Flower Mound, Lewisville, and Midland-Odessa Divorce Attorneys
When it becomes clear that divorce is the only answer the emotional weight can be overwhelming. Engaging an experienced and effective legal team can help you navigate these pressures and reach the most successful resolution. With emotions potentially clouding your situation, it is wise to call upon a skilled team of attorneys who can effectively guide you toward a successful resolution.
At The Jimenez Law Firm, P.C., our North and West Texas divorce lawyers have a great deal of experience handling a wide range of family law matters. What is important to us is to accurately assess your goals in order to properly determine a strategy. Our strategy for your case is determined only after we deeply understand your goals. Our process dictates a thorough understanding of the facts of your case from children to assets to personal values and beliefs. Our many satisfied clients have not only achieved their goals but took comfort in our attention to their questions. We will take the time to discuss all of the facts of your case, from children to assets and debts. Our clients appreciate our thorough approach as we educate them on the legal process and the obstacles they might have to overcome along the way.
Denton, Ector, and Midland Counties Divorce Lawyers
Several issues must be resolved when handling a divorce, including:
- Child custody and support: The JLF Legal team is comprised of parents just like you, so children are a sensitive matter when it comes to all of our cases. We take special care to advocate the best for your children, as well as handling your issue with the utmost compassion. Children are perhaps the most sensitive matters our team of lawyers deals with. Like you, most of us are parents. Therefore, we treat these matters with the utmost compassion and dedicated advocacy. While child support is determined by a calculation, child custody — where the children actually live and what type of visitation a parent receives — can be determined through negotiation or mediation. If a proper parenting plan cannot be decided by the parties, the judge will order a custody and visitation schedule. Our firm diligently prepares for each hearing regarding custody and child support matters to ensure that the judge will consider all of the favorable evidence available to determine what is in your child’s best interest.
- Property distribution: Our office will work diligently to properly assess and value all community property in order to determine an equitable split. The court may consider factors such as adultery, possession of the children, work and educational experience, and spousal abuse. We will compile the most favorable evidence possible to ensure that you get what you are legally entitled to. Our office will provide an inventory outlining separate property and a fair and equitable division of the community property. Many people do not understand the distinction between community property and separate property. Basically, property or assets gained during the marriage are considered community — owned by both parties and subject to equitable distribution. Separate property can be property owned before the marriage or property acquired by gifts or inheritance. There are many factors that our legal team will consider in determining how property should be classified and divided. Oftentimes we will discuss exchanging one asset for another or even accepting more debt in exchange for more assets. There are many ways that we can customize the property division to fight for the property distribution you desire.
- Spousal support: Spousal support can be determined through negotiation or mediation. Factors the court may consider are similar to that of property distribution. Most parties will be eligible for temporary spousal maintenance. However, post-divorce spousal maintenance will also depend on the length of marriage. The most important factor includes whether the party requesting spousal support is financially unable to provide for the basic necessities due to lack of education, skill, or employment. If you are requesting spousal support, we will put forth the best evidence possible to persuade the opposing attorney or court to ensure that the opposing party provides for your living needs. If you are opposing spousal support, we will attempt to persuade the opposing attorney or court that the amount requested is not necessary or should be reduced.
- Community property: Many people do not understand the distinction between community property and separate property. Basically, property or assets gained during the marriage are considered community — owned by both parties and subject to equitable distribution. Separate property can be property owned before the marriage, or property acquired by gifts or inheritance. There are many factors that our legal team must consider in determining how property should be classified and divided.
Preparing for Divorce
If you have determined that divorce is the solution you are looking for, it can be helpful to the proceedings if you begin compiling paperwork. These documents can be bank records, police reports, photos of abuse, contracts, and any information regarding property and assets. Often times, during a divorce proceeding, these things may be lost or destroyed. It is important that you preserve as much favorable information as you possibly can. Some of these documents and photos may be admissible in a court of law. These items can prove to be extremely persuasive during negotiation and litigation.
Our legal team strongly suggests visiting our firm prior to filing for divorce. This will give our team an opportunity to decide the best overall strategy for your specific case.
What to Expect During the Divorce Process
Like every legal matter, each divorce is different and presents many complex issues that will only come to light once we engage in a consultation at our office.
