with the other spouse after learning of the issue at hand or after the petitioner is no longer under the influence of the claimed grounds for the annulment.
Dissolving a marriage is never easy, but it can be much more manageable with experienced legal counsel. It is important to seek an attorney who knows the ins and outs of family law in Texas. If you are considering divorce or annulment, contact the Austin Divorce Lawyers of Kirker Davis LLP at (512) 598-0010 for a free consultation today.
If you are looking for a divorce lawyer near you, Kirker Davis is your best option. We know that going through a divorce is not only a rough time for you but also for your family.
We are backed by years of experience representing men and women that decide to end their marriage. Call us today.
There is no one answer to this question, as each divorce law firm sets its own fees. The ethical rules require fees to be “reasonable,” but specific cost is something you should discuss at your consultation. Divorce attorneys might use a combination of a retainer (an amount you pay up front) and hourly fees. An uncontested divorce that requires fewer hours of work from the lawyer will cost less than a divorce case that requires litigation or other complex legal maneuvering.
While gender roles played a part in Texas divorces in years past, today’s divorce laws do not favor a husband or wife in property or child-related decisions. A wife is entitled to her fair share of the community property, as well as her fair share of custody (conservatorship) rights. Further, a wife might receive child or spousal support or be ordered to pay support to the husband, depending on the financial situation of the spouses.
Not all divorce cases involve spousal support, and a support order is not mandatory in Texas divorce cases. If one spouse requests support, the court will review the circumstances to ensure they meet the eligibility requirements before ordering support. This is often a contentious issue in a divorce case, so always discuss the possibility of spousal support with your divorce attorney.
It is rare for a spouse to have a cause of action to file a lawsuit for damages against a spouse for having an affair. However, cheating can certainly play a role in a divorce case. When you file for divorce, you must cite “grounds,” and these grounds can be no-fault or fault-based in Texas. One of the fault-based grounds that Texas law recognizes is adultery.
If you choose to cite adultery as grounds for your divorce, you must prove to a certain degree that your spouse engaged in adultery. This is not always easy to do and might involve airing some highly personal information in open court. However, if you can prove adultery, it can weigh in your favor regarding property division, spousal support awards, or even child custody, depending on the circumstances of your wife’s affair.
While some husbands might benefit from pursuing a fault-based divorce, others might be better off filing a no-fault divorce, so they do not have to prove misconduct. This is something you should carefully consider with advice from your divorce lawyer.
To initiate a divorce case, your attorney will prepare a divorce petition and file it with the proper Texas family court. Your spouse will be served with the petition and summons, and they will have a chance to respond by filing an answer. A judge might issue a temporary restraining order to set out rules for each spouse while the divorce is pending, such as preventing the sale of property. You may or may not have a court hearing before your attorney goes to work building and negotiating your divorce case.