Bellaire Family Lawyers Helping Clients & Providing Legal Advice Throughout Harris County
Why Should I Hire a Family Law Attorney for My Case?
Legal matters involving your family are often emotionally charged and very stressful. Whether you are facing a complicated divorce or handling other family law matters such as visitation, child support, or paternity, chances are you feel concerned about what will happen to you, your children, your property, and your family life as a whole. All of this alone is a heavy burden to carry, and most Texas family courts require a significant amount of forms, documents, and formal procedures necessary for a case.
A family law attorney can not only take over the task of navigating the endless rules, legal codes, and red tape required for your case but he or she can also give you the legal advice you need to prepare for the road ahead with a clear, objective point of view. From the initial petitions to after trial or settlement proceedings, a family law attorney can ensure you are treated fairly and get a bigger chance of achieving a favorable outcome for your case.
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What Role Does a Family Lawyer Play in a Divorce Case?
Simply put, the role of a family lawyer is to help individuals involved in family disputes rationally handle disagreements without letting their emotions lead them to make serious or costly mistakes. Besides handling bureaucratic matters such as filing petitions, gathering documentation, and making court appearances, a family law attorney plays a critical role in de-escalating a contentious situation and often helping couples settle disputes without going to court.
When couples cannot reach an agreement through amicable means, an attorney can represent their client in court and help the client take confident, rational steps during a stressful, emotionally-draining period of the client’s life. During heated divorce and custody battles, it is common for the other side to make empty threats or ask for absurd amounts in child support or spousal support. By working with a family law attorney, you will have more leverage to negotiate terms that are fair and equitable without giving in to your ex’s pressure to get what they want. The right attorney can make a world of difference for your divorce or family law case – and at ALP Law Firm, that is what we are all about.
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What Other Types of Cases Does a Family Law Attorney Handle?
Divorces are the first thing that comes to mind when someone thinks of the kind of cases a family law attorney handles. The truth is a family law attorney can handle a wide variety of cases affecting members of a family. Here are a few examples of family law cases ALP Law Firm handles on a daily basis:
- Child Custody & Visitation
- Post-Decree Modifications
- Paternity Issues & Fathers’ Rights
- Grandparents’ Rights
- Parental Rights Termination
If you are looking for a law firm that offers you the right balance between legal knowledge and compassionate service, contact ALP Law Firm today. We will be happy to discuss your case and explain your legal options.
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What Are the Steps to Initiate a Texas Divorce?
Getting a divorce is a difficult decision for most couples, but if you believe your marriage is truly over and that a divorce is the only logical next step, contacting the divorce attorneys at ALP Law Firm should be your first step. Our legal team can help you understand what will happen and discuss specifics to your particular case.
Every divorce is different, but in general terms, the step that initiates a divorce proceeding in Texas is filing a Petition of Divorce with the court. After that, if necessary, the court will issue temporary orders addressing issues such as who will live in the marital home while the divorce is ongoing, a parenting schedule during the divorce, and temporary financial support for the spouse or for the children.
The case goes on to a discovery phase in which both sides will gather important documentation and evidence to support their side of the case. The next step is settlement negotiations, in which both parties will attempt to agree on several aspects of their divorce without going to court. If no settlement is reached, the case will go to a court trial where final orders will be issued.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How Long Will It Take to Get a Divorce in Texas?
The timeline for a divorce varies depending on several factors such as whether the parties agree on all aspects of the divorce or if the case goes to trial, but on average a divorce will go through a 60-day waiting period before a court is set to grant the divorce.
- What is a No-Fault Divorce?
It is a reason presented by either spouse to end the divorce claiming insupportability; i.e., the conflict in personalities has made the marriage insupportable with no expectation of reconciliation. Both sides no longer like each other and do not wish to live together as husband and wife.
- What Are the Grounds for a Fault Divorce in Texas?
Adultery, unusual and cruel treatment, a felony conviction, abandonment, confinement to a mental hospital, or having lived apart for more than three years are a few grounds for a fault divorce. The spouse at fault for the divorce might receive less favorable treatment from the court regarding property and debt division.
- How Can a Divorce Agreement Be Modified?
If your circumstances change and the terms of your final divorce and/or child custody and support orders are no longer favorable, you may initiate a petition for modification with the court. Consulting a family law attorney before taking this step is recommended, as courts are often hesitant to make changes to final divorce orders if the petitioner cannot demonstrate the changes are in the child’s best interest.
- Is Texas a Community Property State?
Yes. In Texas, any property acquired by either spouse during the course of a marriage is considered community property and will be equally divided between spouses in the event of a divorce. The exception to that is any property acquired before the marriage, and property acquired during the marriage through a gift to only one of the spouses or through an inheritance.
- Who Gets to Keep the House After the Divorce?
A house acquired during the marriage is considered community property. A judge will consider several factors in deciding which spouse gets to keep the house. The spouse that does not get the house will either be bought out or receive assets valued equivalently to their share of the home. If the home was purchased by one of the spouses before the marriage, it will likely be considered separate property and be awarded to its original owner.
- How is Child Support Determined in Texas?
Child support is calculated based on how many children the couple has and the equivalent percentage of the payor’s net income that will be allocated for support. For one child, the percentage of net income that goes towards child support is 20%, up to at least 40% for couples with six or more children.
- Does Texas Have Alimony?
Texas does have alimony, also referred to as spousal support. However, alimony is not a part of every divorce in the state, and those seeking to receive spousal support payments must meet the minimum requirements to be eligible to receive payments. Those requirements include demonstrating that receiving alimony is necessary for that spouse to satisfy their basic needs, as well as lacking the ability to earn their own income due to reasons such as mental or physical disability, being a caretaker of a child with a disability that prevents that spouse from earning an income, or when the supporting spouse was convicted of an act of domestic violence within two years of filing for divorce.
- How Does Child Custody Work in Texas?
Child custody is one of the most contested aspects of a divorce, but in general terms, courts will make decisions based on the child’s best interest. Texas courts tend to give preference to joint custody agreements so that the child can continue his or her relationship with both parents. In this arrangement, the child lives with one parent and the other parent has a visitation schedule, while both parents share decision-making powers in raising the child.
- Can I Represent Myself in a Family Law Case?
While you can certainly choose to represent yourself in a family law case, you may find such a task ends up becoming overwhelming and may potentially lead to costly mistakes. It is highly recommended that you seek the help of an experienced family law attorney if you would like to expand your chances of securing a favorable outcome for your case.
What Makes ALP Law Firm Different?
At ALP Law Firm, many of our attorneys and legal staff have personal experience going through divorces and complicated family law matters. Not only do we have the knowledge of the law and formal procedures required for a family law case, but many of us have also actually been through a similar situation in our personal lives.
We know that when you are facing a difficult decision that will impact the lives of your entire family and your future, working with an attorney that simply knows the law is not enough. You need a true partner on your side to help you and advise you at every step of the way. At ALP Law Firm, you are much more than just a case number. We treat every client with compassion, respect, and professionalism while fiercely representing them and defending their rights in court.
Our office is conveniently located in Bellaire, TX, only 13 minutes from Houston and easily accessible via I-69. We are only 7 miles away from the NRG Stadium, 16 minutes away from the Houston Zoo, and within walking distance to Feld Park and Doctor Jess Borg Baseball Field. Contact us and schedule a confidential, no-commitment appointment to discuss your case.