Divorce can be defined as “the legal termination of a marriage.” However, at Quaid & Quaid, LLC, we understand that to our clients, divorce is so much more than simply the end to the marriage; it is an emotional time that includes uncertainty, change, worries about future finances, and concerns over children and parenting time. The fact is, to most of our clients, the divorce process is the hardest thing they have ever had to do and the emotional drain of the process takes a tremendous toll on them personally, whether the divorce is desired or not. This emotional toll can be substantially increased by the litigation process. Therefore, we strive to insure that our clients are given all of the information, tools, and guidance we can possibly offer through resolution of their suit. We also take pride in avoiding unnecessarily escalating the process, providing our clients with as much access to our lawyers' time as possible, explaining every option available, and being frank about the realities of probable outcomes and the cost involved. A divorce may be resolved through many methods, including traditional litigation, mediation, arbitration, or the Collaborative Law process. We are experienced in all options and are able to educate our clients on which approach will serve them best. However, due to the intrinsic emotional aspect of a divorce, the inadequacies and limitations of traditional litigation, and client’s concerns over the privacy of their information, we strongly encourage our clients to consider the use of the Collaborative Law process unless it would be inappropriate for their situation.
A divorce involves many different pieces to make the whole. If there are minor children, disabled children, or adult disabled children of the marriage, the divorce action will require a determination of child custody and visitation, as well as child support. Divorce suits can also include suits regarding grandparent custody and visitation, termination, enforcement, pre- and post-marital agreements, and paternity. A divorce can be granted in Texas on a no-fault basis or upon fault-based grounds. Property is examined to determine value and whether it is community property (subject to division) or separate property (property not subject to division by the Court.) Community property is divided on a “just and right” basis which considers numerous factors about the parties (called “equities”) the most common of which are income, fault in the breakup of the marriage, and health.
While it is a common misconception that there is no alimony or spousal support in Texas, such is no longer true. However, the alimony or spousal support that a court can award upon divorce is very limited. A court can order temporary spousal support during the pendency of the divorce proceeding, as well as make any other temporary orders necessary for the preservation of the parties’ property or protection of the parties. If minor children are involved, the court can enter any temporary order that is in the child’s best interest, including temporary child support, child custody and visitation.
In order to legally end a marriage, a formal document called a divorce decree is required and a couple must adhere to the requirements set forth in that document. The divorce decree contains all of the division of assets and liabilities, as well as the provisions regarding child custody and visitation, child support, and spousal support provisions.