Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce In Texas

How Long Will My Divorce Take?

The truth is that the minimum time it takes to complete, even an agreed divorce, is set by law.  With few exceptions, you cannot obtain a divorce until 60 days have passed from the time of filing.  In contested cases, the time that it takes to finalize a divorce depends upon several factors. The most important one is how cooperative your spouse becomes.  Is your spouse is willing to sign a waiver of citation? If so, then you can be divorced in a little over two months, depending on the court’s schedule.  However, if your spouse is not cooperative, then a divorce can sometimes take more than a year.  As a part of a contested divorce, there may be the need to determine issues of how much child support should be paid, the manner in which assets are to be divided among the parties, and an allocation of responsibilities for the payment of outstanding debts.  In any event, we try to work to keep your case moving forward. We understand that this is a difficult period in your life, and want to assist you in putting it behind you. “

How Much Does A Divorce Cost?

At times this question may be difficult to answer. While flat fees for “uncontested” divorces are fairly consistent, it is more difficult to accurately estimate the ultimate cost of a contested case.  In a “flat fee” divorce, the lawyer makes several assumptions: (a) your spouse will not hire a lawyer; (b) your spouse will sign a waiver of citation; (c) your spouse will not file an answer with the Court; and (d) there is no pension or retirement plan which has to be divided.  In a contested case the issues become much more complex.  If custody is at issue, then they lawyer will consider whether there be a need to provide witnesses to discuss who is the better parent, or perhaps whether a child has been neglected by a parent.  With respect to child support: although there are guidelines for the amount of child support set by the Texas Family Code, the Courts may deviate higher or lower, depending upon different circumstances—a lawyer needs to prepare to prove or disprove a request to deviate from the guidelines.  Concerning the division of property: The division of assets may also require lawyers to investigate whether there are hidden accounts or more tangible assets, or whether a 50-50 division is unfair to a party.  In all potentially adversarial cases, we are happy to sit down and discuss the matter with you at either our Woodlands or Huntsville locations. In this way, we can give you a quote based not on “guesstimates,” but on the facts of your case.

How Much Will I Get In Child Support?

Texas has guidelines to assist the Court in setting child support. As a general rule, 20% of the first $7,500 per month of after-tax income is assigned for the first child, and 5% for each additional child, up to five children. However, there are exceptions, and other considerations, (E.g. additional children who are to be supported by the obligor). If your child has special needs, the Court may deviate from the guidelines. To find out the most likely child support award in your case, please contact our office at 936-337-4036 or 281-994-6290 to schedule an appointment to meet with Andrew J. Bolton, Esq., at The Woodlands or Huntsville locations. If you desire, you may obtain a rough estimate of child support by using this link: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/cs/calculator/

Can I Get Half Of My Spouse’s Retirement Benefits In Texas?

Retirement benefits accrued during the marriage are community property and can be split by the Court at the time of divorce. However, there is no requirement that community property is split 50-50. That is why it is important to have an attorney, to make sure that the Judge is aware of all the factors in your case that should affect the division of the property. Remember, a spouse who has a retirement plan prior to marrying only has to share that portion which was earned during the marriage (called the “marital portion”).  Andrew J. Bolton, Attorney at Law, will explore all the aspects of your divorce with you to make sure that your rights are protected.  The tool usually employed to divide retirement benefits is called a “Qualified Domestic Relations Order” or “QDRO.”  It is an order, apart from the divorce decree, which allocates who is awarded what portion of the retirement.”

Can A Man Get Custody Of Young Children In Texas?

Texas law mandates that the judge not consider the sex of the parents when determining who should get custody of the children (at least after the age of three).  Instead, the Court is supposed to consider only the best interest of the child. Andrew J. Bolton, Attorney at Law has assisted parents of either sex in securing custody of their children.  Generally speaking, for children under the age of twelve, courts seem to have a strong bias in favor of the parent who has been the child’s “primary caregiver” in the past. Therefore, in order to determine how likely you are to prevail in a custody dispute, please contact our office and schedule an appointment to meet with an attorney in person at either The Woodlands or our Huntsville locations.”

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