Dripping Springs Divorce Lawyer

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Divorce can be a challenging process. There are a lot of emotions involved, which may not always be helpful when you are trying to work out the complex issues that need to be addressed when separating two lives that were built together. Those challenges, along with the complexities of the family law that’s involved in the process, are why it’s critical that you have an experienced Dripping Springs divorce lawyer helping you through.

We take divorce law seriously at the Vaught Law Firm. Our attorneys are board-certified in family law and practice it exclusively. However, it’s not just our depth of knowledge that our clients can count on when working with us but also a sense of compassion and sensitivity regarding the situation. We recognize how difficult divorce can be. We understand, we can help.

Divorce Grounds in Texas

While Texas does allow no-fault divorces, it is also among the states that allow someone to file for divorce on fault-based grounds. There are a few different grounds that can be considered for divorce in Texas, including:

  • Living Apart. If the spouses have not cohabitated for three or more years, then these grounds can be used.
  • Confinement to a Mental Hospital. If one spouse has been in a mental hospital for at least three years, and the condition is unlikely to improve, that will likely be sufficient for a divorce on these grounds.
  • Treatment from one spouse to another that is intolerable or insufferable is considered cruelty.
  • These grounds are used if the other spouse has left and been away for a year or more with the intention of abandonment.
  • Felony Conviction. If a spouse has been convicted of a felony, incarcerated for a year or more, and not been pardoned, then this could be grounds for a divorce. However, sometimes these grounds are not granted if the other spouse’s testimony was part of the cause of the conviction.
  • If a spouse can prove the infidelity of their spouse, then this can be used as grounds for divorce.

Most divorces, though, are not filed on fault-based grounds. This is typically for privacy reasons, as a Petition for Divorce is a publicly available document. Those who do not want the details of their marital issues available in that way may wish to avoid filing under these grounds.

A “No-Fault” divorce is one that cites that the marriage has become insupportable. This means that there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation as a result of the discord and conflict that exists in the marriage.

Divorce Timing in Texas

The timing of how long a divorce can take in Texas will be at least a minimum of 60 days from the time the divorce is filed, and it could also take many years to resolve.

The residency requirements require that at least one spouse must have lived in the state for 6-months prior to filing. They also must have been a resident of the county where the divorce is being filed for at least 90 days prior to filing. The State will also need personal and subject matter jurisdiction over the issues and parties in the divorce. Once the divorce is initiated, it cannot be finalized for at least 60 days.

Whether or not a divorce goes quickly will be largely based on whether or not a trial will be necessary. If the divorcing couple is able to come to an agreement on the critical issues of the divorce, then a trial could be avoided, although a judge will need to approve the final agreement. However, if the process is going to require a trial, that could extend the process. For instance, a custody evaluation could add two months to a year or more to the process on its own.

What a Dripping Springs Divorce Lawyer Does

Working with a Dripping Springs divorce lawyer can be critical for your divorce. It’s our job to represent you and advocate for your interests throughout the divorce process. There are a few important roles we can play in the process.

It’s important that your divorce meets all legal requirements and steps. We understand these laws as well as how you can expect the courts to interpret them and rule on them. As your representative, we will also help with the paperwork, drafting of an agreement, and other requirements of the court.

Another vital component of what we can do is represent your interest in negotiating an agreement on the primary elements of a divorce. For many people, this is a preferable option as it tends to give the couple more control over the details of the primary issues. It can also cost less than going to court, and it could be a quicker process as well.

Advice is another important part of what a divorce lawyer provides. There will be various options available to you through the divorce process, and we can provide some advice on how to think about those options.

In addition to that advice, though, it’s important to remember that there are a number of laws governing divorce, and whatever is agreed to or decided by the courts must fit those laws. This means that we can help set your expectations, which can be critical to avoiding the process becoming more emotionally challenging than it already is. Knowing the range of what to expect can often help people process the situation.

Setting expectations is one of many ways we can help with the emotional side of the process. It’s our job to work with you on these major issues that are a central part of your life, but we do so with care and sensitivity. We realize the weight of what is being worked out through a divorce and treat the issues with the care that they deserve.

The Major Issues in a Divorce

When you divorce someone, you will need to untangle your lives as much as possible. This process can often be complicated and emotionally taxing, particularly if there are any children involved. The law, though, sets parameters and expectations of how the major issues will be addressed. Your lawyer can help clarify how these laws may impact your situation.

Property Division

The primary principle guiding property division in Texas is that it be equitable. This does not mean that the division should be precisely a 50/50 split. While that may prove to be a good starting point for the process, other factors will be considered, and the final division must be seen as fair. However, what makes for an “equitable” division of the property could be a point of contention in the process.

Another point of contention is often what property should be eligible to be divided in the first place. Texas operates under community property laws, which means that the only property that can be divided is community property. If a spouse has any separate property, they will need to trace and prove their separate property assertions at which point the court cannot divide that property.

Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance is not guaranteed under the law in Texas. For the most part, the parties have to be married for at least 10 years to even ask for spousal maintenance. The starting position of the court will be that it is not needed unless the need can be proven. This is considered by looking at the person’s capacity to provide for their minimum reasonable needs. As long as they have sufficient education, earning capacity, and property to meet those needs, then they will likely not be awarded any spousal maintenance.

Except for situations where there are extenuating circumstances, spousal maintenance will usually have a limited duration. There are also limits on the payment amount of the lesser of $5000 per month or 20% of the gross monthly income of the other spouse.

Child Custody

One of the most difficult issues in a divorce is child custody. For most parents, giving up time with their kids is an incredibly difficult thing to do. The courts, though, will take the emotion out of it and are supposed to determine custody issues on the basis of what they believe will be in the child’s foremost interests.

This means that they have significant discretion in what they can decide; however, their evaluation will be made on a number of different factors, including issues like the stability of the home for the child, each parent’s ability to provide for the child physically and emotionally, and sometimes the child’s wishes.

(we also have a Standard Possession Order in our family code that is presumed to be in the best interest of the child. It is a rebuttable presumption, but it is there.)

Get the Skilled, Compassionate Help you Need for Your Divorce

At Vaught Law Firm, we understand how sensitive a time it can be when someone is going through a divorce. This was never what you expected and all of the emotions that you’re feeling throughout the process are understandable. That’s why it’s our goal to provide you with the legal help, advice, and representation that you need while also being sensitive to the challenges that you’re facing.

Our firm of certified family law specialists’ practices exclusively family law. This means that we have an extensive amount of experience working with these issues, particularly divorce. Our clients benefit from that experience as we seek to pursue their interests in the divorce process. If you’re looking for compassionate legal help for your divorce, contact our team today.