Have some general questions? Look for the answer here.
The State of Texas does not require you to show fault in order to obtain a divorce. However, should there be fault (i.e. adultery, cruelty, abandonment, etc.) the Judge may use it to distribute property between the parties in a different manner.
The State of Texas requires that a Divorce remain pending for a minimum of 60 days (from the date of filing). Should your divorce be uncontested, you may obtain a divorce as soon as the 61st day from filing. However, should your divorce be contested, your divorce proceeding may last up to a year.
An uncontested divorce exists when both parties agree 100% as to EVERY accept of the divorce (i.e. conservatorship, possession and access, child support, medical support, division of community property, division of community debt, and designation of separate property).
A contested divorce exists when the parties cannot agree as to EVERY clause involved in their divorce proceeding. Even if only ONE issue is contentious, the entire divorce is considered contested.
You do not have to have a marriage license from this county (or even Texas) in order to obtain a divorce in Harris County. In order to have jurisdiction to file a divorce we need to prove that you have lived in Texas a minimum of 6 months and a minimum of 90 days in Harris County.
The State of Texas identifies alimony as “Spousal Support.” Although it is very common to obtain Temporary Spousal Support while the divorce is spending, it is very rare to obtain Spousal Support in a Final Divorce Decree. Spousal Support is not impossible to obtain; however, the law requires a significant amount of prerequisites to meet.
Texas is a “Community Property” State. This means that any property obtained/purchased during the marriage is considered Community Property by law (i.e. it is owned by both husband and wife). “Separate Property” refers to the property purchased prior to the marriage. Anything owned prior to the marriage will be considered Separate and not party of the community property (i.e. not owned husband AND wife). Please note that there are exceptions as to obtaining Separate Property during the marriage.
In Texas the Court divides property in a “just and right” manner. For the most part, the Court tries to divide community property 50/50. However, the Court will always consider factors; such as fault in the marriage and earning power. Should a party claim that a property is Separate Property, that party holds the burden to prove it is Separate Property by tracing it through “Clear and convincing” evidence.
Child support can be modified. Should your income be different, you can file a Motion to Modify (to reduce) your current child support to reflect your current income.
If the Obligor (person paying child support) has not been complying with their child support obligation you can file a Motion to Enforce Child Support. A Motion to Enforce Child Support provides you an opportunity obtain a judgment in the amount of total arrears and place the Obligor on a payment plan (on top of the Court ordered child support) to pay out the debt they have accrued.
You can file a Motion to Enforce Possession and Access. If you have a Court Order with scheduled Possession and Access (visitation), you are entitled to see your child during those specific dates and times. A motion to Enforce Possession and Access will allow you an opportunity to address the denial of visitation and possibly obtain “make-up” visits for those you were denied.
In Texas, you can be found in contempt of court for failure to pay child support. If you are found in contempt of court, you can face jail time in county jail for up to 180 days. If you are currently being sued for failure to pay child support, please set up an appointment with Attorney Gloria Lopez. She can provide a strategy to obtain a payment plan to pay out your arrears and prevent jail time.