Blog on Divorce and Family Law
Learning some basic information about divorce and family law can help prepare you for the legal issues you face. Our attorneys believe that honest advice, straight talk and some basic legal knowledge can make a big difference. A legal issue is a two-sided coin ─ your side versus the other side. Our job is to apply our knowledge, skills and experience to help you get the results you want. However, that doesn’t mean there is no participation on your part. You have important decisions to make that affect your future. The better you understand, the better you are at making smart decisions.
We hope you find our blog useful. Of course, forming a client-attorney relationship is the only way to receive legal advice, and these posts are not intended as legal advice nor the establishment of a client-attorney relationship.
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Texas is a community property state. That means anything and everything you acquired during the marriage is shared, equally.
The process for dividing marital property and other assets in a divorce can be a big hurdle for some. In a Texas divorce, the court is required to divide the property in a “just and right” manner.
As you go through your divorce, you may be thinking that means “half of everything” belongs to you. But the law has more distinction than that. The court is not required to divide the property equally but must divide it equitably, and may order a disproportionate division if it has a reasonable basis to do so.
A trial court may consider a number of factors in dividing marital property. Factors include the nature of the property, income disparity, business opportunity, relative financial conditions and obligations, education, physical condition, age, fault in the break-up, the benefit the innocent spouse would have received if the marriage continued, the size of the separate estates, and the probable need for future support.
Steps to take when determining, valuing, and dividing marital property and assets in a divorce include:
- Step 1: Before dividing marital property and assets, a comprehensive list of all property and other assets needs to be determined. List each property, whether separate or joint, include everything you own.
- Step 2: Each asset will need to be determined if it is community property or separate property. Community property includes all property you and your spouse have at the time of the divorce (except for property that a spouse can prove is a separate property of one spouse). Separate property must have “clear and convincing” evidence that it belongs to one spouse. Otherwise, it is considered to be community property. In Texas, separate property is defined as what each person inherits before and during the marriage, brings into the marriage, receives as a gift during the marriage and receives as personal-injury proceeds.
- Step 3: Determine the value of each community property asset. Write what each property is worth next to each description and try to assign each property a fair-market value. In most cases, couples agree on how to split up the household items. If the items need to be valued, they are done so at garage-sale prices.
- Step 4: Determine “just and right” division of marital assets. Write how each property might be divided.
There are no guarantees in dividing property in divorce. Negotiations go back and forth, and couples need to understand the aspects of their property to know how it will affect their future financial security. Who gets what will most likely be the result of negotiating between spouses. Knowing what to negotiate for is crucial.
If you are facing a divorce, an experienced Texas divorce attorney can assist you in pursuing your fair share of the marital assets. Contact the Family Law Firm of C.E. Borman & Associates at 979-846-4090 for an appointment.
For the parent with visitation, summer visitation is referred to Extended Summer Possession if you have standard visitation orders in Texas. This is the thirty days that the parent with visitation or non-custodial parent (NCP) has during the summer in addition to their standard weekends throughout the other summer months.
Remember, in the summer the NCP gets normal first, third and fifth Friday weekend possessions in addition to the 30-day extended summer possession. The weekend begins at 6 p.m. on Friday and ends at 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Dates to remember:
- April 1st is the deadline for the parent with visitation to designate the 30 days of visitation in the summer if your standard possession order is out of the state of Texas. If the non-custodial parent designated the days, then there is no problem. However, if the NCP did not designate a visitation schedule by the first of April then it defaults to July 1 through July 31st beginning and ending at 6 p.m.
- July 1-31st is the summer visitation schedule if the parent with visitation does not designate their visitation times by April 1
- April 15th is the deadline for the custodial parent to designate one weekend in the 30-day period of possession to have the children. The weekend begins at 6 p.m. on Friday and ends at 6 p.m. on Sunday, and the custodial parent must do all the driving to pick up and drop off. The custodial parent will lose that weekend if it’s not designated by the April 15th
During the summer, the CP gets to choose two weekends – one weekend within the 30-day period of extended summer possession with the NCP, and the other weekend takes place outside the 30-day visitation period on a weekend that would otherwise belong to the NCP.
There are a lot of variation and some exceptions to a standard possession order in Texas. It’s important to read and understand the details of your order.
Do you need help?
For more information about Access, Custody and Visitation Contact the Family Law Firm of C.E. Borman & Associates at 979-846-4090 for an appointment.
Child custody issues are usually complicated and never easy. Visitation is often a main concern of parents going through a divorce.
In Texas, visitation is called possession of and access to a child. A parent can get possession and access, unless the judge determines it is not in the best interest of the child and will endanger the physical and emotional well-being of the child. During the divorce proceedings, joint or sole custody is determined by the court according to the best interest of the child. The court also decides upon the terms and conditions of the rights of the parent with visitation.
Parental Visitation in Texas
In most cases, custody orders include a standard possession order (SPO) that sets the schedule for each parent’s time with the child. However, parents with an SPO can agree to any visitation schedule that works for them both. If they cannot agree, then they must follow the terms of the SPO. In each case, the type of visitation schedule is determined by the judge presiding over your separation or divorce.
Reasonable Visitation. This mean that it is left to the parents of the children to come up with a plan and schedule for parental visitation. This is preferred by the courts.
Fixed Visitation. In general, this means the parents follow a fixed visitation schedule that the judge orders the specific times, and sometimes the places, where the non-custodial parent is to have parental visitation. When there is clear conflict between the parents or when the parents are not willing to cooperate with each other, the courts are more inclined to place parents on fixed visitation.
Visitation for Grandparents
Every state has some sort of grandparent visitation law. In Texas, a court can authorize grandparent visitation of a grandchild if visitation is in the child’s best interest, and one of the following circumstances exists:
- The parents divorced
- The parent abused or neglected the child
- The parent has been incarcerated, found incompetent, or died
- A court-order terminated the parent-child relationship
- The child has lived with the grandparent for at least six months
Also, a grandparent may not request visitation if the grandchild has been adopted by someone other than the child’s step-parent. Both parents have a legal obligation to provide financial and medical support for their children. If a grandparent has custody, the parents will be required to pay it to the grandparent.
Do You Have Questions About Your Visitation?
It is important to discuss your situation with an experienced divorce lawyer, especially when you believe you do not receive a fair amount of time with your child. If you have questions about divorce, our attorneys at C.E. Borman & Associates are glad to explain your rights and what legal recourse is available to you.
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At C.E. Borman & Associates, we put our hard won experience to work for you. Call (979) 846-4090 or contact us online to talk about your legal concerns.
We offer legal services to clients in Brazos, Robertson, Madison, Burleson, Grimes, Washington, Austin, Lee and Leon counties.
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