Divorce Lawyer for Men: Father’s Rights in Texas

Divorce Attorney in Houston for Men

Divorce is a challenging and emotionally draining process for anyone, but for men, it can present unique obstacles and legal complexities. In Houston, the Rudisel Law Firm, led by Shawn Rudisel, specializes in providing tailored legal representation for men going through divorce. This article explores the unique challenges men face, the importance of specialized legal assistance, and how Shawn Rudisel can guide clients through the divorce process in Texas.

Houston Fathers’ Rights Attorney

There is a common misconception that “women always win custody” of children in a Texas divorce. Although statistically, women do most often gain primary custody of the children after a divorce, there is nothing in Texas law giving women an advantage over men. Fathers have rights to custody and visitation and receive child support. Here at The Rudisel Law Firm, P.C., we treat each case equally regardless of gender. We fight relentlessly to win for our clients and their families.

Legal Issues Men Face in Houston Divorces

Child Custody and Visitation

One of the primary concerns for men in divorce proceedings is obtaining fair child custody and visitation rights. Texas courts favor joint custody arrangements, known as joint managing conservatorship, which allows both parents to share decision-making responsibilities for the child’s upbringing. However, sole custody, or sole managing conservatorship, is granted if it’s in the child’s best interest (Texas Family Code § 153.131).

Property Division

Texas follows community property laws, which means assets acquired during the marriage are presumed to belong to both spouses equally and are divided equitably upon divorce. However, not all assets are split 50/50. Factors influencing property division include:

  • Separate vs. Community Property: Assets acquired before the marriage or by gift/inheritance during the marriage are considered separate property and remain with the original owner. Community property (Texas Family Code § 3.002) includes all assets acquired during the marriage.
  • Debt Division: Debts incurred during the marriage are generally considered community debts and are divided between the spouses.
  • Earning Capacity and Financial Contribution: The court may consider each spouse’s earning capacity and financial contributions to the marriage.
  • Custody Arrangements: If one spouse is granted primary custody, they may receive a larger share to provide stability for the children.

Shawn Rudisel meticulously reviews financial records to identify all assets, ensuring men receive a fair share of marital property and are not burdened with disproportionate debt.

See also: Divorce for Business Owners in Houston

Spousal Support (Alimony)

In Texas, spousal support is only awarded if specific criteria are met (Texas Family Code § 8.051). The court considers factors such as:

  • Marriage Duration: Support may be awarded if the marriage lasted at least ten years and one spouse cannot meet their minimum reasonable needs.
  • Incapacity or Disability: If one spouse is physically or mentally incapacitated, support may be granted.
  • Custodial Parent Support: If one spouse is the primary custodian of a child requiring substantial care due to a disability, support may be necessary.
  • Family Violence: Spousal support can be ordered if one spouse is convicted of family violence against the other spouse or their children.

Duration and Amount

  • Duration: Limited to a maximum of five years for marriages lasting 10-20 years, seven years for marriages lasting 20-30 years, and ten years for those lasting over 30 years.
  • Amount: The lesser of 20% of the paying spouse’s monthly gross income or $5,000.

Financial Challenges

Divorce can strain finances due to property division, legal fees, and support obligations. Preparing for these challenges early is crucial. Men often face:

  • Legal Fees: Attorney fees, court costs, and mediation expenses can quickly add up.
  • Property Division Impact: Loss of significant assets, including retirement accounts and real estate, may require substantial lifestyle adjustments.
  • Child Support Obligations: Texas Family Code § 154.125 sets child support guidelines, typically 20% of the paying parent’s net resources for one child and 25% for two children.
  • Spousal Support Obligations: Paying alimony further reduces disposable income.

Mitigating Financial Challenges

  • Financial Planning: Consult a financial advisor to understand the long-term implications of divorce.
  • Organizing Finances: Gather and organize financial documents, including tax returns, bank statements, and investment accounts.
  • Budgeting: Create a post-divorce budget considering all expected expenses and obligations.

Rudisel Law Firm offers strategic guidance to help men prepare for these financial challenges and ensure they emerge from divorce on stable financial grounds.

Child Support Lawyer for Fathers

Men often face an uphill battle when seeking fair custody arrangements. Texas courts have a history of favoring mothers in custody cases, but changes in recent years emphasize the importance of both parents in children’s lives. The Texas Family Code (§ 153.131) asserts a preference for joint managing conservatorship unless one parent is deemed unfit.

Child during Texas marriage. Houston Paternity

Child support is calculated based on guidelines outlined in Texas Family Code § 154.125, which factors in the non-custodial parent’s income and the number of children requiring support. Men may struggle with unfair child support orders without a knowledgeable attorney.

False Allegations

False allegations of domestic violence or child abuse can significantly impact divorce proceedings. Protective orders may be issued under Texas Family Code § 83.001 based on false accusations, affecting a man’s ability to see his children and remain in his home. Shawn Rudisel understands the importance of protecting his clients from false allegations and can provide the legal defense to challenge them effectively.

