Answers to FAQs About Divorce for Men in Texas
There was a time when the presumptions about gender roles would lead to unbalanced outcomes in divorce cases, but men and women are now on equal footing in the eyes of the law in every US state. Either spouse can file for divorce according to the grounds recognized by Texas divorce laws, including a “no-fault” basis that alleges the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict that destroys the point of the marital relationship. However, though your rights, interests, and duties are the same, men may experience unique challenges when going through the dissolution of the marriage process. There can be some disconnect between what the laws say and the reality of your situation.
If you are considering divorce, you should be aware of how the laws can have unexpected consequences for men. However, it is critical to retain a skilled Texas men’s divorce attorney,
in a real-life case. Some answers to frequently asked questions should also provide some insight on the proceedings.
What are Texas’ property division laws?
Texas is a community property state, so the laws view all assets acquired during the marriage to belong equally to each spouse. Property division under community property laws involves two steps:
Classifying assets as community property or separate; assets owned before the wedding, gifts, and inheritances are considered separate; and,
Dividing community assets equally, or as close to 50-50 as possible considering the factors designed in the statute.
Will I be forced to pay alimony?
There is no entitlement to spousal support in Texas, so the assumption that the husband will always have to pay is incorrect. Instead, a party can request alimony and a judge will assess eligibility. The party seeking it must prove an inability to earn a sufficient income to support reasonable living expenses, as well as meeting the other requirements stated in the spousal support statute.
Upon finding that a spouse is eligible for alimony, the court will turn to the amount, type, and duration. The details vary, but there are limits established by law. Alimony cannot exceed $5,000 OR 20 percent of the payor’s earnings, whichever is lower.
What are my rights as a father under Texas divorce laws?
Both parents have equal rights with respect to:
Child custody and the power to make decisions regarding raising the child, termed managing conservatorship under Texas law; and,
Possession and access to the child, a concept that you may know as visitation or parenting time.
When a court orders joint managing conservatorship, the child will likely reside with one parent for purposes of school and community. The nonresidential parent will be required to pay child support.
Are there options for resolving divorce issues out of court?
Yes, there are alternatives to litigation and – in fact – Texas family laws encourage agreements in divorce cases. Spouses can compromise on issues related to property division and alimony, and a court will likely approve it if the agreement is not manifestly unfair or contrary to public policy.
As the father of a minor child, you can also work out child-related issues by consent. Parents can agree on a joint managing conservatorship, along with visitation and parenting time for the nonresidential parent. However, a judge must review the agreement to ensure it meets the child’s best interests.
If you can compromise in some areas but not others, parties might opt for mediation. This process is guided by a trained mediator, who facilitates productive conversations between the parties. Often, it is possible to reach an agreement when you thought it was impossible. Keep in mind that mediation is not binding, so you can still go to court if dissatisfied with the outcome.
What if we cannot work out an agreement?
A contested hearing will be scheduled by the court, and this proceeding is similar to a trial. Both parties will have the chance to present witnesses, evidence, and arguments. The judge evaluates the facts and applies state divorce laws to make a determination.
Speak to Our Texas Men’s Divorce Lawyers to Learn More
These answers to FAQs are useful, but this information should also convince you of the importance of retaining an experienced attorney for help with men’s divorce. The Ramos Law Group, PLLC is knowledgeable about all types of divorce cases, particularly the unique challenges and issues that affect males. For more information and personalized advice, please call 713-225-6200 or check us out online to set up a consultation. After assessing your situation, a Texas men’s divorce lawyer can provide additional details.