Texas law provides that the estate (i.e. assets and debts) should be divided in a “just and right” manner. §7.001. There are a list of factors the court can consider in making this division, ranging from who might be at fault for the divorce to the earning capabilities of each spouse.
What is just and right varies on a case-by-case basis. Whether you have an uncontested divorce and just need help completing the paperwork or you disagree over division of the estate, John E. Choate attorney at law has the tools and experience to locate assets, allocate debts, and fight for your just and right division.
Uncontested divorce is the most common way people divorce. It’s simple, inexpensive, and it offers you and your spouse the chance to end your marriage quietly and with dignity.
Uncontested divorce means that each spouse has already agreed on
- Possession of the children or child
- Division of assets and debts
- Spousal maintenance, if any.
In divorce mediation, you and your spouse–or, in some cases, the two of you and your respective lawyers –hire a neutral third party. This mediator meets with you in an effort to discuss and resolve the issues in your divorce. If your mediation is successful, you may proceed with your divorce as if uncontested. If the mediation is unsuccessful, you may go through a contested divorce.
The contested divorce is the type in which the spouses cannot arrive at an agreement on one or more key issues in order to conclusively terminate their marriage. When spouses cannot arrive at an agreement even with the assistance of their legal counsel or mediator (if any), they must approach a court to adjudicate their dispute.
The Court will decide three basic issues:
- Who has possession of the child or children: Texas Law divides the rights concerning the children into rights and duties and actual possession. This encompasses child support.
- Division of assets and debt: If the asset or debt is acquired during the marriage, Texas Law considers it community property. This is subject to division by the Court. The exceptions are if the asset or debt was separate property generally defined as acquired before marriage, gift, or inheritance.
- Should a party pay spousal maintenance: This can be on either on a temporary or permanent basis.
Collaborative law, also known as collaborative practice divorce or family law (an earlier version devised by Nester C. Kohut was known as Therapeutic Family Law), is a legal process enabling couples who have decided to separate or end their marriage to work with their lawyers and on occasion other family and/or therapist. This process requires commitment by both parties and their lawyers. Instead of formal litigation, the parties agree to use the Rules of Civil Procedure and Judges and through a series of meetings exchange documents. When problems arise, they agree to allow professionals working in that area to engineer a resolution.
At John Choate Law, we try to resolve all matters either by informal or formal meeting, mediation, or collaborative law if the parties desire this process. All Family Courts in Montgomery and Harris County require mediation at some point in the litigation process. Collaborative law is just an agreement to use informal discovery and to utilize professionals to resolve the problems instead of Judges.
Military divorce is a specific type of divorce that arises when one or both partners are members of the military. Although typically an uncontested divorce, military divorces are different because they require additional requirements to be fulfilled. Texas Law protects spouses in the military. Proceedings and Court Orders require extra procedures and delays.