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Who Qualifies for Spousal Maintenance in Texas?

 Posted on June 10, 2024 in Divorce

Blog ImageWhen a marriage ends, one of the most critical issues to address is spousal maintenance, also known as alimony. Spousal maintenance is not automatically granted, and the qualifications are specific. A Texas lawyer can help you determine if you may be eligible for spousal support.

What You Should Understand First

Spousal maintenance is a court-ordered payment from one former spouse to the other following a divorce. The purpose is to provide financial support to the spouse who lacks sufficient earnings to cover their essential expenses. However, not every divorcing spouse in Texas will qualify.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for spousal maintenance in Texas, the spouse in need must lack sufficient property to provide for their basic necessities and meet one of the following criteria:

  • The spouse responsible for payments was found guilty of committing family violence against the other spouse or their child either within the two years prior to filing for divorce or during the divorce proceedings.

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Can I Modify Child Custody if My Ex Gets Remarried in Texas?

 Posted on May 20, 2024 in Divorce

Galveston County, TX divorce order modification lawyerCircumstances change all the time. This is especially true of life after divorce, which requires adjustment to a new beginning. Children grow and their needs change, as do yours. Financial situations improve and decline. Health does the same. And many times, divorced parents get remarried.

Although courts do not like to change, or modify, the orders they give during a divorce, Texas law understands that circumstances change. Depending on the change, an ex-spouse can ask the court to modify orders such as:

  • Child support orders

  • Spousal support orders

  • Child custody orders, known in Texas as possession orders

However, post-divorce modifications are not simple and courts are reluctant to make changes to existing orders. Consult with a divorce attorney who can advise you whether your situation qualifies for modification.

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How Can I Adopt My Stepchild in Texas?

 Posted on April 16, 2024 in Family Law

Galveston County, TX stepparent adoption lawyerWhen it comes to adopting a stepchild in Texas, the law is concerned about two main things: the best interests of the child and the rights of the other parent. For this reason, stepparent adoption in Texas involves a complex legal process with different criteria depending on the reason for adoption. 

Before you file a petition for adoption, speak to a qualified adoption lawyer who can help you understand your options in your particular case. 

When Can I Adopt My Stepchild?

Texas law requires that certain criteria be met for a stepparent to adopt a minor child:

  • The child must be at least two years old

  • The child must have lived with the stepparent for at least six months

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Can an Uncontested Divorce Ever Change to Contested During Proceedings in Texas?

 Posted on March 11, 2024 in Divorce

Galveston, TX contested divorce lawyerTexas divorce can be complex and unpredictable, with the potential for uncontested divorces to turn contested. While an uncontested divorce is typically smoother and less time-consuming, problems can come up during the process that may lead to a shift in the nature of the case.

Understanding the circumstances in which an uncontested divorce can change to a contested divorce is crucial for people navigating the legal system in Texas. Regardless of whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, a qualified attorney is ready to help you.

Unforeseen Challenges Can Arise During a Divorce

Even in cases where both parties initially agree on the terms of the divorce, unforeseen challenges can arise that complicate the process. Important issues may come up that cause serious disagreements. These often include:

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How Texas Determines Custodial Responsibilities

 Posted on February 12, 2024 in Family Law

Blog ImageThe primary concern factored into the custodial responsibilities of Texas parents is the best interests of the child. A child’s development and well-being trump all other concerns. However, many factors go into making this determination.

Divorce can be a tumultuous time for families, especially children, so understanding how Texas laws determine a parent’s responsibilities when it comes to custody over their children is incredibly important. An experienced attorney can help parents navigate the complexities of the entire process.

What Are Custodial Responsibilities?

Custodial rights are reserved for the primary conservator of a child. The custodial parent often has the majority of the decision-making responsibilities regarding a child’s upbringing, such as healthcare, education, and other important decisions in a child’s life.

