Portrait of John K Grubb

Texas Divorce and Prenuptial Agreement

4550 Post Oak Place, Suite 201 • Houston, Texas 77027-3139

Phone: 713-877-8800 • Fax: 713-877-1229

Top 3 Contentious Houston Divorce Issues

The hardest issues to work out in a Houston divorce are the 3 contentious issues of community property, spousal and child support, and child custody.

Who gets what? What items and accounts legitimately belong to me? Who should keep the marital home? Do I get our dog? I am a full-time mom (or dad). What do I do until I can find a job? What about our children?

Community Property

Texas classifies the property owned by you and your spouse into separate property and community property when you divorce. Houston Family Court judges aim for an “equitable distribution” of community property, meaning a fair division of assets and debts between you and your spouse. If you negotiate asset division directly with your spouse, be clear about which items are high priorities to you and which ones you are willing to let go. Having a clear grasp about what is important to you, and what is not, will help facilitate your divorce.

Be aware that the more financially complex your divorce, the longer it will take. You will probably need an accountant, a financial analyst or financial planner, at the very least. If you have a business, you will also need a business valuator.

Temporary Spousal and Child Support

Texas is not an alimony state, but you can receive spousal support under certain conditions. Spousal support is a temporary monthly amount that the financially disadvantaged spouse can receive. Support can be either court ordered or the financially advantaged spouse agrees to pay a monthly amount. Spousal support helps the disadvantaged spouse maintain a lifestyle where he or she can meet obligations such as rent/mortgage or the utility bills.

Ask your divorce attorney about your eligibility for spousal support. Request support or accept it if you are eligible to receive it. The purpose of spousal support is not to “punish” you spouse; instead it is designed to help maintain your lifestyle for a short period of time until you get back on your feet.

Getting a divorce does not relieve either parent of their child-rearing responsibility. Child support is a monthly amount that the non-custodial parent pays the custodial parent. Child support is not meant to punish one parent; rather it is an amount contributed to supporting the children from the marriage. Both parents are financially responsible for rearing their children, even if one parent is not there on a daily basis.

Child Custody

Child custody is probably the most contentious issue in a divorce. It is the decision about where, and with whom, your children will live. You and your spouse must decide between joint custody or if the children should live with parent and the other parent regularly visits. What is best for the children must be your foremost priority.

You should work together on an agreement so both of you get a fair share in raising your children. Always think of the best interests of the children, because court battles over your children can be quite nasty. If the accusations that are usually made during court battles are traumatic for you, just think about them from a child’s eyes. Being able to work out an agreement without going through a prolonged court battle lets the children know that they still have two parents that love them.

Your divorce can proceed more quickly if you and your spouse can negotiate issues such as property division, temporary and child support, and child custody. There are always issues of contention, so you should rely on the counsel of an experienced Houston divorce attorney.

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