When Your Marriage Ends, Your New Life Shouldn’t Feel Like a Losing Battle: Get Austin’s Tenacious Divorce Lawyer in Your Corner.
Divorce isn’t just the end of a relationship; it’s a whirlwind of emotions, legal complexities, and fears about an uncertain future. You feel like you’re at war, fighting for everything – your kids, your assets, maybe even your peace of mind. In this high-stakes battle, you don’t just need an average Austin divorce lawyer. You need an experienced warrior with the skill, strategic mind, and relentless determination to protect your interests and help you rebuild on solid ground.
Meet Ben Carrasco: Your Legal Champion in the Trenches of Divorce
Ben Carrasco isn’t your typical “suit and tie” divorce attorney. He’s a Stanford-trained legal powerhouse with over a decade of fighting—and winning—complex divorce cases across Austin. He’s also Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization – a rare distinction held by a small percentage of family law attorneys in the state.
Ben’s approach is different:
- Unwavering Tenacity: He fiercely protects your rights, never backing down when negotiations get tough.
- Strategic Brilliance: His legal proficiency and deep understanding of Texas family law allows him to anticipate and counter every move, protecting your future from costly surprises.
- Honest, Human Connection: Forget intimidating legalese. Ben breaks down complex issues in a way you’ll understand, empowering you to make confident decisions along the way.
What does this mean for you? Peace of mind that your case is in expert hands. Confidence that you’ll receive the personalized attention and tailored strategy your situation demands. And most importantly, the reassurance that you’re not facing this fight alone.
Divorces Don’t Define You – How You Navigate Them Does
This difficult chapter may throw you off course, but it doesn’t have to be a disaster. Austin divorce attorney Ben Carrasco helps you fight for:
- Fair Custody & Support: Securing arrangements that ensure your children thrive both now and well into their future.
- A Just Division of Assets: Skillfully advocating for your share of marital property, protecting your financial stability long-term.
- Protection from Abuse or Injustice: Fearlessly standing up for you when manipulation or aggression enter the picture.
Your Path Forward Starts Here: Don’t Wait to Schedule Your Consultation
The sooner you get Austin divorce attorney Ben Carrasco on your team, the sooner you gain the upper hand in your divorce. He’ll assess your situation, explain your options, and map out a path to protect what matters most to you. Take control of your future. Reach out for a confidential consultation with divorce attorney Ben Carrasco today.
Understanding Types of Divorce
Not every divorce has to be a battle. Texas offers several pathways for ending a marriage, each with its unique advantages. Here’s a breakdown:
If you and your spouse agree on issues like asset division and child custody, this is the quickest, most affordable option. A qualified attorney helps with filing paperwork and ensures all legal requirements are met.
When disagreements arise, having an experienced and skilled negotiator is essential. A contested divorce may involve court appearances, but still aims to resolve disputes fairly without unnecessary conflict.
A trained neutral mediator helps spouses reach amicable agreements outside court. This can save time, money, and reduce emotional stress compared to litigation.
Both spouses have attorneys, but all parties commit to resolving issues through negotiation, not in a courtroom. This option is especially helpful where complex finances or children’s well-being are involved.
Choosing the Right Path: An honest consultation with a divorce law firm can help determine which divorce type best suits your situation and goals. Many factors influence the process, and an experienced legal advocate can guide you through the complexities.
Understanding the Divorce Process
Let’s talk about the marriage dissolution process and how a divorce attorney can help you with your divorce.
Step 1: Initiating a Divorce Suit
In Texas, this process begins when one spouse files a divorce petition. The spouse filing the petition is referred to as the petitioner, and the opposing spouse is referred to as the respondent. Certain residency requirements must be satisfied to maintain a divorce suit in Texas.
When the divorce suit is filed by your Austin divorce lawyer, either the petitioner or the respondent must have been a Texas resident for the preceding six months. Additionally, either party must have been a county resident in which the suit is filed for the preceding 90 days.
