Texas Family Law
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Family Law in Houston, TX
The Rudisel Law Firm, P.C. has a track record of winning cases. We focus exclusively on divorce and family law matters and we have the knowledge, skill and staff required to successfully navigate your case. Contact a qualified Houston family lawyer and schedule a complimentary consultation and learn more about the topics below:
A divorce is contested when the spouses cannot agree on issues regarding child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support or property division. Contested divorces are handled at an hourly rate as opposed to a flat fee.
Although there is no legal definition for an uncontested divorce, we consider a divorce uncontested when the spouses agree to use one attorney, come to an agreement on all issues and cooperate in signing all documents necessary to finalize the matter. Uncontested divorces are generally handled at a flat rate.
- Contested Divorce vs. Uncontested Divorce: What you Need to Know
- Uncontested Divorce – Doing it the Nice Way
- The Process of Filing an Uncontested Divorce in Texas
High Net Worth Divorce
Our Houston family lawyers and staff have the experience and tools available to successfully litigate divorces for people that have a large amount of assets and high value estates. We employ aggressive discovery methods and state-of-the-art asset tracing through experts to protect your income and property.
Just because you cannot find your spouse does not mean that you cannot get a divorce. Texas law allows for a missing spouse to be served with divorce paper through the process of publication. Although we handle publication divorces when a spouse is missing at a flat rate, they are usually more costly and take more time to complete. Contact a Houston Family lawyer at The Rudisel Law Firm, P.C. for more information.
Attorney General Cases
The Office of the Attorney General of the State of Texas (OAG) oversees child support cases in Texas. The OAG often times brings a suit against a non-custodial parent when a state interest is involved such as a child on Medicaid. Parents can also request the OAG bring a suit against the other parent to establish paternity, child support and medical support. It is important to have a Houston family lawyer present when negotiating with the OAG as they do not represent your interest. Visit the Texas Attorney General Child Support Division here.
Child support in Texas follows guidelines set forth in the Texas Family Code. The monthly amount of support is based on the obligor’s net monthly income (money received after taxes). Child support is based on a percentage of the net monthly income starting at 20 percent for one child and increasing with more children. There are maximum amounts set by the Texas Family Code.
- Child Support, Medical Support and Dental Support
- Child Support: Above the Guidelines
- How Child Support is Calculated in Texas
Child custody is called “conservatorship” under Texas Law. Conservatorship deals with the rights, duties and responsibilities of parents regarding their children. The following rights must be addressed in a divorce or custody suit:
- Medical Decisions
- Who receives child support
- Early Marriage and Military enrollment
- Geographical restrictions for children
Mediation is a settlement process where spouses can amicably discuss and reach agreements regarding their children and property. Mediation place the decision making with the spouses, not the judge. Shawn M. Rudisel mediates family law case for other family lawyers in Houston and recommends all divorcing parties attempt mediation before going to court.
Parties can modify prior court orders in Texas (divorce decrees, custody orders, etc) if there has been a “material and substantial change” and the modification is in the child’s best interest. Our Houston family lawyers frequently modify child support amount, visitation and custody orders. Contact us for a complimentary consultation at a time convenient for you.
Paternity is established in Texas by genetic testing, admitting to paternity in court, signing documents at the child’s birth or having a child during a marriage. Paternity can be established and also undone under Texas law. For parents seeking child support or visitation of children born outside of a marriage, paternity must be established first. For men who believe they are not the biological father of a child and who are paying support, they must file a lawsuit and request genetic testing. There are strict times tables to following when attempting such a suit. The Houston family lawyers at The Rudisel Law Firm, P.C. know the law inside and out and will help you if needed.
Premarital Agreements (Prenups)
Premarital agreements are executed by parties contemplating getting married. The agreement identifies property and assets owned by each party and dictates what happens to those assets upon divorce. Premarital agreements are complex and must be executed in strict accordance with the law in order to be enforceable. The divorce lawyers at The Rudisel Law Firm, P.C. have not only drafted complex agreements for clients; we have defeated them in court when hired to do so.
Postmarital Agreements (Postnups)
Postmarital agreements are similar to premarital agreements except they are execute by spouses during the marriage. Spouses can agree to make separate property community and vice versa. They are also complex documents and must be drafted in strict accordance with the law.
Property division can be a complex process in divorce. The court must divide all assets in a “just and right” manner. Just and right does not always mean 50/50. The courts can award one spouse a larger share of the assets if it is found that the other party is at “fault” in the divorce. Visit our blog and read, “Property and Debt division in Texas” for a more in-depth look at the subject.
Sealing of Records
Divorce records are public and may be researched by anyone. The law allows the sealing of records to keep information out of public view. Some people may not want there financial information disclosed while others want to avoid embarrassing information for being seen by the public or potential employers. The ability to seal a divorce in Texas is limited and are not available to everyone.
Texas law allows a divorcing spouse to receive spousal support or spousal maintenance on both a temporary (during the divorce) and a final basis. The amount of monthly maintenance is determined by length of marriage and the needs of the parties.
Texas law provides that the non-custodial parent has a Standard Possession Order (SPO). The SPO gives the parent visitation on the first, third and fifth weekend of each month along with alternate holidays. It also outlines a summer visitation schedule along with time on the child’s birthday. The courts generally award the SPO however, parents can create a custom schedule by utilizing the mediation process. Shawn M. Rudisel has created hundreds of custom visitation orders through the years and was subject to one himself.