Fort Worth Divorce Lawyer
When two people enter into a marriage, it’s not unusual to expect their union to last forever. Unfortunately, that is often not the case. Although the divorce rate in Texas has been declining since 1981, thousands of couples are still choosing to end their marriage every year. If you are coming to terms with this decision, you may be wondering where to turn for help and how to get started with the filing process. Filing for divorce in Texas is not an especially difficult process, but divorce proceedings typically last months and require each spouse to meet deadlines and cooperate with the court.
Especially if this is your first divorce and you are unfamiliar with the process, it is in your best interest to hire a qualified divorce lawyer. Seeking legal help to dissolve your marriage may seem unnecessary, but the choice almost always pays off in the long run. Divorce law is very specific and varies from state to state. The Fort Worth divorce attorneys at The Maynard Law Firm, PLLC have years of experience handling divorce cases in Texas. We are able to walk you through your divorce from start to finish and make sure all of your needs are met in the process. Even though divorce is difficult and often painful, we want the process to be as painless as possible for you.
Types of Divorce
The image of divorce that many of us have in mind is one of anger and hostility, where two people are sitting in an empty courtroom, desperately trying to steal each other’s assets. In fact, this image is far from the truth. Most of the couples we work with simply had too many major differences to make the marriage work, and they come to us wanting solutions, not more problems. In addition, many couples choose an alternative dispute resolution instead of going through litigation. An attorney can help you decide which type of divorce is best for you, but below is a general overview of the types we handle.
A contested divorce is useful if you and your spouse have tried coming to an agreement about the terms of your divorce and cannot. For example, if you want joint custody of your children but your spouse wants sole custody. During a contested divorce, a judge will hear the perspective of each spouse and pass down a judgment. This option is good if you cannot agree on anything, because the judgment is legally binding. On the other hand, one or both spouses may not get what they want. A contested divorce is also typically the messiest and lengthiest divorce process. You may want to consider the impact of a drawn out legal battle on you, your spouse, and your kids before proceeding.
An uncontested divorce is probably the easiest situation you can ask for during proceedings. During an uncontested divorce, the two parties involved agree on mostly everything and already know how property will be divided and who, if anyone, will need spousal support or child support. This type of divorce can keep you out of the courtroom, but it is best to have an attorney draft the legal documents surrounding the terms of your divorce.
Collaborative divorces fall somewhere in between contested and uncontested. Maybe you agree on property issues but do not see eye to eye on child custody. If this is the case, a collaborative divorce can help you settle your differences. The attorneys for each spouse will help you settle the divorce without litigation. This option is great for couples who are willing to work together to solve their problems and want to work through their issues in a private setting.
A mediator is an objective third party who will help you work through your divorce. The mediator does not have the power to provide a legally-binding decision for you. Rather, the mediator exists to help you brainstorm creative solutions to your problems. This option is good for couples who want a less stressful experience without personal attorneys, but still want to collaborate.
Our Family Law Practice Areas
Our attorneys understand the many considerations someone filing for divorce must have. You may be wondering what will happen to your children, property, and income after the divorce. Many people do not know whether they will need to seek child support or alimony or how much would be fair for them to pay. At The Maynard Law Firm, PLLC, we can help you settle these matters. We have experience handling the following areas in divorces:
- Child Custody: If you have children, it is important to determine who will have primary custody of them after the divorce. Maybe the two of you will have joint custody and there are just a few visitation rights to iron out. Keeping children in a stable environment is an important consideration as your living and family situation changes.
- Child Support: Regardless of who has custody of your children, both parents must support them economically. The amount of child support a spouse provides is typically dependent on the number of children and the incomes of both spouses. If there is a change in the amount a parent can pay, the amount of child support can be modified at a later date.
- Property Division: In Texas, all property acquired during a marriage is joint property. There are a few exceptions to this rule, with which a family law attorney will be familiar. The division of assets and property is an aspect of divorce to thoroughly consider before moving forward with the process.
- Alimony: When one spouse makes significantly less money than the other during the marriage or does not work at all, that spouse may be eligible to receive spousal support. A judge will consider your level of education, past employment, and potential to earn an income when deciding whether to grant spousal support.
- Adoption: Adopting a child into your family takes a big heart. Unfortunately, the process of adoption is long and bureaucratic. An attorney can help you understand and overcome the complexities of adopting.
Whatever your needs and the needs of your family happen to be, we are here for you.
Texas Divorce Rates
The rate of divorce in Texas has followed an interesting pattern. Beginning in 1970, the first year with reliable data and reporting, the divorce rate increased rapidly until it peaked in 1981 with 101,856 divorces. Since 1981, the divorce rate has consistently decreased. Here are the current statistics on divorce from 2013, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services:
- 76,423 divorces reported
- 2.9 divorces per 1,000 residents
- 59,135 children under 18 years of age affected by divorce
- 54.8% of divorces involved couples with no children
- 44.45 percent of divorces occurred in the 30 to 45 age group
Going through a divorce can be an alienating process, and it is easy to feel as if you are alone in your pain. In fact, there are thousands upon thousands of people in the same situation as you. Although every marriage is different, the attorneys at The Maynard Law Firm, PLLC have seen a wide variety of couples come through our doors. The one thing many of them have in common is that they want an easy resolution rather than a protracted battle with their spouse. We want to provide that experience for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Most couples who come to us have never gone through a divorce and do not know how the process will work for them. Although the divorce proceedings may feel overwhelming at first, having more information makes it easier. Here are the answers to the questions clients ask us most.
How much money can I get from my spouse?
It is impossible to answer this question in a general sense without talking first to an attorney. Your reason for getting divorced, the type of divorce you choose, and the assets you own with your spouse will all help determine the amount each of you receives during the proceedings.
Do I need to hire a divorce lawyer?
The simple and short answer to this question is no, you do not need to, but a lawyer is an extremely useful asset during divorce proceedings. Lawyers have experience with family law matters and will remain calm and rational even as encounters with your spouse become more heated. Having someone to fight for what you want and need is also important. If you hire an attorney, you are much more likely to reach terms that work for both of you.
Why choose The Maynard Law Firm, PLLC?
At The Maynard Law Firm, PLLC, our mission is to protect your family. Even though you are getting divorced, we know that you care about the bonds you have with your family members. We want to maintain these hard-earned bonds throughout the divorce while still fighting for you.
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Contact a Divorce Lawyer in Fort Worth Today
If you are filing for divorce in Fort Worth or a surrounding area in Texas, you need an experienced advocate on your side. At The Maynard Law Firm, PLLC, we want to put our experience to work for you to make sure your needs are met during the divorce. We recognize that family is important to you and we want to help you keep your children and your life in a stable situation, despite this significant life change. Contact our Fort Worth offices today by calling (817) 335-9600. We look forward to answering any questions you have and beginning an initial consultation.