Orders of Protection

Protective orders are increasingly being used in ways that can unfairly target fathers, potentially impacting their rights significantly in Houston, Texas. Many fathers have shared their distressing experiences with the attorneys at Rudisel Law Firm, describing how they’ve been unjustly separated from their children and homes due to protective orders issued on questionable grounds.

These orders can be alarmingly easy to secure. With over 90% of such orders issued against men, often leading to the accuser obtaining what amounts to a default custody arrangement, there is a growing concern that fathers’ rights are being compromised in Houston.

Being subject to a protective order can also have long-term effects on one’s criminal record and is frequently visible during background checks for employment, which can further complicate a father’s life.

It’s crucial not to let the legal system erode fathers’ rights. Engaging a proactive and experienced attorney specializing in fathers’ rights can make a significant difference. If you’re worried about protecting your rights, consider contacting a fathers’ rights lawyer at Rudisel Law Firm for dedicated support and representation.

Parental Alienation

Parental alienation occurs when one parent attempts to negatively influence a child’s perception of the other parent, often undermining their relationship. In Texas, courts prioritize the best interests of the child (Texas Family Code § 153.002) and strive to maintain healthy parent-child relationships. Signs of parental alienation include:

  • Unwarranted criticism or rejection by the child.
  • The child’s refusal to see or speak with the alienated parent.
  • The other parent limits contact or discourages communication.

A skilled attorney like Shawn Rudisel can recognize signs of parental alienation and develop strategies to ensure fathers receive fair custody and visitation rights.

How Should a Man Prepare for a Divorce in Texas?

Financial Preparedness

  • Organize Financial Documents: Gather bank statements, tax returns, and investment records.
  • Separate Accounts: Establish personal bank accounts and secure your credit.
  • Understand Community Property Laws: Familiarize yourself with Texas Family Code § 3.002.

Child-Focused Planning

  • Develop a Custody Strategy: Aim for fair custody and visitation arrangements.
  • Maintain a Child-Centered Approach: Prioritize the well-being of your children.
Child custody Houston

Defensive Strategies Against False Allegations

  • Document Interactions: Keep records of communications and visits with your spouse.
  • Gather Witnesses: Identify credible witnesses who can provide testimony.

Legal Consultation

Consulting a specialized divorce attorney early ensures proper legal guidance and preparation.

Tips for men going through a divorce.

  1. Do Not Leave the Home
  2. Avoid Confrontation
  3. Gather Documents
  4. Maintain the Status Quo

Do Not Leave the Home

A spouse cannot simply evict another spouse because a divorce is filed. If an agreement cannot be reached, the courts decide who stays in the marital home. Stay home with the children unless the environment becomes volatile or unworkable. If you do leave the home, follow the tips below.

Avoid Confrontation with your Spouse

Divorce can be emotional, and often, spouses engage in heated arguments. It is important to avoid confrontation in the beginning stages of divorce because the police may become involved, and often, an arrest is made simply to keep the peace.  An arrest or even a police report can have severe consequences in gaining custody of children during a divorce. Actions during the initial phases of the process may make the difference between a contested and an uncontested divorce.

Child Custody and Visitation Lawyer in Houston, TX

The courts always consider the “best interest of the children” when presiding over a divorce case.  It is best to avoid confrontation in the presence of children.  The idea of parents separating is emotionally taxing on children.  Do your best to make the children comfortable during the initial separation.  Do not discuss the details of the divorce with the children under any circumstance.

Gather Documents

One important part of the divorce process in Texas is gathering documents. After separation, men often leave their homes and leave important documents, such as tax returns, social security numbers, and financials. These documents are important, and your lawyer will need them to prepare your case. Make copies of important papers, as they will save time and money and assist your lawyer in representing you.

Maintain the Status Quo

If you decide to leave the marital home, ensure life continues as normal as possible for the children. This may be difficult, but the children’s lives must remain consistent. If you are the primary financial support for the family, make sure the household bills and extracurricular activities are maintained until a settlement can be negotiated or the case goes before the court.

The Divorce Lawyer for Men in Texas

Hiring a divorce lawyer like Shawn Rudisel, who specializes in men’s divorce cases, provides tailored representation that considers the unique challenges men face.

Houston Divorce Lawyer Office

Tailored Legal Strategies for Men

Shawn Rudisel can develop effective strategies, including:

  • Custody planning: Advocating for shared or primary custody based on the child’s best interests.
  • Defense against false allegations: Gathering evidence and witness testimony to refute false claims.
  • Alimony negotiation: Minimizing spousal support obligations.

Contact Us Today for Your Free Case Evaluation. 713-781-7775

We dedicate a substantial part of our practice to men going through a divorce. The law puts men on an even playing field when seeking custody of children. Call your Houston Divorce Attorney for Men today if you need more information.