However, most often the process will commence as follows once we are retained. Our legal professionals will draft a customized petition for divorce, temporary restraining order, and order setting temporary hearing. A temporary hearing will be conducted within fourteen days of filing the petition for divorce, temporary restraining order, and order setting temporary hearing. Before the temporary hearing, we will attempt to negotiate with either the opposing party or opposing counsel. If we can reach an agreement, we will attend a short hearing and prepare the required court order. If, however, the negotiations are unsuccessful, we will then prepare for a contested temporary hearing. At this time you and the attorneys will work as a team to ensure that all necessary witnesses and documents are presented as evidence. At the conclusion of this hearing, the court will determine the issues of temporary conservatorship, visitation, child support, medical insurance, and exclusive use and possession of property. These orders will remain in effect for a minimum of 60 days since this is the minimum length a party must wait to obtain a divorce in Texas.
Once the 60 days have lapsed, we will once again attempt to negotiate a final settlement with the opposing party. At this time, if your divorce is uncontested, we can have a simple hearing and announce our agreement to the court. If any matter remains contested our lawyers will prepare for litigation.
Post Divorce Proceedings
Modification of Orders: Even after a divorce is finalized, we might have to help clients modify the judgment orders relating to child support, spousal support, or visitation.
Enforcement of orders: Once a judgment is made, the judge’s orders must be followed. If orders regarding child support, spousal support, or visitation are not followed, the violator can be subjected to contempt proceedings. The punishment for contempt actions can include a fine of up to $500.00 per violation and/or confinement in jail for up to six months per violation. Our dedicated team of attorneys takes honor in the judicial system and litigates enforcement matters with passion. On the other hand, if you find yourself the subject of an enforcement matter, we look to the enforceability of the prior order and obtain the best possible resolution.
Contact Our Firm
If you have questions regarding divorce, contact The Jimenez Law Firm, P.C., by calling or by completing the contact form on this website. We offer consultations and accept most major credit cards for the payment of services.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. A custodial parent cannot refuse or reduce visitation due to child support going unpaid. Doing so is against the law and punishable by contempt.
If you need to change a Texas child custody, child support, or spouse maintenance order then it’s best to speak with a qualified divorce attorney at a reputable divorce law firm.
A family law attorney can take steps to help enforce the court order regarding child support. It’s important that children in Texas receive the support they need and if that’s not happening then call a qualified family law firm to speak with family law attorneys about enforcing the child support order.
Texas is a community property state. All assets required during the marriage are considered equally owned by both parties. A judge will divide the community property in a manner in which they see it as just and equitable between both spouses.
It’s still in your best interest to hire a divorce attorney because the judge does have the authority to deviate from the guideline if necessary. An attorney will help ensure that your rights are protected when it comes to how much child support you pay or receive and how much time you’re authorized to spend with your child. The judge considers a variety of factors when determining child support and your attorney can help ensure these factors are presented in a clear and concise manner, so you aren’t taken advantage of.
While some people believe that avoiding hiring law firms will save on attorneys fees, doing so may result in a situation where you will need litigation and you won’t be prepared or experienced and could lose what you’re fighting for.
You cannot get a legal separation in the state of Texas. Texas state divorce laws do not recognize legal separations. You may choose to engage in a trial separation prior to deciding against or in favor of divorce.
The grounds for filing for a Texas divorce include:
- Confinement in a Mental Hospital
- Felony Conviction
- Living Apart
As long as at least one spouse has resided in Texas for a period of at least six months and as a resident of the county for at least 90 days then they are able to file for divorce.
Assets subject to division in a Texas divorce case include:
- Financial Accounts
- Personal Property
- Real Estate
- Retirement Plans
Texas is a community property state, meaning any assets and debts acquired during the marriage equally belong to both parties unless previously outlined in a premarital agreement. If you have an existing prenuptial agreement you’d like to challenge, then you’ll want to speak with a family law lawyer to dispute the agreement.
The process of getting divorced in Texas varies only slightly depending on your circumstances. Typically, one spouse will file for divorce and then the other will acknowledge that they’re aware of the divorce. From there, the couple will work together to reach a settlement agreement. If they’re unable to agree, then they will face a judge and jury in divorce court where the matters will be decided upon by a judge.
If you are divorcing with children or own a business then it’s important to find an attorney at law with experience in these practice areas.
An annulment is a legal ruling that says a marriage never took place while a divorce is a legal process that ends a marriage but recognizes that the marriage did take place. Generally, with annulments, there are fewer legal issues to deal with.
In an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse have agreed to all the terms of the divorce. In a contested divorce, you and your spouse do not agree to all the terms of the divorce and therefore must present your case before a judge for the judge to decide.
Family law lawyers generally recommend mediation when couples cannot agree as reaching an agreement is in everyone’s best interests and is also less expensive. Mediation allows divorcing couples to work through any conflict to find the most agreeable solution for all parties.
With divorces, the marriage is legally over. However, with a legal separation, the marriage still exists even though the couple lives apart from one another. Texas courts do not recognize legal separation.