Katy Divorce Lawyer
Qualified, Experienced, and Local Divorce Representation
The decision to end your marriage is a difficult one to make. When you are married, you typically share a home, intertwine finances, and often start a family with a person with whom you intend to spend the rest of your life. If your relationship with your spouse breaks down, it is usually a very difficult emotional time, and you will likely be dealing with feelings of sadness, grief, anxiety, and stress about the future.
As if these emotional issues were not enough, divorce often involves many practical considerations as well. Who will get the house? Will the children primarily live with one of you or will you split time? Will your spouse provide you with financial support or will you be required to pay alimony? The way that these and other issues are resolved can have a direct impact on your life and your future, so it is critically important to do everything possible to protect your legal rights. In almost every case, this starts with contacting an experienced divorce attorney in Katy.
Contact the team at The Vendt Law Firm, P.L.L.C. by calling (832) 276-9474
Requirements for a Divorce in Katy, Texas
Some couples who decide to get divorced want it to be over immediately. Unfortunately, the process can take a considerable amount of time. At The Vendt Law Firm, P.L.L.C., we are committed to helping you navigate the process from start to finish, striving to simplify matters and make your life more stress-free.
As if making the decision to seek a divorce is not difficult enough, you also have to follow specific legal steps and meet certain requirements in order to have a divorce granted. Texas requires you to cite specific grounds for why you want the marriage to be legally ended.
Grounds for divorce in Texas include:
- Discord or conflict have led the marriage to be insupportable with no expectation of reconciliation
- Cruelty on the part of one spouse
- One spouse committed a felony that led to imprisonment of at least one year and no pardon occurred
- One spouse abandoned the other for one year or longer
- Separation without cohabitation for three years or longer
- One spouse has a mental disorder that has required them to live in a mental health facility for three years or longer with unlikely hope for recovery
It is important to carefully choose the appropriate grounds for divorce that applies to your specific situation. In supportability is a no-fault based ground for divorce, so it is often easier to prove and is more commonly used. If you do choose to cite any fault-based grounds, you will be expected to provide evidence to support those grounds to the court. This can often lead to a very personal and contentious battle if the other spouse fights against the grounds cited. Our skilled Katy divorce lawyer can help you determine the best grounds for your divorce and can help you prove any fault-based grounds if necessary.
We Are Committed to Favorably Resolving Contested Issues in Divorce
Unfortunately, not every couple who decides to get a divorce is able to agree on the way that issues related to their divorce will be resolved. In fact, if you have decided to get divorced, it is possible that your relationship with your spouse has degraded to the point that you are unable to communicate in a productive way. In acrimonious divorces where the issues are contested, it is crucial that each party retains a skilled and experienced Katy divorce attorney in order to ensure that their rights are protected.
At The Vendt Law Firm, PLLC, we regularly work with clients with disputes related to:
- Property division
- Child custody
- Spousal support/alimony
Providing Ongoing Representation in Katy
Our representation does not necessarily end when your divorce is over. The ways that issues related to child custody, child support, and alimony are resolved at the time of your divorce are based on the circumstances that exist at that time. As we all know, things change as we go through life, sometimes dramatically. Our lawyer is available to help those who are seeking to modify or prevent modification to court orders related to support and custody.
Some of the events that may warrant a modification to a court order related to a divorce include:
- A job offer
- A health crisis
- Evidence of drug or alcohol abuse on the part of the other parent
- Physical abuse
Going through a divorce is difficult. The good news is that you do not have to do it alone. Our attorney is dedicated to providing individuals in the area with compassionate and effective legal representation that takes their needs and goals into account.
The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce
1. How Do I File for a Divorce?
To initiate a divorce, the party that is seeking the divorce must first file a petition with the District Court of the country where either person lives. The party who files is called the “petitioner,” and the other party is called the “respondent.”
If you are the one filing, you need to give the other party notice. You will do this legally, with what is commonly referred to as “getting served.”
The respondent must file an answer within 21 days. If they don’t, they won’t be able to avoid a default judgment. If your the respondent, you want to avoid a default judgment, or the chance to assert your legal rights.
A default judgment will affect certain important factors such as child custody, alimony, and division of property and assets. If you are being served, you’ll want to make sure you contact a lawyer as soon as possible so that you can better protect yourself.
2. How Will the Custody of My Children Be Decided?
In court, child custody is usually decided through examining the situation that would be in the best interest of the child or children involved. Certain things will be brought to the court’s attention, such as who the child is currently living with, their relationship with each parent, as well as who could best care for the child.
Many courts are veering towards equal custody if it works for the situation and individuals involved. That being said, child custody is the most common contested issue in divorce court. Both parents have strong feelings towards their children and what is right for them, making this a difficult part of the divorce process.
A divorce attorney will help you to get the best possible outcome for you regarding your custody of your children.
3. How Is Property Divided During a Divorce?
Unless proven otherwise, all property is considered marital property. Examples of separate properties are properties owned by a spouse prior to marriage or property that was gifted or inherited. The earning power of each spouse will also be taken into consideration when dividing property.
Contributions made by each spouse during the marriage, such as education or career development will also be analyzed. Return on retirement will be taken into consideration, as will the custodial parent, who will typically stay in the marital home.
This division can become difficult, as it will have an impact on your financial situation. Sometimes assets are difficult to divide or to determine the value of. Real estate, retirements, investments and owned businesses will all be taken into consideration when dividing assets.
4. What Is the Difference Between a Legal Separation and a Divorce?
In a legal separation, you are still legally married. In a divorce, the marriage is dissolved and legal ties are broken between you and your former spouse. There are many reasons people chose to legally separate before or instead of a divorce.
For instance, a legal separation allows you to remain on a joint health insurance plan. It can also help you to get to the 10-year mark that is necessary in order to draw on other parties’ social security benefits. Before going through a divorce, it is a good idea to consider a legal separation first and see if these benefits will be worth it to you both.
5. How Much Will My Divorce Cost?
The cost of divorce differs depending on the situation. The cost of your divorce will be determined by factors such as the complexity of the case as well as if certain things are contested in court. Typically, the more adversarial the divorce, the more it will cost.
Besides attorney costs, you may also be responsible for filing fees or a divorce mediator. Large, valuable property or businesses may need to be appraised by a divorce financial analyst, which will be an additional cost for you and the other party.
6. What Is Alimony?
In many divorce cases, alimony refers to one party giving the other regular payments required by law. There are certain things that will be taken into consideration to determine if alimony will be required or not.
Typically, the court will take into consideration that the married couple was considered a single unit. For example, if a spouse sacrificed a career to care for the home and children, the court may decide that this spouse will need spousal maintenance.
Spousal maintenance can have great financial impacts on both parties, so it’s best to find a lawyer who can fight for your financial needs.
If you are seeking spousal maintenance, you will want to make sure that you can prove that you will need financial support following the divorce. Make sure you have ways of proving that you will need spousal support to cover your basic needs.
Your Divorce Questions Answered
The process of divorce can be stressful and confusing. Make sure that you’re prepared for what’s to come by reviewing these divorce questions and answers.
By staying informed and having a good divorce attorney, you can take steps towards a divorce that ends in the best situation for you and your family.
To learn more about how we can help you, call our office today at (832) 276-9474.