There are two types of conservatorship recognized in Texas:

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How Texas Community Property Laws Work

 Posted on January 18, 2024 in Divorce

Blog ImageIn divorce proceedings, the division of property is a hot topic. Either the divorcing couple or a judge must make a final decision on who receives what marital assets and debts before a divorce is finalized. Instead of equitable distribution, which most states use, Texas uses community property laws when dividing property. An attorney can offer advice and legal counsel in your divorce. The advice provided could be invaluable to your current situation.

What is Community Property?

Community property is all property acquired by either spouse throughout a marriage, including salaries, bonuses, real estate, and more. In divorce, community property is meant to be split into 50/50 portions, which include debt. The 50/50 split is considered a starting point before taking into account multiple factors that could affect the final distribution. One of the more prominent factors that could affect a decision is an established premarital or postmarital agreement between the spouses.

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What Are My Rights As a Stepparent in Texas?

 Posted on December 15, 2023 in Family Law

Blog ImageWithout legally adopting the child or children in a marriage, it is unlikely a court will award a stepparent child custody rights in Texas. However, it is not impossible. There are very limited circumstances where the court can award sole conservatorship to a non-parent so long as the non-parent meets several important conditions. For a more in-depth look into Texas child custody rights and privileges, you should reach out to an experienced family law attorney.

What is a Stepparent’s Role?

Stepparents can easily form strong attachments or bonds with the children in their care. Regardless of whether a child is not biologically theirs, a stepparent can become emotionally devastated by losing contact with a stepchild following a separation or divorce. It is also not surprising for a stepchild to grow close to a stepparent. In some cases, the stepparent may be the only mother or father figure they have ever known. This can make a stepparent a cornerstone in the development of a minor child and a major role model in the life of a child who is in early adolescence.

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The Impact of Domestic Violence on Texas Divorce

 Posted on November 15, 2023 in Family Law

Galveston County family lawyerDomestic violence is a sad and unfortunate occurrence in marriages the world over. In Texas, you do not need to provide evidence of wrongdoing to file for divorce. However, proof of abuse is grounds for cruelty in a divorce and, as such, can be used to influence a court’s decision on various divorce aspects. A skilled attorney can help you find aid in the case of domestic violence and file for divorce if necessary.

Protection Orders

A marriage fraught with domestic violence can make it difficult to seek a divorce safely. A spouse who is already capable of showing anger may explode at the sight of being handed divorce papers. In this case, it may be prudent to request a temporary emergency protective order, also known as a temporary ex parte order, if you are worried about your safety as well as that of any children in the home.

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Adultery’s Effects on Texas Alimony

 Posted on October 13, 2023 in Divorce

Galveston County divorce lawyerAn extramarital affair can have a serious effect on spousal maintenance in the state of Texas. What role adultery plays in determining alimony payments includes many factors that a judge will consider.

Texas recognizes both fault-based and no-fault divorces. To better understand the intricacies of how adultery factors into alimony, it is best to consult an attorney experienced in family and divorce law.

What is Adultery According to Texas Courts?

Texas finds the act of adultery as a fault-based ground for divorce. So, any married person who voluntarily has sexual intercourse with someone they are not married to is considered adultery. This law extends to both spouses even after a separation (not a divorce) has taken place. A spouse accusing the other of an extramarital affair will need to provide ample proof in court to support any claim for alimony.

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What is Alimony and How Can I Receive It?

 Posted on September 19, 2023 in Divorce

Galveston Alimony LawyerYou might have heard of the word alimony before. Perhaps you have heard the term on television or you are considering a divorce and learning about the process. Yet, you may still be unsure about what the term actually means. In this article, we will address the basic elements of alimony in the state of Texas. If you need answers about alimony that are tailored to your unique situation, contact a Texas family law attorney who can help.

What is the Definition of the Term Alimony?

In the Lone Star State, there is a specific legal term for the word alimony. According to state law, alimony is referred to as "spousal maintenance." As the legal term implies, one partner is required to make payments to the other. Sometimes, one spouse is ordered to pay spousal maintenance while the divorce is ongoing. This is especially common if the other spouse was a stay-at-home parent without access to money. However, usually spousal maintenance is ordered as part of a divorce decree. 

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