A divorce can have a significant effect on your personal financial outlook. Laws in the state of Texas govern factors like how assets are divided and what your responsibilities are toward your children and your former spouse. Understanding your obligations and rights can help you better prepare for the ways that personal finance and other aspects of your life will change.
Your legal costs during a divorce will depend on a number of factors. Amicable divorces tend to be less expensive than those that are contentious. Spouses who are mostly in agreement regarding child custody, a division of assets and other factors may be able to go through mediation instead of court, which significantly cuts costs. If one party is unable to pay for legal counsel, the court can compel the other to make funds available so that each spouse has adequate representation.
Texas is a community property state. That means that all assets acquired during a marriage are the property of both spouses. Assets can include houses, investments, pensions, and other retirement plans. Marital property is divided in a just and fair manner. This often will not mean a 50/50 division. Instead, factors like age, health, and future earning potential are all taken into account. It may be necessary to sell assets like homes or to divide assets like retirement plans in order to split them equitably between spouses.
According to Texas law, parents are required by law to provide financial support for their children. This will often take the form of a monthly payment from one parent to the other. The specific amount will depend on a number of factors, such as the income of each parent and how much time the children spend in each parent’s custody. A parent who has primary physical custody, for instance, will likely receive a monthly payment from the other even if this parent has a higher income. Parents may also be ordered to pay for health insurance and other costs.
Alimony, also known as spousal maintenance, is a payment from one spouse to the other for a period of time during separation and after divorce. In most cases, Texas courts are reluctant to grant spousal support. The exception is when one spouse has been convicted of violence toward the other or the children or if one spouse has significant disabilities that prevent them from working. In most other cases, support is unlikely to be granted. The party petitioning for support will need to look for work and provide documentation of this effort. Then, if they are unable to find adequate support, they will make a petition to the court.
Having a strong understanding of your rights and obligations can help you work toward the best possible outcome during your separation and divorce. Knowledgeable legal counsel is a must. Get in touch today to discuss your case and what you can expect during and after divorce.