Family law can impact a variety of aspects of everyday life. Given the emotional backdrop and the complexities of the relevant law, navigating the legal avenues defined by family law without appropriate legal guidance can be overwhelming.
Modern family legal matters now govern a wide diversity of family structures and often include life-changing decisions. Both of which compound an already intricate path required to reach a just resolution.
With more than two decades of legal experience, family lawyer Russell Amsberry and his team of professionals are ready to help by offering you the compassionate guidance you need to make informed decisions during what is often a challenging and trying time for every family member.
Objective Guidance in these Areas of Family Law
Family legal matters create emotionally fragile times for those involved. An experienced family attorney can help explain the vital aspects to consider that allow you to make well-informed decisions that lead to more favorable outcomes.
To file for a divorce in San Antonio, one of the two spouses must be a resident of the Lone Star State for at least six months and a county resident (in the county in which they file) for ninety days before filing the suit. (Texas Statutes § 6.301)
There are two paths to a San Antonio divorce. An uncontested divorce requires that all parties agree on every applicable divorce issue – from debts to child custody to property division and support for spouses or children. Uncontested divorces must meet specific qualifications in San Antonio.
A contested divorce, as its name implies, is a divorce in which spouses disagree on one or more issues.
Grounds for Divorce in San Antonio
The following are legal grounds for divorce –
- Insupportability – a.k.a. Irreconcilable Differences is the only grounds for divorce that offers a no-fault option.
- Conviction of a Felony
- Living Apart From One Another
- Confinement to a Mental Hospital
To dissolve a marriage legally, Texas law requires a waiting period of 60 days from when the divorce paperwork was filed with the court. (TX Family § 6.702). If the marriage can be annulled (or is considered void), this waiting period will not apply. Two other exceptions to this requirement include –
- When the responding spouse (a.k.a. the non-petitioner) has been convicted of violence against the petitioner or any other person in the petitioner’s household or family.
- When the petitioner holds an active Order of Protection against the respondent that has been put in place based on a finding of family violence.
In the above-noted exceptions cases, the court has the authority to dissolve the marriage before the mandatory sixty days.
Property Division of Marital Assets
The division of marital community property and debt during a divorce are governed by Texas statutes. (Texas Family Code, § 7). Separate property and personal debt are excluded from this process.
As a general rule, community property includes all property owned by both at the time of the divorce – except if one spouse can show a specific property is separate and therefore not a part of the marital or community property. Community property may include land, a house, furniture, retirement accounts, businesses, cars, and anything acquired during the marriage.
Like assets, community debt is defined by outstanding debts incurred during the marriage.
Texas law states community property/debt is divided in a “just and right” way – which DOES NOT always end up as a 50-50 split.
Developing a Custody & Visitation Plan
Child custody and visitation issues are best handled by a qualified family attorney who has a variety of legal techniques to reach a favorable outcome that is in your and your children’s best interests. Each parent has specific rights and duties that govern the development of a child custody plan. (See Texas Family Code § 151)
Financial support for children is covered by Texas law and includes a wide range of expenses, which may include –
- Medical care
- Education expenses
- Extracurricular activities, to name a few.
Calculating spousal maintenance for divorces in San Antonio is based on a variety of factors –
- The marriage’s duration.
- The health and the age of each spouse.
- The value and resources of the marital estate and the value each receive after the division.
- The employment history and education of each spouse.
- Time and feasibility of training one spouse to enable them to become self-sufficient.
- Anything else the court deems relevant and pertinent to a just outcome.
The duration of the spousal maintenance is contingent upon several factors, including the duration of the marriage.
A Family Law Attorney Can Help in These Related Areas
Family violence in Texas is a crime. This type of abuse must be professionally presented in any legal proceeding.
Divorce is stressful for the entire family. Divorce can turn to resentment of one spouse towards another. Parental alienation happens when one parent sabotages an existing relationship with a child (or children) and the other parent. In the game of divorce, when the child is used as manipulation, as is the case with parental alienation – there are no winners.
Adoption (private, agency, or stepparent, etc.) and its intricate legal aspects are best managed by an experienced family law attorney.
Pre-Nuptial & Post-Nuptial Agreements
Pre- and post-nuptial agreements offer protection for everyone. And while a legal contract is not the most romantic notion, it is an important legal consideration.
Paternity (a.k.a., legal fatherhood) cases require skill and compassion. Paternity is essential for those divorce cases that involve child support. Paternity cases may include married couples or parents who are divorced, separated, or have never been married. In the case of unmarried parents, establishing paternity can ensure children receive the support and benefits they are entitled to under the law.
Post-Divorce Modification Or Enforcement
Suppose your or your ex-spouse’s life/financial world changes significantly after a divorce. In that case, a family lawyer can help take the steps needed to create a new settlement that reflects a more fair settlement, given the current situations of both spouses.
Ready to Resolve Your Family Legal Issues?
The Amsberry Law Firm is ready to counsel and guide you toward the best potential legal outcome in matters of family law. With decades of legal experience, Amsberry Law Firm’s team of professionals can help you better manage the divorce process.