The reality of any family law matter is that the costs associated can be very high. This is problematic for low income parties who still need competent representation. If you are in need of legal representation but can’t afford a retainer and attorney’s fees, the Houston area has several organizations which offer pro bono or reduced cost legal representation.
Marriage can be confusing enough on its own, but several states still have laws on the books that may make you scratch your head. In Kentucky, it's illegal to remarry the same person four times. In Tennessee, a person may file for divorce on the grounds that their spouse made an attempt on their life by poison or other means showing malice.
If a court has determined that you have met the burden of proof for needing spousal maintenance, the next step is determining for what period of time you may be eligible to receive spousal maintenance. The Texas Family Code previously stated that a party could only receive spousal maintenance for a maximum of three years. The Code was recently amended and now states that a person is eligible to receive spousal maintenance for the maximum of:
Under the Texas Family Code, the right to receive child support and the right to visitation are two independent rights that do not have any weight on the other right. The ability to visit with your children is not dependent on your ability to pay child support. The obligation to pay child support does not disappear if the responsible parent is denied visitation or chooses to no longer possess the child during their periods of visitation.
Transfer of property Your Final Decree of Divorce will include language awarding property to you and your ex, however that is not the final step in the process of awarding property. Make sure that, if relevant to your case, documents such as Special Warranty Deeds, Deeds of Trust or Powers of Attorneys are signed, notarized and filed with the proper entities. Don’t wait until an issue pops up down the road to discover that you never transferred the title to a piece of property, make sure it’s all handled quickly after your divorce is finalized.
Don’t involve the kids Just don’t. Divorce is hard enough on children without added pressure or emotional blackmail coming from the parents. Don’t use your kids as pawns, don’t disparage your ex and don’t involve them in any pending litigation. It reflects poorly on you, your judge won’t appreciate it and it will have harmful effects on your children.
Think before you call or email Your family law attorney is there to guide you through the process of a divorce or family law dispute and understands that you are going to have questions about the process. But every communication with your attorney will result in being billed, so save your small questions for a weekly status email with your attorney. This does not mean you should avoid communicating important information to your attorney, just think twice before you send off a quick email asking for information that could be found elsewhere or saved for another time.