Once the respondent is served with the petition, he or she will have approximately 20 days to file a written answer to the petition. These suits must be on file for at least 60 days before the court may grant a divorce.
Step 2: Determining Grounds For Divorce
Texas is a “no-fault” divorce state. This means that a TX divorce may be granted without regard to which spouse caused the breakdown of the marriage. Several no-fault grounds can be alleged in divorce cases, and the most common is insupportability. Here, a party simply needs to allege that the “marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.”
In addition to a no-fault divorce, a petitioner (or the respondent if he or she files a counter-petition) may seek a fault-based divorce. Available fault grounds include cruelty, adultery, abandonment, and felony conviction and imprisonment of a spouse. Fault and no-fault grounds can be alleged together in the same petition.
Proving a fault ground can impact how the court decides other issues in the divorce, including custody of children and division of property. For example, if you can prove that your spouse committed adultery or abused you during the marriage, the court can award you a larger share of the community property.
As a divorce attorney, I am frequently asked whether a spouse’s conduct during a period of “separation” is relevant once a party files for divorce. The answer is “yes.” Texas family law does not recognize legal separation.
You and your spouse are married until a final decree of divorce is entered by a court. This means, for example, that being romantically involved with someone other than your spouse while “separated” constitutes adultery under Texas law and can be used against you in a future proceeding.
Step 3: Temporary Orders
Once the petition and answer are filed by the divorce lawyer, the next stage in the process is the entry of temporary orders. Temporary orders can happen relatively quickly—within a week of filing the divorce petition. Temporary orders in family law litigation are orders issued by the court following a hearing that governs custody and support of the children, the preservation and protection of the parties’ property, and the parties’ interaction with each other while the divorce is pending.
Why Temporary Orders Are Important
Marriage dissolution litigation can last for months, if not years, so this is a critical phase in the divorce process. For example, temporary orders can prohibit the parties from hiding or selling assets, raiding the checking account, shutting off the utilities, or removing the children from the county where the divorce is pending. If you’re the less-monied spouse—perhaps a stay-at-home mom—and don’t have access to your spouse’s assets to pay an attorney, the court can order the monied spouse to pay your reasonable attorney fees while the divorce is pending.
As any Austin divorce attorney will tell you, temporary orders are important because temporary orders tend to become final orders, meaning that the court’s final orders concerning property, child support and custody, spousal support, and other issues often mirror the temporary orders.
Temporary Orders Hearings
A temporary order hearing is not necessary in every case. However, because of the gravity of the stakes in a temporary order hearing— the results of which can impact the entire trajectory of your case— hiring the best divorce attorney with strong courtroom skills is vital. Surprisingly, many Austin divorce lawyers fear the courtroom and try desperately to avoid it. Oftentimes, divorce attorneys will push you to reach a negotiated settlement on the eve of your hearing on terms that might not be in your best interest.
Aside from being intimidated by the courtroom, some Austin divorce lawyers run high-volume, assembly-line practices and are incentivized to finalize your case quickly. As a result, they don’t have the time or inclination to properly prepare for contested hearings where they might be required to make arguments, present evidence, and cross-examine witnesses.
I do not run that kind of practice. As a divorce attorney, I approach every case with the expectation that it will involve a contested hearing and prepare accordingly. Relief issued by a court at a temporary orders hearing can include the following:
- Requiring a sworn inventory and appraisal of all real and personal property owned or claimed by the parties and a list of all debts and liabilities owed by the parties;
- Requiring temporary support of either spouse;
- Requiring the payment of legal counsel fees and expenses;
- Awarding one spouse exclusive occupancy of the residence during the pendency of the case;
- Prohibiting one or both parties from spending funds beyond what the court determines to be for reasonable and necessary living expenses;
- Awarding one spouse exclusive control of a party’s usual business or occupation;
- Restraining the parties from destroying their tangible property;
- Restraining the parties from communicating by telephone or in writing in a profane manner; and
- Restraining the parties from making threats of bodily injury.
