Divorces involve many complicated negotiations. If your marriage is coming to an end, you need to ensure that you reach agreements that protect your rights and future.
Issues including asset division, custody, and support payments continue to play a role throughout your life. Hiring a West Lake Hills divorce lawyer means having someone to look out for your best interests. Our family attorneys could look at the specifics of your case and determine what options you have.
Property Division in Divorce Cases
In a divorce, spouses must only divide community property. While married couples jointly own many of their assets, not every piece of property belongs to the couple rather than each individual. Separate property may include:
- Assets a person owned before marriage
- Inheritances or gifts granted to one party during the marriage
- Gains from investments in individual assets
- Money from a personal injury claim
Community property includes any assets that the parties obtained or purchased during their marriage. Courts have to divide community property in an equitable manner, although this does not necessarily mean an even split of assets.
Each party may have their own views regarding which assets they should take when the marriage ends. A West Lake Hills attorney could advocate for one spouses to obtain the assets that matter most to them in a divorce case.
Not only do the parties need to divide their assets, but they may need to split up their debts as well. Like assets, some debts belong to just one party while others are the joint responsibility of the parties.
Typically, separate debt is that which either party incurred prior to the marriage. The court msut divide community debt equitably between the parties.
Custody During Marriage Dissolution
Child custody is often a hotly debated aspect of a divorce case. Each parent likely has their own opinion on what is best for the children. Sometimes, it is possible to negotiate a fair parenting schedule, while other cases go to the court, where judges determine the outcome.
The schedule of where the children live involves physical custody. Decision-making is a separate determination and refers to which parent decides on medical care and education. In many cases, parents share both forms of custody.
Custody agreements impact the parents’ relationships with their children and support payments. Before a parent agrees to any terms in a divorce decree, they should speak to an experienced West Lake Hills lawyer.
Support Payments in West Lake Hills Divorce Cases
Child support payments are a vital factor in divorces. Often a non-custodial co-parent will pay support to the parent who has more time with the children. Child support payments help a parent provide necessities and care for minor children, and courts take the responsibility to pay support very seriously.
Sometimes, one spouse may also have to pay spousal support. Spousal support, or spousal maintenance, payments are a separate obligation and often only a factor in long marriages where one of the spouses relies on the other financially. Except in cases of domestic violence, courts only order spousal maintenance in marriages of more than ten years in length.
Spousal support payments do not last indefinitely except in some instances, such as when the receiving spouse is disabled or providing care for a disabled child from the marriage. A West Lake Hills lawyer could work with individuals to determine whether child or spousal support is a factor in their divorce cases.
Speak with a West Lake Hills Divorce Attorney
Divorces are complicated and frustrating. When you are ending your marriage, you need to consider many issues that may impact you emotionally and financially. Obtaining guidance from an experienced attorney can help. A West Lake Hills divorce lawyer could advocate for you and protect your rights throughout the process.