Divorces are normally high-stress, high-stakes affairs, especially when children, businesses, and substantial properties are involved. Kirker Davis is here to help you through the process. These are the three most contentious issues in a divorce:
Separating Property: Your house, car, and even your bank accounts can be awarded to your spouse in a divorce. In community property states like Texas, almost all property acquired during marriage is considered community property and subject to division during divorce. It does not matter who paid for the property or whose name is on the title. Courts have determined that the division of the community estate must be done in a “just and right manner.” This usually means a fifty-fifty split, but with a good divorce litigation attorney by your side it could be higher.
Alimony: Called “spousal maintenance” in Texas, court-ordered alimony is a contentious topic during any divorce. Alimony is periodic payments made to one spouse to provide support during the period of uncertainty following a divorce. Contrary to popular belief, alimony does not generally last forever. Court-ordered alimony in Texas is limited to “the shortest reasonable time” and can be no longer than 5-10 years in most cases. In order to be eligible, a spouse must prove that the marriage was for at least 10 years, there was family violence, the spouse is disabled, or there is a disabled child.
Child Support and Custody: Child support in Texas is usually determined based on a formula found in state law. It works like this: your monthly expenses are subtracted from your income to calculate your monthly net resources. The court then multiplies that amount by a number set in statute based on the number of children you will be providing support to. For two children, the multiplier is 25%. From there, a court may consider additional needs of the child and ability of the parents. Child custody, on the other hand, can vary quite a bit. The default is the “standard possession order” which gives one parent custody on Thursday evenings and the first and third weekends of the month. The other parent has custody all other times. But the parties can also agree to modifications to this schedule, such as a fifty-fifty split.
Despite the similar issues involved in every divorce, it is impossible to predict how a divorce will go. And each of the three issues discussed here can get much more complicated than they seem. If you are contemplating divorce, or if you are concerned your spouse may be contemplating divorce, you need a team of highly experienced divorce litigation attorneys who will zealously fight for your rights. Contact Kirker Davis to schedule a meeting with a divorce litigation attorney today.