The above list of potential orders is not exclusive. The court has broad discretion to enter any order necessary to protect the parties, property, and children during the litigation.
A temporary order hearing is like a mini-trial. Each party will be permitted to testify and put on evidence, including witnesses, regarding the matters at issue. For example, in a child custody case, a party may call family members, friends, neighbors, teachers, etc., to testify regarding a party’s parenting abilities and relationship with the children. The key distinction between a temporary orders hearing and a final trial is the element of surprise.
Because a temporary order hearing can occur within days after the divorce petition is filed, the parties haven’t had an opportunity to conduct discovery and determine what evidence exists to support the other side’s case. You don’t know what witnesses your spouse will bring to the hearing, or the text messages, e-mails, or other evidence that might be used to impeach your credibility.
Step 4: Discovery
Discovery is the process whereby both sides gather and exchange relevant information about the case using various discovery tools such as document requests and depositions. In a divorce case, particularly if children are involved, just about everything about your life is relevant —phone records, e-mails, text messages, sexual history, drug use, photographs, and social media postings (Facebook, Twitter) are all fair game. Discovery is also used to identify the parties’ assets and liabilities—tax returns and bank records are obvious discovery targets.
Conducting proper discovery is invasive and costly but essential to gather the information necessary to properly evaluate the merits of the parties’ respective claims and defenses. This minimizes the potential for surprises at trial and helps determine whether settlement is appropriate.
When used strategically, discovery can help a party achieve critical bargaining leverage and bring about a quick settlement. I have seen parties capitulate and settle early on in a case rather than submit to the cost and inconvenience of producing reams of sensitive documents or sitting for a six-hour deposition.
Step 5: Settlement, Mediation, and Final Trial
The vast majority of divorce cases are settled before a final trial. If the parties can reach an agreement on the issues, the divorce attorneys can prepare a written settlement agreement that is presented to the court for incorporation in the final divorce decree.
The parties may also elect to participate in mediation to resolve their case. Mediation is a forum in which an impartial person—the mediator—assists the parties in coming to an agreement that resolves some or all of the issues in dispute. In some Texas counties, including Travis County, mediation is mandatory before a final trial.
If the parties cannot resolve their issues through mediation, the next step is a final trial before a judge or jury. In a divorce suit, either party may demand a jury trial. A jury can decide custody of the children and the characterization and valuation of the property. Whether a jury trial is preferable to a bench trial (where the judge decides the outcome) necessarily depends on the facts of your case and the amount of money you’re willing to spend.
Navigating Child Custody and Support Issues
Child custody and support issues can be complex and emotional. In Austin, the types of child arrangements include temporary conservatorship, joint managing conservatorship, and sole managing conservatorship. The calculation of support for children in Austin is usually based on the net resources of the paying parent. Non-custodial parents are entitled to access important information about their child and participate in their upbringing. Austin courts consider a wide range of factors in such cases, including:
- The child’s best interests
- Parental involvement
- The ability to cooperate
- Household stability
- Each parent’s mental and physical health
Handling Business and Financial Matters in Divorce
Financial considerations in a divorce case in Austin, Texas usually include the gathering of financial data, advocating for interests during negotiations, and seeking guidance from financial professionals. In a Texas divorce, property division is determined by the principle of community property and is divided in a manner deemed ‘just and right’ according to the law. This legal process does not always result in an equal 50/50 split, but rather a division considered fair and equitable.
Divorces involving businesses and high net worth individuals pose distinctive challenges due to the inclusion of valuable assets such as businesses, real estate, stocks, trusts, jewelry, art, and antiques. Divorce lawyers ensure equitable distribution of high-value assets by accurately valuing the assets based on fair market value, and ensuring both parties receive their equitable share while also safeguarding business interests.
