Divorce for Women in Texas: Four Things that Wives Should Know
Posted by Ramos Law Group, PLLC | Divorce
Divorces happen. According to Texas Health and Human Services, approximately 75,000 married couples split up in the state each year. Wives face some unique challenges in divorce. If you are a woman who is preparing for or going through a divorce in Southeast Texas, it is crucial that you have all of the knowledge, tools, and resources needed to protect your rights and interests. Here, our divorce attorney for women in Houston highlights four key things that wives should know about ending a marriage in Texas.
- The Texas Divorce Laws are Gender-Neutral—At Least Technically
- Financial Preparation is Key: Economic Costs of Divorce Fall More Heavily on Women
- Mothers are Far More Likely to Have Primary Custody of a Child
- If It is an Issue, Family Violence Needs to Be Addressed Proactively
As a starting point, it is important to note that the divorce laws and family laws in Texas are “gender neutral”—at least technically speaking. Under the law, both women and men have equal rights in the divorce process.
Neither the wife nor the husband is presumed to get a disproportionate share of the property or assets, neither party will automatically be required to pay (or entitled to receive) spousal support, and neither mothers nor fathers have presumed right to primary custody.
Of course, even with laws that are facially gender-neutral, that does not necessarily mean that women and men face equal challenges in divorce. As a collective, women face some unique issues in divorce, and they need to protect their best interests.
A key part of preparing for divorce is gathering or organizing all relevant financial documents, records, and information. While the divorce laws are technically gender neutral, the studies show that women disproportionately bear the economic toll of divorce. For example, a 2018 study published by the National Library of Medicine found one key domain in which “large and persistent gender differences that emerged were women’s disproportionate losses in household income.” Here are some key things divorcing women should do when preparing for financial issues in Texas:
Get All of the Information: Who managed your household finances? If it is your husband—or if you otherwise lack access to key financial records—it is imperative that you exercise your right to get that information. Financial disclosures are part of divorce in Texas.
Know the Community Property Standard: Texas is a community property jurisdiction. All of a couple’s marital property is presumed to be owned jointly by each party. A divorce lawyer for women can help you navigate property division in Texas.
Maximize Ongoing Support: Women are more likely to be entitled to receive spousal support (alimony) and/or child support. It is imperative that you take action to maximize your support when going through a divorce.
Prepare Yourself for the Future: As soon as you begin considering divorce, you need to make preparations for your financial future. Consider things like housing, employment, income, and other financial issues.
Mothers will not automatically get primary custody (conservatorship) in Texas. That being said, in practice, it is the child’s mother who more often gets primary custody or sole custody after a divorce. According to data from the Single Parent Project, approximately 85 percent of single parent households are led by women. With this in mind, it is crucial that divorcing mothers are prepared to protect their children, assert their rights, and to put themselves and their family in the best position to move forward with life.
Women are also disproportionately the victims of serious domestic violence. Once again, the laws—including laws on protective orders—are technically gender neutral. Though, as disproportionate victims, women need to be ready to protect themselves. Domestic violence can have a major impact on a divorce case. Women who are filing for divorce and have endured domestic abuse need to be ready to protect their health, safety, emotional, well-being, family, and legal rights. A Houston divorce lawyer with experience representing wives can help.
Contact Our Houston, TX Divorce Attorney for Immediate Legal Help
At the Ramos Law Group, PLLC, our Texas divorce lawyer has extensive experience representing women in divorce. If you are preparing to separate from your husband, we are here to protect your legal rights and financial interests. Call us now at 713-225-6200 or contact us online to set up a confidential case review. From our legal office locations in Houston, Sugar Land, and The Woodlands, we represent women in divorce throughout all of Southeastern Texas.