Frequently Asked Questions
The Houston divorce lawyers of Holmes, Diggs & Sadler understand that the legal details of family law cases can be confusing to those who are unfamiliar with the intricacies of this area of law. For this reason, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions that may help you understand your general options as well as certain factors that may affect your case. However, if you are dealing with divorce or another family law matter, it is essential that you discuss your specific situation with a Houston family law attorney so that you know exactly what your next steps should be. Contact our offices today at (713) 766-5355 to review your questions or concerns with a member of our experienced team.
- Can couples with children get a simplified divorce?
- Can I change the last name of my children after a divorce?
- Can I get alimony in Texas?
- Can I make changes to my child custody agreement?
- Can my children take my new spouse’s name if I remarry?
- How is Alimony calculated?
- Is the court more likely to grant custody to a mother than a father?
- Is there any difference between alimony and spousal support?
- What are the most common causes for divorce?
- Who decides what visitation is?
Can couples with children get a simplified divorce?
A simplified divorce, like its name suggests, is the fastest and easiest ways for a couple to obtain a divorce. However, they must be able to come to an agreement themselves about several issues, and they must not have any minor children. Couples with minor children must have certain issues, such as child custody and support reviewed by the court. Couples with children who have reached adulthood are permitted to obtain a simplified divorce if they each agree that the marriage is not salvageable, and agree on how property should be divided between the two of them. Any dispute will likely result in a more complicated divorce if it is not resolved privately.
If you are considering divorce, whether simplified or otherwise, it is wise to have experienced legal counsel on your side to help you avoid missteps and protect your interests. To speak with a qualified attorney, contact the Houston divorce lawyers of Holmes, Diggs & Sadler today at (713) 766-5355.
Can I change the last name of my children after a divorce?
Changing the last name of your children from a husband’s last name to your own, or removing a portion of a hyphenated name, is not always a simple process. With the assistance of your attorney, you will need to demonstrate to the court via petition that the name change serves the best interest of the child. This decision will be made on the basis of the strength of the parental relationships involved, and ultimately will require convincing evidence that a change is in the best interest of the child.
To learn more about the process of having the last name of your children changed, call a Houston divorce lawyer from Holmes, Diggs & Sadler today at (713) 766-5355 to schedule a consultation.
Can I get alimony in Texas?
Alimony laws do differ by state, sometimes radically. Certain southern states, including Texas, have particularly tough alimony laws and spouses in these states have a harder time receiving alimony payments. As a resident of Texas, there will be a cap on both the amount you can receive or are asked to give. The duration is the shortest amount of time that is determined as rational by the court, and the court does have specific restrictions on how long they can ask someone to give support.
Can I make changes to my child custody agreement?
Once your child custody agreement is in place after a divorce or other such separation, changing it is possible but can be complicated. In order to successfully change the terms set forth in your child custody agreement, you must prove that a substantial change has taken place that necessitates the modification for the good of your child. For instance, if the child’s other parent develops a mental illness or drug addiction, you may seek modification to gain sole custody of your child. Unfortunately, this can be difficult to do without the support of a dedicated attorney.
To discuss child custody issues and find out if your circumstances warrant a change to your child custody arrangement, please contact an attorney of Holmes, Diggs & Sadler today at (713) 766-5355.
Can my children take my new spouse’s name if I remarry?
Changing the name of a child does not alter the legal identity of the father, and the court will typically only allow for a child’s name to be changed when the new father is assuming legal custody of the child or adopting him or her. In these situations, a court order to change the child’s name will be included in the decree. A father cannot be forced to abandon their parental rights, and unless changing the child’s name can clearly be demonstrated to be in the best interests of the child, such an order is unlikely to be granted.
To learn more about parental rights and the legal status of a child’s name following a divorce or in the process of adoption, call Holmes, Diggs & Sadler today at (713) 766-5355 and speak directly with our experienced Houston divorce lawyers.
How is Alimony calculated?
There are two important factors a judge will consider when calculating the level of alimony. These two factors are “need” and “ability to pay”. Your spouse’s “need” is determined by the length of your marriage and your spouse’s career and educational experience. Your “ability to pay” is determined by your current income, assets, and other financial considerations. It is important to note that both the amount of each payment and how long the payments must made, determine the total level of alimony.
Is the court more likely to grant custody to a mother than a father?
While in the past there were specific statutes which provided for custody being awarded to the mother whenever children were of “tender years,” these rules have been rejected entirely by most states, including Texas. Modern divorce proceedings take into account the parental fitness of each parent when custody is disputed with no bias toward either parent. Typically, the ongoing perception of women being more likely to receive custody stems from a disproportionate number of fathers voluntarily granting sole custody to the mother.
Is there any difference between alimony and spousal support?
Alimony is often considered the more legal term for payments made to an ex-spouse following a divorce. They may be called maintenance payments, spousal support, or support payments. These payments are not a punishment, but simply the court’s attempt to ensure safety and stability for all parties during this disruptive time. Alimony has become less common in recent decades, but you should still prepare financially if you know a divorce is imminent.
What are the most common causes for divorce?
Divorce can be difficult period in anyone’s life, and many people may wonder if they are the only ones who have had to go through the experiences they are dealing with. Research into marriage and divorce has found that the reasons for divorce are similar for many people. Some of the most common issues that factor into divorce include financial difficulties, communication issues, infidelity, fundamentally different values and goals, and drug and alcohol abuse. Although these are some of the most common causes of divorce, there are many more reasons that people choose to end a relationship.
If you are considering filing for divorce, a lawyer can help you protect your legal rights and interests. To speak with an experienced lawyer about your case, contact the firm of Holmes, Diggs & Sadler at (713) 766-5355 today.
Who decides what visitation is?
In the absence of a legally binding parenting agreement following the divorce, the parent with physical custody over the child will typically determine what reasonable visitation for the non-custodial parent is. While this arrangement is frequently satisfactory to all parties, disputes can easily occur. For this reason, courts typically ask for parents to come to an official and binding parenting agreement through mediation or other means that details the rights of the non-custodial parent to visitation.
If you would like to learn more about visitation rights following a divorce, call an experienced Houston divorce attorney at Holmes, Diggs & Sadler today at (713) 766-5355.