FAQ About Houston Family Law

What is a divorce?

A divorce is a legal action between married people to end their marriage relationship. Divorce is often referred to as a dissolution of marriage and is the legal action that ends the marriage before the death of either spouse. Texas is a no-fault divorce state so either party can sue for divorce with the claim of “irreconcilable differences.”

What does modification in a family law case mean?

Modifications refer to the post divorce process. People seeking modifications of financial orders need to file a motion to show the court that there has been a substantial change on a party’s financial circumstances. Financial, custody and visitation issues can be modified through the court after a divorce.

What does paternity mean?

The legal or biological relationship between a child and his or her biological father. Paternity cases involve the rights and obligations of the biological father and the child including legitimacy, child support, custody visitation and inheritance. A man can either admit he is the biological father of the child or request a blood test to determine whether he is or not.

Who does our child stay with after divorce?

There are many different types of custody. Physical custody refers to where a child resides. If the arrangement is closer to a 50/50 split, it may be referred to a shared custody agreement. Parties can agree on the child’s residence and visitation with each party or the court will make the determination.

What is a Name Change?

A name change is legal act by a person adopting a name different from their name at birth, marriage, or adoption. Name changes cannot be done for concealment but can be done for personal, social or ideological reasons. If a person changed their last name at marriage, a request can be made to the court to go back to their maiden name in the divorce.

How do I proceed if my child support is not being paid?

There are legal steps that can be taken if a parent who is obligated under the terms of a court order fails to do so. Enforcement can include not paying child support, medical support or allowing visitation. The court can order the offending person to jail if it deems necessary.

What is Child Support?

Child support is based on a formula that considers both parties net incomes. The court will consider what is in the best interest of the child under the circumstances while using the formula as a guideline. The court will look items such as at any special needs of the child, who has physical custody of the child and assets of the parties.

How do I protect my separate money and items before marriage?

A prenuptial agreement is entered in to before the parties marry. This agreement usually sets out what happens to the parties assets and income in case of divorce, separation or death.

Do I need a Will in Texas?

Yes, a Will is a legal declaration in which a person, names who they want to manage their estate and provides for the distribution of property at death. A Will is particularly important if you have minor children so that the person you want to take care of your kids if something happens to you is clear.

Can you explain Mediation?

A third party neutral assists the parties to negotiate a settlement. The process is private and confidential and enforceable by law. The mediator acts as a neutral and facilitates the process.

The control of the process stays with the parties, instead of a judge or jury deciding for you. The cost of the mediation is far less than talking a case through the legal system. Costs are also reduced because the case can resolve quicker than the months or years that a court case can take to get through the system.

What is Arbitration?

Arbitration is form of Alternative Dispute Resolution that can be voluntary or mandatory. The parties are referred to a single arbitrator or panel (usually three experts in the field) and a binding enforceable decision is made after hearing all the facts.

FAQ About Houston Family Law