The Law Office of William A. Adair, Houston Texas family attorneys specializing in divorce, property division, marital agreement, child custody/support, adoption, grandparent rights, mediation and alimony cases
The Law Office of William A. Adair, Houston Texas family attorneys specializing in divorce, property division, marital agreement, child custody/support, adoption, grandparent rights, mediation and alimony cases
The Law Office of William A. Adair, Houston Texas family attorneys specializing in divorce, property division, marital agreement, child custody/support, adoption, grandparent rights, mediation and alimony cases The Law Office of William A. Adair, Houston Texas family attorneys specializing in divorce, property division, marital agreement, child custody/support, adoption, grandparent rights, mediation and alimony cases The Law Office of William A. Adair, Houston Texas family attorneys specializing in divorce, property division, marital agreement, child custody/support, adoption, grandparent rights, mediation and alimony cases
404 West Davis, Conroe, Texas 77301 | Phone: 281-849-1941 | Fax: 936-756-5708 | Email
Adair & Pettit, Montgomery County Texas family lawyers specializing in divorce, property division, marital agreement, child custody/support, adoption, grandparent rights, mediation and alimony cases Adair & Pettit, Montgomery County Texas family lawyers specializing in divorce, property division, marital agreement, child custody/support, adoption, grandparent rights, mediation and alimony cases Adair & Pettit, Montgomery County Texas family attorneys specializing in divorce, property division, marital agreement, child custody/support, adoption, grandparent rights, mediation and alimony cases
Adair & Pettit, Montgomery County Texas family attorneys specializing in divorce, property division, marital agreement, child custody/support, adoption, grandparent rights, mediation and alimony cases
 

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Adair & Pettit, Montgomery County Texas family lawyers specializing in divorce, property division, marital agreement, child custody/support, adoption, grandparent rights, mediation and alimony cases


Frequently Asked Questions About Texas Family Law

How do I start a divorce?
Anyone can represent themselves in the courts of this state, but to do so can have serious legal consequences. Would you want to take out your child's appendix? No, because you could do serious harm to the child. Therefore, as the best course is to have a competent doctor treat your child, it is also best to have a competent lawyer handle matters as serious as a divorce. This process is started by filing a properly prepared written petition asking that the marriage end and stating what you want to happen about your children (who they should live with, when and where visitation should take place, and how much child support should be paid by the parent who the children will not be living with, but only visiting with). You should also say what you want to do concerning who gets what property and who pays what debts, including income taxes and tax refunds.

What do I do if I'm served with divorce or modification papers?
Immediately see a competent lawyer experienced in family law matters. If you do not have a proper written response filed with the court by the time stated on the citation (usually the front paper attached to the bundle served on you), a default judgment of divorce or modification can be granted against you and you may have a very difficult and expensive time getting it changed, if you can get it changed at all. The attorney will guide you through each step of the process, and while it can be expensive, it might not be nearly as expensive, both financially and emotionally, as if you do it yourself and do it wrong.

How do I start a case to change child support or custody after I have been divorced?
If you want to change custody or change the amount of child support being paid, you will need to be able to show that there has been a material and substantial change in conditions concerning the child or a parent and that the change will be in the best interest of the child. Also, if the change needs to be made immediately due to an emergency situation in which the child is being raised, you will need to show that the present environment or overall circumstances that the child is being raised in pose a threat to the emotional development or the physical safety and well being of the child.

Modifications of any kind can be more difficult than the original divorce and should be handled by a competent attorney well-versed and experienced in family law.

How does mediation or alternate dispute resolution affect family law cases?
Mediation or alternate dispute resolution begins after a suit for divorce or modification has been filed. Over the years, mediation has proven to settle a large percentage of cases and has generally resulted in saving money, time and emotional distress for the parties.

In Montgomery County and Harris County and generally in the counties in the Houston area, the courts require that the parties and their attorneys spend time and money trying to settle the case through mediation, and sometimes some other forms of alternate dispute resolution. The parties and their attorneys will be ordered to agree on a person or service to mediate the case and pay the fee for that service, which is usually set on a sliding scale. There will be a date and place set and both sides will sit down with a mediator to state their side of the case and then try to settle the case rather than spending the time, money and emotion that trying the case for an extended period of time will require. If an agreement is reached, then the proper final court documents will be prepared by the attorneys and signed by the judge, fully and finally settling the case until some later modification needs to be made. If no agreement is reached, neither side can use what happened at mediation or make the mediator testify for or against a party when the case is tried in court.

What kind of visitation can be expected for a parent who the children do not live with on a full time basis?
The legislature of the State of Texas has set out standard visitation provisions that the courts will follow unless it can be shown that it is not in the best interest of the child to have standard possession for that parent. In almost every case, the court is going to make sure that each parent has the best relationship with the child that is possible and spends the most time with the child that is in the child's best interest. Sometimes courts will order that visitation be supervised by some third party if there is an indication that the visiting parent has been abusive to the child or has an alcohol or drug problem. Under Texas law, grandparents, step-parents and other nonparents can be given visitation and access to children with whom they have a substantial relationship if that is in the child's best interest.

What do I do if the person ordered to pay child support stops paying it?
Immediately contact an attorney experienced in family law matters. A suit to enforce the child support provisions will be filed, and if the court finds that child support has not been paid as ordered and the person ordered to pay had the ability to pay when they missed a payment, that party can be jailed, fined and ordered to pay the other party's attorneys fees and court costs.

What do I do if I am denied visitation?
Immediately contact an attorney experienced and well-versed in family law. That attorney can commence a suit to enforce visitation as ordered by court in the visitation provisions of the decree in effect. If the court finds that the offending party violated the visitation provisions intentionally, that party can be jailed, fined and ordered to pay the other party's attorneys fees and court costs.

How is the amount of child support determined?
The law of Texas establishes guidelines' using a set formula depending on how much the paying party earns and how many children are involved. A party pays on his or her net resources, which is not quite the same as net income. The schedule is as follows: 1 child - 20%; 2 children - 25%; 3 children - 30%; 4 children - 35%, and so on, not to exceed 50% of the paying party's net resources.

How does filing bankruptcy affect child support collection?
Filing for bankruptcy does not allow a party required to pay child support to be relieved from that obligation. However, filing for bankruptcy does automatically stop collection activities on a support order. Since there are legal procedures that must be followed in order to lift the stay, or to allow collection activities to go forward, it is crucial to hire an attorney who has expertise in bankruptcy law.

Does my divorce decree protect me from having to pay a joint debt if my ex-spouse files bankruptcy?
If you have jointly made debts during the marriage with your ex-spouse, even though the divorce decree orders the ex to pay the debt, you can still be held accountable to pay it and it is possible that your ex can discharge or escape having to pay it. If you find out that your ex has filed bankruptcy and you had joint debts that were handled under your divorce, there is a way to attempt to keep the ex from discharging that debt. You should seek legal advice to find out about your rights under these circumstances.



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