Protecting Yourself from Domestic Violence During Divorce
Domestic violence can be a serious concern during divorce proceedings. For its victims, an Austin divorce lawyer can offer legal safeguards and support. They can aid in obtaining protective orders and ensuring the safety of the client and their children.
Victims seeking divorce in Austin, TX can obtain protective orders to ensure their safety from further harm. It is crucial to report instances to law enforcement and seek guidance from a family law attorney to navigate the process effectively. In the process of selecting a divorce attorney in Austin, a victim should take into consideration factors such as:
- Comprehensive understanding of such cases
- Empathy and support
- Knowledge of protective orders
- Effective communication
- Access to resources and referrals for support services.
Why You Should Contact Divorce Attorney Ben Carrasco
If you believe it is time to file for a divorce, you should contact me at the Law Office of Ben Carrasco. I am an experienced Austin divorce attorney. I chose to open my own family law practice because it gives me the ability to make a significant difference in people’s lives.
- I am an experienced family law attorney and an Austin native. I litigate all aspects of family law, including divorce, child custody, child support, property division, modifications, spousal support, and marital agreements.
- I am poised to settle, but I am prepared to go to trial. My client’s goal always comes first. You can learn more about my philosophy and my experience here.
- Many of my clients have significant assets to protect. I do not shy away from a fight and have substantial experience representing high-net-worth individuals.
- Unlike some attorneys, family law is all I do. I have dedicated my career to helping people get through one of the toughest times. Family law is my calling, and my client’s goals are my goals.
- When you hire me, you get me. I don’t pass my clients off to paralegals or associate attorneys. I limit my caseload in order to provide the best possible experience to each and every client.
- The testimonials from my past clients are a great source of pride. I encourage you to read my client testimonials and Google Reviews.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if it’s time to get a divorce?
There is no one-size-fits-all reason for getting a divorce. Relationships are complicated for everyone, and what may be a complete deal-breaker for one couple could be tolerable for another. If you’re considering ending your marriage, you should seriously analyze the main reasons prompting your divorce before taking legal steps.
Do you feel like you can’t get along? Do you feel you’ve fallen out of love and don’t enjoy being together anymore? Before you rush to get a divorce, ask yourself if this is a temporary struggle. Could the two of you improve things with counseling?
What are the consequences of staying?
Would staying in the relationship have more negative consequences than leaving? You may be experiencing physical, emotional, or financial abuse. This likely won’t change. Everyone deserves respect and kindness, and if you aren’t getting that in your marriage, the long-term consequences of staying may be unacceptable. This isn’t always easy to see, and you may have to listen to an outside perspective, like that of a divorce lawyer, to help you understand you deserve more.
Why are you staying together?
Have you stayed together because you still have hope for a better marriage in the future when circumstances have changed? Or are you only staying together for the kids? The fear of what will happen to your kids if you divorce should not be the only thing guiding your decision. Kids understand when their parents aren’t happy, and they may already be suffering in various ways with the two of you staying together.
Can marriage counseling prevent a divorce?
Couples who want to save their marriage should at least give marriage counseling or couples therapy a shot, including trying new couples therapy counselors if one isn’t a good fit. If you give marriage counseling a solid effort and there is still no improvement in your marriage, it may be a sign that you should consider divorce.
Where are you emotionally?
If you’re considering dissolving your marriage, your emotions are probably in a rough place. A divorce will only make your emotions worse. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go through with it if you’ve determined it’s the right choice. Can you handle the upcoming important decisions related to child support and custody? If not, work with a counselor to get yourself in a more emotionally stable place.
Do you understand the divorce process?
Being caught unaware of this process can cost you. Understand this process so you can know the best path to follow. Should you try mediation or hire an experienced divorce lawyer?
Are you prepared for post-divorce life?
If you’ve determined a divorce is the right path for you, proceed with your eyes wide open. Know that you’ll have disagreements and battles, and know that if you have kids, you’ll still see each other and talk to each other and may have to even make decisions together. Make sure you’re emotionally ready and consider everything the end of your marriage will bring.