Divorce Settlement Agreements In Texas: Issues That Must Be Settled
Every divorce is difficult, and every divorce is unique. Nevertheless, because there are several universal issues that must be settled before any divorce can be finalized, every divorce also shares similarities.
The custody of your children must be resolved before your divorce can be made final. Obviously, your children are always your primary concern, and this is never truer than when you’re going through a divorce. While Texas uses different language than child custody (conservatorship), the meaning is the same.
Texas strives to facilitate both parents’ opportunities to continue to build strong relationships with their children. Generally, divorced parents in Texas share custody (or become joint managing conservators), which means that both parents equally share the rights and duties associated with raising their children. These include those rights associated with your children’s education, medical care, and religious upbringing and those duties associated with taking care of your children and tending to their health and education needs.
Child support that’s paid by the noncustodial parent (the parent with whom the children don’t primarily live) to the custodial parent (the parent with whom the children primarily live) must also be determined before the divorce becomes final. Texas has a reasonably straightforward approach to calculating child support, but as with so many other issues related to divorce, there are exceptions. In support of the children they share, the noncustodial parent will generally provide the custodial parent with 20 percent of his or her salary (this goes up 5 percent for the second child and goes up another 5 percent for each child thereafter – up to the fifth child).
Spousal support is by no means a given in a Texas divorce. Texas looks at spousal support as a temporary mechanism for helping you (or your ex) support yourself while you get back on your feet after the divorce. If your divorce will leave you unable to meet your monthly expenses (and you meet certain other requirements), the court may order your ex to pay you a specified sum of spousal support for a specified period.
After the issues that relate to your children, property division is arguably the most important element of your divorce. Texas is a community property state, which means that you and your spouse together own any property or assets that you acquired during your marriage (with some exceptions). This can make the property division element of your divorce especially complicated. The biggest piece of this puzzle for most divorcing couples is their home. An experienced Texas divorce attorney will help you hammer out an equitable division of your marital property that is in keeping with your best interests.
If You’re Facing a Divorce, Contact a Texas, Divorce Lawyer Today
Divorce is complicated, but Sugar Land divorce attorney Frank J. Vendt at The Vendt Law Firm, P.L.L.C., is here to help. Mr. Vendt practices solution-based law, and he has the experience, skill, and compassion to help you resolve your divorce as equitably and efficiently as possible. Please contact or call our office at (832) 276-9474 to schedule an appointment today.