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Family Law FAQs
Texas Family Law Questions
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Frequently Asked Questions on Family Law
First thing you have to do is figure out if you want to do it alone, or hire a divorce lawyer. If you want to go it alone, there are forms online and at the courthouse that you can fill out and file on your own. You can do this if you do not have a complicated divorce and little to no assets. The fee to file is between $200 and $400 with service.
No, Texas does not have alimony. It does offer spousal maintenance if the circumstances allow for it. Spousal maintenance cannot be more than $5000 or 20% of the monthly gross income of the paying spouse.
It is possible. Texas is pretty fair in allowing for both parents to argue for and receive full custody. It is not exclusive to just the mother as many assume. A court will listen to testimony and review any evidence presented in making its final decision. The facts and circumstances will be considered fully for each child and for each parent.
This is a very broad-ranging question as there are just too many factors to consider and that may pop up once a suit is filed. Each case is different and each case will have its own costs. The broad range can go from $500 for the most simple to over $50,000 for some complicated and over $100,000 for very complicated ‘celebrity type’ or asset-rich divorces.
That also varies depending on the complexity of the case. It can range from 60 days from filing to when the divorce is final; all the way into years while fighting over numerous issues.
An annulment is a process to end the marriage when the marriage was entered into under duress or some other voidable circumstance. It needs to be done quickly after the marriage in most conditions. This varies in time given the reasons for the annulment. Some conditions of one of the spouses can lead to a request for an annulment which may not be discovered for some time. This is a decision you need to reach with a qualified attorney.
Going back and forth to court is never pleasant for anyone, but it is necessary. The number of times that you may have to go to court are determined by your case and the requests being made in it. You could only have to go a couple of times or you could be in court more often depending on the issues needing to be decided.
When a lawsuit is filed, it is always against another party. That party doesn’t know when you file something against him or her, so the law requires you to give them notice. You give them that notice by serving them with a citation that tells them what kind of suit you filed, and what court it’s in, as well as any upcoming court dates.
No you can’t. In Texas, you can live apart if you like, or you can get a divorce, but it doesn’t recognize a legal- in- writing separation. What you can do is file a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship which is not a divorce, but asks for other temporary orders to be put in place for the children’s well-being and care.
No. Child support does not buy time with a child. Child support is for the financial needs and care of the child only. It is not leverage to pawn the child based on what monies are or are not received. This is an all too common misunderstanding. Let each parent be a parent as much as they are willing to, and deal with the money issue in the courtroom.
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