As hard as some parents may try to stay together for their children, sometimes it is better for all parties involved if two parents go their separate ways. If you have decided that dissolving your marriage is the right course of action for your family, the quality of legal counsel you retain could have a huge impact not only on how efficiently the process concludes, but also on whether your final agreement sufficiently respects the needs and desires of you and your children.
If you need help protecting your children during marriage dissolution, you should retain a seasoned Houston divorce lawyer from Angela Faye Brown & Associates. On top of helping you fulfill all the procedural requirements for obtaining a divorce decree, one of our family attorneys could also provide irreplaceable assistance preserving your parental rights.
Anyone who has lived in Texas for at least six consecutive months and specifically in Harris County for at least 90 consecutive days is eligible to file for divorce in Houston. This residency requirement may also be met by the non-filing party, if they maintain residence in Harris County but their spouse filing for divorce does not.
After the party seeking divorce files an “Original Petition for Divorce” with the relevant legal authority and serves the petition to their spouse, the non-filing party has the right to file a response to the petition if they so choose. The Original Petition can be based on specific fault grounds such as adultery or abandonment, or the filing party can choose to file on no-fault grounds based on either three years of physical separation or the general “insupportability” of the marriage.
Once a marriage dissolution case is filed, it then proceeds with negotiations over various family and marriage-related matters, such as child and spousal support and custody. A case in which both parties agree completely on all relevant issues is known as an uncontested divorce, while any disagreement between the two parties could result in a contested divorce that requires court intervention. Assistance from a Houston attorney could be essential to mitigating logistical complications with any type of divorce.
State courts have a significant amount of influence over the terms of a divorce decree, particularly when it comes to child custody. While parents can independently come to an agreement about their preferred split of custody and visitation rights, any such arrangement must receive court approval, and that approval will be based solely on the court interpretation of the child’s “best interests.”
Similarly, state law establishes strict guidelines for how much child support each parent in a divorce will owe. A lawyer in Houston could provide significant assistance to a parent advocating for a particular outcome in a divorce case.
No matter how long or short your marriage was, going into divorce proceedings without legal counsel is rarely a good idea. Courts have a great deal of authority to make decisions on behalf of divorcing individuals, and if you try to make a case for a certain arrangement alone, you are likely to have an extremely tough time achieving a favorable outcome.
Hiring an experienced Houston divorce lawyer should be your number-one priority when trying to protect your family during marriage dissolution. To schedule your initial consultation, call today.