When it comes to divorce, child custody, or other delicate matters related to family law, hiring a competent attorney is the first step to success. No matter what kind of situation you find yourself in, family law lawyers in Houston and the surrounding area can help you navigate both the state and local laws so you can get the best outcome possible for you and your family. Let’s explore some of the areas we may be able to help you with.
Cases Related to Divorce
The most common area of family law is divorce. If you are facing this issue, you are not alone, as around 40-50% of US marriages eventually disintegrate. This might be the most challenging situation of your life, so you’ll need a calm and competent professional to help you navigate the ins and outs of the law. If you decide not to hire a lawyer, you may not get your fair share of the marital assets, even if your situation is amicable.
It is especially important to seek legal counsel if there are any complexities in your case, such as sperate property, children, a business, or a significant amount of assets. In Texas, divorce can be handled on a fault or no-fault basis. You might choose a no-fault divorce if the two of you are both happy with the decision to divorce, and this will be relatively straightforward. If either you or your partner is at fault for the dissolution of your marriage, your situation may be more complex.
In June 2015, the US legalized LGBTQ+ marriage in all states, so this genre of divorce has only just started to emerge in recent years. While it is a new area, it doesn’t differ greatly from a traditional divorce, and many of the issues will be the same. For example, you’ll have to deal with the division of property, spousal maintenance, custody, and child support if you had children together.
There may also be some additional points to consider with an LGBTQ+ divorce, however. If you entered into a domestic partnership before your marriage, this could affect both the division of your property and your spousal maintenance obligations. In addition, biological factors related to your children may be taken into consideration, whether there are legal documents like adoption papers present or not. We can help you navigate these tricky situations and find solutions.
Assistance with Asset and Property Division
One of the most important considerations when it comes to divorce is the division of all of your assets. The process of dividing up your property is often stressful and complicated, especially as valuations vary and there may be assets you or your spouse don’t know about yet. The first step to a successful and fair property division is locating all of these assets.
These assets may include physical property like houses and cars, retirement accounts, investments, family businesses, and special items like jewelry, pets, and artwork. In addition, debts must be taken into consideration. If your divorce is amicable, we are likely to be able to navigate this process easily, but some partners will seek to hide or destroy assets. Our expert lawyers are experienced with such situations and will hold the other party accountable.
Helping You Gain Child Custody
A divorce involving children is always more complicated, so expert guidance will be needed. Unless the reason for the divorce is violence or other illegal behavior, it will be important that both parents can spend a reasonable amount of quality time with the children. Even when you are separated, it’s crucial that your children still feel connected to both parents and retain their sense of family.
In Texas, there are three main sections associated with child custody. Conservatorship is the main custody process, so if you are named Sole Managing Conservator, you will be able to make all decisions for your children. Rights and duties determine what each parent can and must do in relation to the children, for example making medical or educational decisions. Finally, possession and access refer to the visitation schedule.
Handling Child Support
If you are the primary caregiver of your children, you are likely entitled to some child support from your spouse. It is vital that you obtain a fair amount so that your children will be well taken care of, but your spouse must also still be able to live their life without difficulties. In Houston, the amount of child support is determined by how much the parents earn, the needs of the children involved, and several other factors.
Whether you are the custodial parent hoping to receive child support or the noncustodial parent who will have to pay child support, you should opt for legal counsel. This way, you can ensure the situation is fair for you, the children, and your former spouse.
Drafting Prenuptial Agreements
Before getting married, some people decide to sign a prenuptial agreement, particularly if they have significant assets going into the marriage or the partners come from very different financial backgrounds. Family law lawyers will help you make sure the agreement is fair for both parties and that your assets are protected undet the law.
Cases Related to Adoption
Aside from matters related to marriage, family law also covers the legal matters pertaining to the adoption of a child. In Texas, adoption law is reasonably straightforward, and you simply need to be over 21 years old, responsible, mature, and financially stable. In addition, there are forms to fill out, references, and a home study. If you need help with any of these steps and particularly if you are adopting on your own, hiring a family law attorney could be helpful.
On the flip side, you may worry about losing your parental rights if you haven’t been able to take care of your children properly. In this case, there is a risk that they will be taken from you and eventually adopted by someone else. In such a situation, your lawyer can help you to prove that your circumstances have changed and that you are now able to take care of your offspring.
Why You Should Hire Family Law Lawyers in Houston
Any of the above-mentioned situations could warrant hiring a family law attorney, especially if there is a disagreement between you and your spouse. In particular, you should consider working with a lawyer if your situation is complicated by separate property, significant assets, a business, or children. The best way to find out what you can expect and how your case could play out is to speak to a professional who knows about family law in your area.
Qualities Your Lawyer Needs
Before deciding which lawyer to hire, you should consider your personal needs and the reputation of the firm in question. While qualifications are important, local experience is even more crucial when determining whether someone is a good fit. Texas laws are different from those in other states, so hiring someone with local knowledge is always a good idea. In addition, meet with your lawyer before making a commitment, so you can make sure you’re comfortable with them.
Family law is often complex, and it makes sense to hire a professional when navigating a difficult situation like a divorce. Here in Texas, there are experienced family law lawyers available to help you get a fair outcome for everyone involved. To find out how we can help you, contact us at Skillern Firm in Houston, TX and book your initial consultation.