If you are planning to get a divorce, it will greatly benefit you and your family to consult with a family lawyer Collin County TX residents trust from Scroggins Law Group. We have provided legal services to numerous people in similar situations and are here to help make things easier for you. With more than a combined four decades of courtroom experience, the team at Scroggins Law Group has been dedicated to helping people during this stressful and emotional time of their lives. A new chapter of your life is beginning, and we want the opportunity to help you secure your family’s future.
For most people, it is not uncommon that countless questions pertaining to the divorce process will arise. Often, individuals feel overwhelmed with the decisions that face them. We hope that this article will provide some answers to those tough questions.
Do I need a lawyer if I am getting a divorce?
There are no laws stating that it is necessary for you to retain legal counsel when you’re getting divorced. However, it is recommended that you seek an experienced and professional attorney in all major events of your life. Filing for divorce is no light undertaking and is most certainly a life changing event. At Scroggins Law Group, we are knowledgeable about current Texas laws concerning conservatorship, possession and access, divorce, spousal maintenance, and much more. This expertise in family law is crucial if you and your former spouse cannot reach certain agreements. Even if your marriage is ending amicably, the sheer amount of paperwork involved in divorce proceedings is reason enough to retain a qualified family lawyer Collin County TX has chosen time and time again like Mark L. Scroggins.
How long does a divorce take?
If you are thinking about or have decided you want to get a divorce, one frequently asked question is how long the entire divorce process takes. The truth is that each case is unique. Many states require that married couples live separately for a certain amount of time before getting a divorce. The Texas Family Code does not contain a procedure for legal separation or require divorcing parties to live apart for a certain period of time, but it does require a sixty-day waiting period before a divorce can be finalized.
Frequently it is necessary to ask a court to enter Temporary Orders in a divorce case. A temporary order will determine multiple issues on a temporary basis, such as conservatorship, possession and access of the children, who will be responsible for the payment of certain bills, who will reside in the house, where the children will reside, etc. Frequently it is necessary to conduct discovery to obtain information from the other party about their claims relating to child custody and property division. If parties are still unable to agree on all of the divorce issues, the case will be sent to mediation. The vast majority of cases settle at mediation. However, if the case cannot be settled at mediation, then it will be heard by the judge who will then make decisions regarding your children and the division of your community property and any other contested issues that may arise.
Other factors that affect the length of time it takes to get a divorce include the court’s docket backlog and the timeframe for which your spouse is served divorce papers.
Do I have to go to court?
It is more than likely that you will be required to go to some type of hearing in front of a judge, even if your divorce process is straightforward. Going in front of a judge may feel a little intimidating at first. With a Collin County TX family lawyer, the legal community respects from Scroggins Law Group at your side, you will have the confidence you need when entering the courtroom. We will prepare you for the hearing; making you feel more at ease and reducing any undue stress during this trying time.
How will our assets be divided?
In Texas, assets are characterized in two categories, community property and separate property. Community property is defined in the Family Code as property, other than separate property, acquired by either spouse during their marriage. All property, both real and personal, of a spouse owned or claimed before marriage, and that acquired afterward by gift, devise or descent, shall be the separate property of that spouse. The court cannot divide assets characterized as separate property, whereas community property can be divided. A trusted and experienced family lawyer Collin County TX has relied on for over two decades, like Mark L. Scroggins, can be an important asset for you and your family regarding the division of assets. The team at Scroggins Law Group will provide valuable guidance assuring you that your best interests have been attended to.
How is child custody determined?
The best interest of the child shall always be the primary consideration of the court in determining child related issues such as conservatorship and possession and access. When the parents or parties cannot agree on these matters, the case will be presented in court. Oftentimes the Court will order a social study to be performed or appoint someone such as an attorney ad litem, guardian ad litem, or amicus attorney to assist it in determining what is in the child’s best interest. When a child custody evaluation is performed, the evaluator will conduct an investigation and make recommendations to the Court regarding conservatorship and possession and access. If another attorney is appointed in one or a combination of attorney ad litem, guardian ad litem and amicus attorney, that attorney will have certain statutory obligations concerning investigating what is in the best interest of the child (except an attorney ad litem, whose job it is solely to represent the interest and wishes of the child, not necessarily what is in their best interest). That attorney will then proceed, based on said investigation, like any other attorney in the matter. If you believe that your former partner cannot adequately care for your child, has a drug or alcohol problem, or the children are not safe with them it’s highly recommended that you speak to a lawyer with extensive family law experience as soon as possible.
What is conservatorship?
There are 3 different types of custody arrangements in Texas, this is called conservatorship. Think of conservatorship as another way of saying “custody”.
Joint Managing Conservatorship — One of the most common custody arrangements is joint managing conservators. Both parents (or parties) are named joint managing conservators of the child, and they share in the major decisions of the child’s life such as where the child shall go to school, if the child should have an invasive medical procedure done, or whether the child should be in counseling just to name a few. These rights regarding the major life decisions of the child can be divided in varying ways. For example, both parents may have to agree about a specific right/decision, or the parent in the possession of the child at that time can make that decision when the child is with them. Or, one parent may have the exclusive right to make one or more of those decisions for the child. There is a myriad of ways to share in these rights and duties for your child. As an example, if each parent has the independent right to make psychological decisions for the child and both parents have the right by agreement to make decisions regarding invasive medical procedures, this means that either parent when they had possession of the child could take the child in for counseling, however both parents would have to agree for an invasive medical procedure to be performed on the child.
Sole Managing Conservatorship — Sole Managing Conservatorship is when the court has awarded one parent the exclusive right to make some of the decisions we discussed above. This can happen in a number of different situations such as when there is drug or alcohol abuse, neglect or physical abuse. Texas law states that a court cannot appoint parties joint managing conservators if there is a finding of family violence in the two years preceding the filing of the suit or during the suit. When this occurs, the parent named sole managing conservator is awarded the exclusive right to make major life decisions for the child. Whether you may be entitled to be named the sole managing conservator of your child, or are defending against another parent who is requesting to be named the sole managing conservator an experienced family lawyer Collin County Tx. trusts, like one of our attorneys at Scroggins Law Group, can help you determine the best course of action in this situation.
Possessory Conservatorship – Usually, when one parent is appointed as sole managing conservator of the child, the other party is appointed as a possessory conservator. This normally allows the possessory conservator some rights regarding the child, unless the court rules otherwise. These rights are including but not limited to such things as the right to information from the child’s school and doctors, and the right to attend the child’s school functions and extracurricular activities. Additionally, this usually allows the possessory conservator to have some possession and access of the child.
How will child support be decided?
Each state has its own specific guidelines and requirements when deciding who will pay child support and how much money they shall pay, if any. There are different factors that go into the court’s decision regarding child support, such as if one parent has more possession time with the children, the disparity of earnings between the parents and if the paying party has a duty to support other children that are not before the court, just to name a few. Unless you are familiar with the most up to date legal information, the best choice you could make for your family is to retain a family law expert.
Should I hire a family lawyer?
Divorce proceedings can be quite complicated, it is in your best interest to work with a family lawyer Collin County TX residents rely on. Here are a few of the benefits of hiring an experienced attorney to handle your divorce case:
Who should I call?
At Scroggins Law Group, we highly encourage you to call our office and receive a consultation from a skilled and experienced Collin County family lawyer. This new transition in your life can be a stressful time, but we want to help you handle the legal aspects so that you can focus on the next chapter of your life.
Do not wait to hire legal representation for your divorce. You do not have to go through this process alone. If you are searching for a family lawyer Collin County TX offers, please contact Scroggins Law Group at 469-626-5220.