Trusted Dallas Divorce Lawyer Ready To Help You
If you are contemplating a divorce, we know you are facing a difficult and emotional time.
Ending a relationship with your spouse can affect every aspect of your life, and you should not have to face divorce decisions without support.
Our Dallas divorce attorneys at The Hunnicutt Law Group have the experience and personal touch to provide the legal support your changing family needs.
How Can a Divorce Decree Affect My Life?
Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, a divorce decree makes rulings that affect your children, your living arrangements, and your finances.
A divorce decree can touch the smallest details of each part of your life, so seeking the help of a divorce lawyer in Dallas, TX, can be a crucial step in protecting your future and your family’s future.
Dallas Divorce and Your Children
If you have children with your spouse, your most pressing divorce questions are likely about the custody of your children. The Texas Family Code dictates that custody decisions in a divorce depend on what is in the best interest of your child.
The main decisions a divorce decree makes about your children are about your rights to be the managing conservator, your rights to be the possessory conservator, and your child support rights.
Managing Conservator Rights
Having managing conservatorship over your child basically means you have the right to make big decisions about your child’s life.
The law presumes that you and your spouse having joint managing conservatorship is in your child’s best interests, but this presumption is rebuttable.
If a judge decides that only one parent has a right to be a managing conservator, that parent normally has the following rights:
- The right to designate the child’s primary residence;
- The right to consent to medical, dental, and surgical treatment involving invasive procedures;
- The right to consent to psychiatric and psychological treatment;
- The right to receive and manage the distribution of child support payments;
- The right to represent the child in legal actions;
- The right to make substantial and significant legal decisions concerning the child;
- The right to consent to marriage;
- The right to consent to military enlistment;
- The right to access the child’s earnings;
- The right to act as the child’s agent regarding their estate (unless the child has an appointed guardian); and
- The right to manage and maintain the child’s passport.
You and your spouse might be able to agree on these roles in a written parenting plan, or you might find yourselves at an impasse regarding your child’s upbringing. Either way, having a Dallas divorce lawyer in your corner can help you receive the best outcome for your child and you.
Experienced Dallas divorce lawyers can help you negotiate fair parenting rights in an agreement or help the court understand your entitlement to parenting rights in a contested divorce.
Possessory Conservator Rights
In most cases, if a parent is not a managing conservator, they will be a possessory conservator. If you have possessory conservator rights, you have rights to care for your child and make routine and emergency decisions for your child.
Possessory conservator rights include rights to:
- Care for, control, protect, and reasonably discipline your child;
- Support your child, including providing clothing, food, shelter, and medical and dental care not involving an invasive procedure;
- Consent to non-invasive medical and dental care for your child; and
- Direct the moral and religious training of your child.
You may also request rights to communicate with your child when they are with your spouse. Texas law seeks to help parents have frequent and continuing contact with their children if it is in their best interest, but sometimes you have to know how to ask and what to ask for to achieve this.
A Dallas divorce attorneys can help you determine your parenting needs in a divorce and how to best fulfill them.
Dallas Child Support Rights
Your child should receive financial support from their parents until at least their 18th birthday or emancipation. Unfortunately, spouses in divorce proceedings do not always play fair when it comes to child support obligations. Sometimes spouses do not provide accurate financial information.
Sometimes spouses unfairly quit their jobs to diminish their support obligations. Calculating child support accurately is not just about your spouse’s paycheck or your paycheck. The court looks to many resources to determine a parent’s child support obligations.
Qualified divorce attorneys Dallas, TX know how to effectively fight for just child support determinations and help you enforce child support orders against a delinquent spouse.
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Community Property in a Texas Divorce
Texas is a community property state, and the divorce court divides community property according to what is just and right. Community property is any property you or your spouse acquired during the marriage that is not separate property.
In a divorce, you keep your separate property, which is:
- Property you owned or claimed before marriage;
- Property you acquired during the marriage through gift or inheritance; and
- Personal injury awards you received during the marriage, except for awards for loss of earning capacity during the marriage.
Community property is a broad category, and there are nuances to determining what remains separate property during your marriage. Justly dividing a marital estate can take a lot of research, a lot of paperwork, and a lot of math.
A divorce attorney in Dallas, TX, has the experience and resources to accurately identify and calculate your community property and fight for your rights to it.
Spousal Maintenance in Texas
Not every divorcing spouse is entitled to spousal maintenance, but it does come up. Whether you are seeking maintenance or want to know the likelihood and duration of any maintenance obligations, Dallas divorce lawyers can prepare you for what might come.
A skilled family law attorney can also fight for an outcome that suits you best. There are many factors that determine spousal maintenance obligations, and you want to give yourself the best opportunity to protect your rights.
Options for Your Dallas Divorce
Every family is unique, and so is every divorce.
Divorcing spouses in Dallas, TX have many options to resolve financial and parenting matters, including:
- Settlement conference, or
A divorce attorney in Dallas, Texas, can help you determine what kind of divorce proceedings best suit your legal and emotional needs.
Is Texas a No Fault State?
Texas is a “no-fault” divorce state, but petitioners may seek a fault-based divorce if it is necessary or advantageous. Similarly, spouses may agree on most or all of the asset division, or they may disagree significantly on what each spouse considers fair. GBA Family Law’s divorce attorneys in Dallas promote our clients’ best interests by focusing on their desired outcomes while also assisting them in making informed decisions and considering fair concessions that will result in a finalized divorce order.
Beginning the Divorce Process
The divorce procedure begins when one spouse files an Original Petition for Divorce with the court in the county where they live in Texas. The petitioner is the person who files the petition, and the responder is the one who receives it (typically through notification from the local sheriff’s office), however both spouses can choose to file as joint petitioners.
One of the spouses in the divorce must have lived in Texas for at least six months and in the county where the petition is filed for at least the previous 90 days. For couples with children, the divorce petition includes a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship. Call our divorce attorneys in Dallas for guidance on divorce process.
The Role of a Dallas Divorce Lawyer in Your Divorce Journey
The course of a divorce largely hinges on the level of agreement between the petitioner and the respondent. If there’s a consensus on most matters, the process can be smoother. However, in cases of significant disputes, mediation can be a vital tool to resolve conflicts and avoid court battles. In this scenario, a seasoned Dallas family attorney plays a crucial role in representing your interests. They will engage in negotiations with your spouse’s legal counsel, guided by your directives and priorities.
In instances where reaching an agreement proves challenging, unresolved issues may need to be addressed through litigation. During court proceedings, your attorney will robustly present your case, advocating on your behalf with well-structured arguments. Similarly, your spouse’s attorney will represent their interests. Following these presentations, the judge will consider all points raised before issuing a divorce decree. This decree, which encapsulates the court’s decisions, must be signed by both parties as a final step in the divorce process.
Contact a Dallas Divorce Attorney to Fight for Your Future
If you are seeking a divorce, you are likely exhausted and in need of someone to fight for you.
Our Dallas, TX divorce attorneys at The Hunnicutt Law Group are aggressive and compassionate litigators who want to help you make the best decisions for your changing family. We have more state and federal courtroom experience than many big firm attorneys.
We work closely with you to achieve your unique goals. We fight with you and we fight for you, so you can take control of your future. Reach out to us online or call us at (214) 361-6740 and let us go to work for you.