Deer Park Divorce Attorneys Offer Compassionate Counsel
Skilled and determined Texas family law advocates protect clients’ rights
Dissolving a marriage is never easy, but the right legal counsel can avoid many of the common pitfalls and complete the process on a positive note. At The Law Office of Shelly A. Merchant, our Deer Park divorce attorneys understand that just as no two marriages are alike, neither are any two divorces. We provide personalized representation focused on your specific circumstances, needs and goals. Our lawyers explain the law and process in detail to help you make the right choices. By protecting your rights, we can give you the chance to start the next phase of your life on secure ground.
Firm prepares Houston-area spouses for the divorce process
Many people suffer undue anxiety because they don’t know what to expect from a divorce. Once we understand your circumstances, we provide specifics about how to prepare for the marriage dissolution process. Often, spouses are able to communicate and cooperate well, but there are situations when a party might want to access financial records before their spouse knows a divorce is coming, so that assets don’t suddenly disappear. In marriages where there has been domestic violence, we advise clients on steps they can take to keep themselves and their children safe. Whatever your situation, we provide the advice you need to help safeguard your rights, develop a sound strategy and defuse unnecessary conflicts.
What are the grounds for divorce in Texas?
In Texas, you can file for a no-fault divorce or cite traditional grounds involving alleged marital misconduct, such as:
- Habitual intoxication
- Felony conviction
- Abandonment for at least one year
When you file without alleging fault, you attest that the marital relationship is irretrievably broken. Pursuing a judgment on one of the divorce grounds can have an impact on your financial settlement; a court can increase the share of the marital estate a victimized spouse receives. However, you must be prepared to prove the grounds you allege with solid evidence.
Contested versus uncontested divorce in Texas
To reduce costs and save time, many couples try to obtain an uncontested divorce. This means they have reached a complete marital settlement agreement, which they present to the court for approval, thereby avoiding trial. Mediation is a common means of reaching a settlement. If couples cannot settle all their major issues, they must have a court hearing before the court can issue a divorce decree.
Terms that are resolved during divorce proceedings
Issues that must be finalized during a marriage dissolution proceeding fall into four major categories:
- Alimony — Known as spousal maintenance under Texas law, parties that depend on their spouses financially can obtain temporary alimony payments while the divorce is pending. Once the marriage has been dissolved, maintenance is only granted by the court in a few certain situations where a proposed recipient cannot meet their basic needs.
- Child custody and visitation — Responsibility for children and access to them is a contentious issue in many divorces. We advise parents on issues pertaining to conservatorship (sometimes referred to as legal custody), residential matters, and possession and access, more commonly known as visitation.
- Child support — Texas has guidelines based on parental income and the number of children to be supported.
- Distribution of marital property — Texas is a community property state. Spouses may keep their separate property, but all assets and debts in the marital estate are divided evenly unless circumstances dictate a different outcome.
A family law attorney in Deer Park, TX can explain how all these issues pertain to the specifics of your case.
Contact a skilled and concerned Deer Park divorce attorney
The Law Office of Shelly A. Merchant provides compassionate and skilled divorce representation to clients throughout Harris County, Texas. To schedule a consultation, please call 281-817-0998 or contact us online. Our office is located in Deer Park.