Even when you and your spouse agree to divorce, there are disagreements about the details. By law, the Court granting a divorce must appoint one person to have primary custody of the children and to establish the residence of the children. The Court must order the other parent to pay child support. Parents often disagree on issues related to possession, access, and support of the children. The Court may also impose a geographical restriction on the residence of the children. Property must be properly characterized as either community or separate.
The line between community and separate property is not always clear. For example, distributions to a spouse from his or her separate property business may become community property. If the community estate contributed to or improved one spouse’s separate property during marriage, the community estate may be entitled to reimbursement.
The Court must also divide the parties’ debts. While these issues are ultimately worked out without a trial in most cases, good legal advice is needed to identify and resolve them. Failure to do so may involve the parties in bitter litigation, even after the divorce is final.
While spouses may be hesitant to pay for their own attorneys to handle their divorces, any person who believes that he or she is entering a contested divorce will want to immediately retain legal counsel. You will want to have somebody capable of calmly and professionally negotiating for the most favorable terms to your divorce decree.
Lawyer for Contested Divorce in Houston, TX
Do you think that you are going to be filing for a contested divorce in Southeast Texas? You will want to contact [firm] as soon as possible.
Houston attorney Michael Sydow represents clients going through divorce and custody issues in communities throughout Harris County, Fort Bend County, Galveston County and Brazoria County.
Call [phone] today to have our lawyer provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free, no obligation consultation.
Overview of Contested Divorce in Harris County
- What are the grounds for divorce in Texas?
- What are the most common reasons that divorces become contested?
- Where can I find more information about contested divorce in Houston?
Grounds for Divorce in Texas
Many divorces in Texas are considered “no-fault” divorces, meaning that neither spouse is considered responsible for the dissolution of the marriage. The “Grounds for Divorce” section of an uncontested no-fault divorce simply states that, [t]he marriage has become insupportable due to discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.” Even in a “no fault” divorce, however, the Court often considers fault in dividing community property and determining custody and child support.
Chapter 6 of Subtitle C of Title 1 of the Texas Family Code identifies seven different grounds for divorce, four of which are fault-based and three of which are not. When one spouse is opposed to filing for divorce, the other spouse may want to consider specifying a ground for the divorce when submitting a petition.
The four fault-based grounds for divorce listed under the Texas Family Code include:
- Cruelty, Texas Family Code § 6.002 — The court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other spouse is guilty of cruel treatment toward the complaining spouse of a nature that renders further living together insupportable;
- Adultery, Texas Family Code § 6.003 — The court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other spouse has committed adultery;
- Felony Conviction, Texas Family Code § 6.004 — The court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if during the marriage the other spouse has been convicted of a felony, has been imprisoned for at least one year in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, a federal penitentiary, or the penitentiary of another state, and has not been pardoned; and
- Abandonment, Texas Family Code § 6.005 — The court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other spouse left the complaining spouse with the intention of abandonment and remained away for at least one year.
The three non-fault grounds for divorce listed under the Texas Family Code include:
- Insupportability, Texas Family Code § 6.001 — On the petition of either party to a marriage, the court may grant a divorce without regard to fault if the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation;
- Living Apart, Texas Family Code § 6.006 — The court may grant a divorce in favor of either spouse if the spouses have lived apart without cohabitation for at least three years; and
- Confinement in Mental Hospital, Texas Family Code § 6.007 — The court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if at the time the suit is filed:
- the other spouse has been confined in a state mental hospital or private mental hospital in this state or another state for at least three years; and
- it appears that the hospitalized spouse’s mental disorder is of such a degree and nature that adjustment is unlikely or that, if adjustment occurs, a relapse is probable.
Common Contested Divorce Issues in Harris County
Many divorces become contested because the spouses disagree over one or more issues relating to their separation. Some of the most commonly disputed areas in a divorce may include:
- Characterization of property as separate or community
- Claims that the marital estate should be reimbursed by one spouse’s separate estate
- Prenuptial Agreements
- Postnuptial Agreements
- Child Support
- Child Custody
Texas Contested Divorce Resources
Divorce | State Bar of Texas — The State Bar of Texas is the second largest state bar association in terms of active attorney members in the United States. Visit this section of the Texas State Bar website to find various divorce literature. You can access divorce guides for children, teenagers, and divorcing parents.
Texas Family Code — View the full text of all statutes under the Texas Family Code. Title 1 concerns marriage relationships, and Subtitle C applies to dissolution of marriage actions. Chapters covered under this subtitle include suit for dissolution of marriage, award of marital property, and post-decree proceedings.
Find a Contested Divorce Attorney in Houston, TX
If you are filing for a contested divorce in Southeast Texas, it is in your best interest to quickly seek legal representation. [firm] helps individuals in Houston any many surrounding communities in Fort Bend County, Galveston County, Harris County, and Brazoria County.
Michael Sydow is an experienced family law attorney in Houston. He can review your case and discuss all of your legal options as soon as you call [phone] or fill out an online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.