Common Issues in Texas Divorces

by Ryan S. Dougay P.C.

Deciding to end a marriage is a difficult decision that many couples find themselves facing each year. The United States has the highest divorce rate in the world, with nearly 48 percent of marriages ending in divorce, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Those going through the process are often unsure about what will happen, and how they can emerge from the divorce in as best of shape as possible.

Property division can be a particularly challenging aspect of a divorce. Texas is a community property state, meaning that all marital property must be divided equally between the parties. Marital property consists of anything that was accumulated during the marriage, which can mean assets or debts, including retirement accounts, investments or other sources of income. For couples with a home, any equity gained during the marriage is also subject to division.

If one of the spouses owns a business, it may be necessary to have professionals evaluate the business’s value. Parties will want to carefully examine the financial information provided by the other side, especially during contentious divorces. One side may try to hide assets to prevent them from being split. Decisions about property division can be incredibly difficult to reverse. Generally, once an agreement is in place, it cannot be modified, unless a party willfully withholds financial information.

For couples with children, custody is another important issue which will need to be resolved. If an arrangement cannot be worked out between the parties prior to litigation, the court will decide custody based on the best interests of the child. It is not uncommon for custody matters to become extremely costly and time-consuming if they end up in the courtroom. Courts may require mediation, where the parties try to come up with a parenting plan that allows both parents to be involved in the child’s life.

In this economy, it is not uncommon for one parent to have difficulty finding work in a particular field. A situation may arise where the primary custodian for the child will have to move for employment or other reasons. This can be potentially devastating for the other parent, as it will limit the opportunities that he or she will have with the child.

If you or someone you know is considering or going through a divorce it is extremely important that an experienced attorney handles the matter. There are too many lawyers out there that claim they specialize in family law yet do not take the time to stay updated on current law and are ill prepared when presenting the case to a judge or a jury. Case preparation is essential, as there is really one opportunity to present your side. Once a decision is reached in the matter, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to overturn.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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