Family law is complex – a single issue can involve several different areas of family law. A divorce, for example, may also incorporate child custody, child support, and alimony laws and processes. Signing agreements between two spouses or former spouses can include negotiation, meeting filing deadlines, or gathering the correct documentation.
If you are dealing with a family law matter, it may be beneficial to secure legal advice from a Texas family lawyer so that a seemingly small matter does not become overwhelming. By consulting with reputable legal counsel, you can ensure your rights and best interests are represented.
Practice Areas in Texas Family Law
There are various practice areas that fall under family law, including:
- Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
- Child custody and support
- Juvenile issues: dependency and delinquency
Each area is governed by nuanced laws and each situation has specific needs. A Texas family lawyer could help someone explore their options regarding their specific circumstances.
Divorce in Texas
The divorce process often begins with one party filing a Petition for Divorce. The other party then files an answer and perhaps also files a counterclaim. The parties are given 90 days to either reconcile or come to an agreement regarding asset/debt division, child custody, child support, and other important issues.
If the parties cannot come to an agreement, mediation may be an option. The parties may elect to go to mediation or the court may order it. If mediation by a neutral third party is unsuccessful, the parties may face trial.
Child Custody and Support
When children are involved, the court issues orders that affect where the child primarily resides and creates a schedule for the noncustodial parent to spend parenting time with the child. Courts use the “best interests of the child” when ordering child custody.
Both parents have an obligation to provide financially for their child. Texas courts use child support guidelines that considers both parents’ incomes and where the child or children primarily reside.
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are two common forms of agreements. Both are contracts between a couple that outline how a couple divides assets and debts in the event of divorce. A prenuptial agreement is executed prior to the marriage while a postnuptial agreement is signed after the marriage. Both agreements require full financial disclosure from both parties, an opportunity for independent legal counsel, and no duress or fraudulent conditions at signing.
Process of Adoption
Adults may be qualified to adopt a child in Texas, whether same-sex, married, or single. If a prospective adoptive couple is married, both spouses must consent to the adoption. The adoption of a child age 12 or older requires the consent of the adopted child.
The court reviews reports and studies to ensure the adoption is in the best interests of the child. The court requires confirmation that any birth parents’ rights have been properly terminated. Home visits and reports are also used to make sure that the adoptive placement is appropriate.
Call an Experienced Texas Family Attorney Today
Knowledgeable Texas family lawyers provide individuals with full family legal services, whether you need guidance and advice for a short-term concern, or full legal representation.
Family law issues range from complications during an adoption to mediation during a divorce. Resolving issues and concerns according to proper legal procedures can be confusing and tiresome, between meeting document filing deadlines or gathering evidence for you case. No matter what the issue or legal procedure, local family attorneys can listen, offer alternatives, and help you carry out a thoughtful plan. Call a Texas family lawyer today to learn more.