Divorce Lawyer Serving Denton County including Flower Mound, Highland Village, Little Elm and Denton
Divorce is one of the most painful experiences a person can go through, regardless of how amicable it is. Divorce is more complicated than simply ending the marriage. You have to contend with property and debt division, and in many cases, spousal support. If you have children, you and your spouse will need to work out child custody and child support. When you’re going through the emotional turbulence of divorce, you need an advocate who will think clearly and act in your best interests.
Youngberg Law Firm is here to help. We work closely with our clients to make divorce as painless as possible. Our experienced domestic litigation practice will walk you through these and other issues that must be resolved when two people bring their marriage to a close.
Property and Debt Division
One of the most significant parts of divorce is splitting up the marital estate. This means dividing debt as well as property, including houses, businesses, retirement plans, and credit cards. Texas is a community property state. Property acquired during the marriage is considered to be the joint property of both spouses (the community estate), unless it qualifies as separate property. Separate property typically includes anything owned by either party before the marriage, personal Inheritance and gifts, and certain personal injury awards.
The community estate includes most property and debt acquired during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on the title. Many people incorrectly assume that community property laws in Texas automatically require an equal division upon divorce. But the court can unequally divide the community estate if it finds that it is “just and right” to do so. Several factors must be considered before this determination can be made, including:
- The spouses’ ages, physical conditions, and health
- The spouses’ respective earning capacities
- Which party will be primarily responsible for raising the children
- Marital fault
- Tax consequences of the divorce to both parties
Navigating these factors is complicated. Youngberg Law Firm will research all issues of the marriage that affect property and debt division, and will fight for an outcome that is fair to you.
Spousal Maintenance (Alimony)
Texas courts do not automatically award spousal maintenance. To be eligible, the spouse seeking support must lack sufficient property to provide for his or her needs once the divorce is final. One of the following must also apply:
The paying spouse must have been convicted of (or received deferred adjudication for) an act of domestic violence that occurred during the divorce process or no more than two years prior to the filing of the divorce.
The spouse requesting maintenance cannot earn sufficient income due to physical or mental disability or the need to care for a disabled child.
The requesting spouse has been married to the other spouse for at least 10 years.
As with most aspects of family law, these issues will turn largely on the facts in your case. Whether you’re seeking spousal maintenance or defending against such a request, Youngberg Law Firm will explain the relevant Texas domestic laws and how they apply to you.
Texas courts must take the child’s best interests into consideration when the parents divorce. More specifically, the courts will consider the issues of legal custody (who gets to make decisions concerning the child’s education, health, etc.) and possession and access (physical custody of the child).
Judges in Texas can speak with the child and ask what his or her preferences are. But the best interests standard is the overriding concern. The court must determine the relative fitness of the parents and evaluate any allegations of abuse posed by either parent (or any third parties) to the child. Custody issues can quickly become nasty; that’s why you need Youngberg Law Firm to defend your parental rights.
In Texas, child support is determined according to a formula that takes into account the parents’ incomes, the child’s needs, and other factors. Child support guidelines also consider the number of other children for whom the paying parent is responsible.
One of the most common disputes between parents is over how much either needs to take care of the child. Another common issue is whether either party is intentionally depressing his or her income. These and other issues, like custody, can devolve into heated arguments. Youngberg Law Firm can represent you regardless of which side of the child support obligation you’re on.
With same-sex marriage now legal nationwide, same-sex divorce is legal as well. The law in this area is still developing, and in some cases presents novel legal challenges to Texas courts. Youngberg Law Firm represents same-sex spouses who are undergoing divorce, and we can assist with the same issues that arise for any other divorcing couple.
Advantages of an Uncontested Divorce
There are several benefits to going through an uncontested, rather than a contested divorce, including that  it is finalized more quickly,  is less expensive  it is settled amicably  it makes it possible to maintain a civil tone for future interactions  at times it requires no contested courtroom appearances by either spouse.
However, while it might seem that there is no need to work with a divorce lawyer in an uncontested divorce, this is not true. It is important for the Final Decree of Divorce to be written up by a divorce attorney to ensure that the terms the couple agree to are legally binding and accomplish the parties’ goals. When you engage the services of Mike Youngberg to work on your uncontested divorce, he will look out for your best interests and make sure that you don’t unwittingly agree to something that may cause you problems in the future. He will also draft and file all necessary documents so that you can keep your life on an even keel.
Criteria for an Uncontested Divorce in Texas
In order to obtain an uncontested divorce in Texas, you must meet the following requirements:
- You or your spouse must have lived in Texas for at least 6 months
- You or your spouse must have lived in the county in which you are filing for divorce for at least 90 days
- You and your spouse must agree on all issues of your divorce, including child custody, support, visitation and decision-making for any offspring in regards to education, medical care, and religion
If you and your spouse are rational in regard to your divorce and able to communicate without arguing, you may be good candidates for an uncontested divorce.
Both Spouses Must Agree on the Plan Going Forward
For an uncontested divorce to go forward in Texas, the couple must be able to agree on all major aspects of the divorce agreement, including division of marital assets and debts, child custody, support and visitation, and spousal maintenance (if any). Once both spouses sign the petition, it must also be signed by the judge to make it an official decree, but in Texas, the uncontested divorce decree cannot be finalized until at least 60 days after the date the petition was originally filed.
Types of Uncontested Divorces
Either spouse can begin the uncontested divorce process by filing a petition in Texas county district court. An uncontested divorce, interestingly, can be either at-fault or no-fault. An at-fault divorce, as the name suggests, assigns blame — such as infidelity or cruel treatment — to one spouse for the failure of the marriage. A no-fault divorce, by far the more common type used now in Texas, simply means that both spouses feel that the marriage is irreparably broken. In Texas law, this is known as “insupportability.”
Although in most cases of no-fault divorce the petitioner (the spouse filing for divorce) must serve notice on the other spouse, in uncontested no-fault divorces the respondent signs a waiver to indicate he or she doesn’t require notification. If the divorcing couple has children, in most Texas counties a parenting class is required for both parties, whether the divorce is uncontested or not.
Alternative Methods of Resolving Divorce
There are three main alternatives to going to court. First, the parties can directly negotiate a resolution to their differences. A dedicated family law attorney will facilitate that goal.
We also represent domestic clients in mediation. Whereas negotiation occurs between parties and their lawyers, mediation involves a neutral third party. Although mediation is not binding, an attorney can ensure that any agreement reached is fair and comprehensive.
A third alternative is collaborative divorce, in which the parties agree in writing to settle outside of court and not take their issues before a judge. Youngberg Law Firm is experienced with collaborative divorce and can explain more about how the process works.
Speak to a Denton County Divorce Lawyer Today
Deciding to divorce is an important, often painful, decision since it dismantles a bond that was supposed to be a lifetime commitment. Nonetheless, if a divorce is uncontested, meaning that both parties agree on the need to divorce and on the arrangements to be made, the process can proceed without the turmoil and high level of stress most often associated with the process.
If you and your spouse live in or around the Denton, TX region, Youngberg Law Firm is available to help you. Mike is a well-respected divorce attorney whose knowledge of the Texas Family Code will keep you grounded. More than that, he is a compassionate person who wants your divorce to proceed as smoothly as possible.
No one heads into a marriage expecting it to end. When it does, the divorcing parties must contend with complicated matters involving their property, their money, and their children. That’s where we come in. Youngberg Law Firm understands the difficulties you are going through and will work for a fair and just outcome for you. Contact us today to set up your consultation.
Youngberg Law Firm helps people going through a divorce throughout Denton County including Flower Mound, Highland Village, Little Elm, and Denton.