Family Law Attorney in Austin, Texas
A divorce or family law matter can leave you vulnerable at a time when you need clarity and protection. Going through a divorce or trying to resolve a family law dispute may cause intense stress. Your best option is to contact a skilled family law attorney to reduce conflict and stress and settle your case.
If you or your family is in need of legal help, reach out to me. At The Law Office of Mario Flores, PLLC, I am committed to providing knowledgeable and compassionate representation in various areas of family law. I have the necessary expertise and resources to vigorously advocate for my clients’ interests in contested and uncontested divorces, asset division disputes, and other family law matters.
As a skilled and award-winning family law attorney, I represent clients in Austin, Texas, as well as Georgetown, San Marcos, and Round Rock.
Divorce in Texas
If you want to end your marriage, you must meet specific requirements to file for a divorce in Texas.
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce
There are two kinds of divorce in Texas — contested or uncontested:
Uncontested Divorce — As long as both spouses agree on all terms of the divorce, they can file for an uncontested divorce.
Contested Divorce — If there is at least one disputed issue in a divorce, parties must file for a contested divorce.
The uncontested divorce process is more streamlined and less costly than contested divorces. Not all divorcing couples qualify for an uncontested divorce, however, due to their inability to come to an agreement on all terms of their divorce.
In Texas, couples cannot file for a divorce if they do not meet the state’s residency requirements. Under state law, you and/or your spouse must have lived in the state of Texas for six months or longer to be eligible to file for divorce. Texas law also requires divorcing spouses to be residents of the county in which they are filing a divorce petition for a minimum of 90 days.
A Texas court cannot grant a divorce unless 60 days or more have passed since the spouses filed the original petition, but Texas law recognizes two exceptions to the 60-day waiting period:
The respondent (the spouse who received divorce papers) has received deferred adjudication or been convicted of a family-related violent offense committed against the petitioner (the spouse who initiated the divorce proceedings) or a member of the petitioner’s family/household.
There is an active protective order that protects the petitioner from the respondent due to a history of family violence.
If any of these two exceptions apply, a court would not be bound by the 60-day waiting period when finalizing a divorce case.
Contrary to popular belief, alimony — also known as spousal support or maintenance — is not awarded in all divorces in Texas. In fact, there are strict requirements when awarding alimony in the state. In order to request monetary assistance from the other spouse, the recipient spouse must prove that they are unable to earn sufficient income to provide for their reasonable needs. A spouse may also be entitled to spousal support if their spouse was convicted of a family-related violent offense.
Texas law requires courts to divide divorcing spouses’ property in a manner that is deemed “just and right.” However, the term “just and right” does not mean that the court will split assets equally. In Texas, only community property is divided upon divorce, while separate property usually remains exempt from asset division.
Note: Under Texas law, separate property is any property acquired by one spouse before the marriage. Inheritances and gifts received during or before the marriage are also not subject to property division.
Children and Divorce
When a divorcing couple shares minor children, their divorce case can become more complicated due to the fact that they will have to address two more issues: child custody and child support.
Texas law uses the term “conservatorship” when referring to child custody. Family courts in Austin and elsewhere in Texas divide custody-related issues into two categories: conservatorship and possession (access). Conservatorship refers to a parent’s right to make decisions about a child, while possession (also known as visitation) refers to the court-awarded time for each parent to spend with the kids.
Under Texas law, noncustodial parents may be ordered to pay child support to the custodial parent. The parent who has an obligation to provide monetary assistance for the child is called the “obligor” or “payor.” Child support payments are based on the percentage of the obligor’s income and other factors.
Family Law Attorney
Serving Austin, Texas
If you are looking for an attorney to assist you with a divorce or any other family law matter (alimony, child custody, child support, asset division, or another), contact me at The Law Office of Mario Flores, PLLC. I am committed to working tirelessly on your case. Reach out to me to schedule an appointment to discuss your particular case.