Going through a divorce is already a stressful situation that can be aggravated when you and your ex have had children together during the marriage. What will happen to the children if you get a divorce? Our family law attorneys explain how divorces work in Texas when kids are involved.
How Do I File for a Divorce if I Have Kids?
The process for filing for divorce in Texas is quite similar for couples with or without kids. One spouse will initiate the divorce petition, while the other becomes the respondent. If you have kids, there may be additional forms to file and you will need to name the children that were born or adopted during your marriage.
If you and your ex can reach an agreement on all aspects of child custody, support, and visitation, you may present your plan to the court. Otherwise, you may likely enter a contested divorce situation which can take more time and be more expensive.
Who Gets the Children in a Divorce in Texas?
In Texas, parents can receive joint managing conservatorship (joint custody) or sole managing conservatorship (sole custody). Courts tend to give preference to joint managing conservatorships, allowing both parents to continue being involved in raising the child.
In some cases, the court may award sole managing conservatorship to either parent if it is in the child’s best interests. That can be the mother or the father. The family law courts in the state of Texas do not automatically choose the mother as the sole managing conservator; instead, they make decisions based on what will be beneficial for the child.
How Is Child Support Determined During the Divorce?
Every child custody case is different, but in general terms, the courts will order the noncustodial parent (the parent spending the least time with the child) to make child support payments. Other cases may require both parents to provide support. When the noncustodial parent is the one making support payments, the amount of each monthly payment is determined following the most recent state guidelines for support.
How Can a Family Law Attorney Help?
Besides the stress of ending your marriage, child custody issues can add to an already emotionally-charged situation. An attorney can help you understand your options with objectivity and advise you on the right steps to take so that your divorce can be finalized with favorable terms for you and your children. If you are thinking about getting a divorce but have questions about child custody, contact the legal team at ALP Law Firm in Bellaire, TX today.