Adopting a child is an exciting step for both the prospective parents and the child being adopted. However, it can be a long and involved process. Such an important decision requires thoughtful consideration and adherence to applicable laws and requirements. While the process varies from state to state, it generally involves:
- meeting certain qualifications;
- deciding the type of adoption that best suits your family (domestic or international, infant or older child, and closed or open);
- choosing an agency;
- completing a home study
- finalizing the adoption; and
- placement of the child.
Making each decision requires knowledgeable insight and experienced guidance.
Why you need a Torres Attorney When Relationships Change
A change in circumstance or situation may affect your relationship and lead to a divorce or legal separation. There are several aspects to changing the legal status of a relationship that the court will consider.
Texas allows divorce on “no-fault” grounds. However, if one of the spouses was at fault for the divorce, maybe due to marital misconduct, the court may take that into consideration to determine equitable asset division. Both parties can submit divorce terms or agreements, including asset division, child custody, and alimony, to the court for approval. Though, the court may intervene when agreements cannot be reached.
Child custody, or conservatorship, as it is often referred to in Texas, is crucial in the divorce process. The court gives priority to the child’s welfare and best interest. Oftentimes, the court presumes giving joint managing conservatorship to the parents will be in the best interest of the child.
In Texas, child support payments are determined by the amount of time a parent spends with a child. The parent with the right to decide where the child lives (custodial parent) is generally the person with whom the child lives more than half of the time and who has the right to receive child support. The other parent (non-custodial parent) pays child support and usually the rights of visitation.
Spousal Maintenance (Alimony)
Alimony or spousal maintenance is a court-ordered payment or financial support that one spouse provides to the other spouse during or after a divorce. Texas court will only award spousal maintenance if the requesting spouse doesn’t have enough property to provide for basic needs at the time of the divorce.
In 77.8% of the cases where maintenance was awarded, both husband and wife had counsel.154 In 11.1% of the cases only the wife had counsel, and in 11.1% of the cases, neither had counsel.155 There was no case in which maintenance was awarded when only the husband had counsel.
Judith G. McMullen & Debra Oswald, Why Do We Need A Lawyer?: An Empirical Study of Divorce Cases, 12 J. L. & Fam. Stud. 57, 79 (2010)
§ 8.051. Eligibility for Maintenance
In a suit for dissolution of a marriage or in a proceeding for maintenance in a court with personal jurisdiction over both former spouses following the dissolution of their marriage by a court that lacked personal jurisdiction over an absent spouse, the court may order maintenance for either spouse only if the spouse seeking maintenance will lack sufficient property, including the spouse's separate property, on dissolution of the marriage to provide for the spouse's minimum reasonable needs and:
(1) the spouse from whom maintenance is requested was convicted of or received deferred adjudication for a criminal offense that also constitutes an act of family violence, as defined by Section 71.004, committed during the marriage against the other spouse or the other spouse's child and the offense occurred:
(A) within two years before the date on which a suit for dissolution of the marriage is filed; or
(B) while the suit is pending; or
(2) the spouse seeking maintenance:
(A) is unable to earn sufficient income to provide for the spouse's minimum reasonable needs because of an incapacitating physical or mental disability;
(B) has been married to the other spouse for 10 years or longer and lacks the ability to earn sufficient income to provide for the spouse's minimum reasonable needs; or
(C) is the custodian of a child of the marriage of any age who requires substantial care and personal supervision because of a physical or mental disability that prevents the spouse from earning sufficient income to provide for the spouse's minimum reasonable needs.
Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 8.051 (West)
During a divorce, marital property is often categorized into separate property or community property. Separate property is property owned before the marriage, while community property is property acquired during the marriage.
Texas is a community property state. Therefore, property acquired during the marriage belongs to both spouses and is subject to equitable division. Conversely, each spouse can keep his or her separate property which was acquired before the divorce.
Why you should retain the services of The Torres Attorneys
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, in 2018, there were 782,038 divorces and annulments in the United States. During the same year, married couples adopted 42,237 children. Resolving family legal issues and relationship differences can be very difficult and complicated. This is why it is important to consult with a knowledgeable Texas family law attorney for detailed guidance and to help resolve such family matters as seamlessly as possible.
The Torres Attorneys are highly experienced and knowledgeable in the legal services we offer. As your attorney, we will work diligently with all parties involved and resolve any family legal issues or relationship differences productively. We will fight compassionately to protect your future and family’s best interests. Our attorneys can offer you the experienced legal counsel and advocacy you need to achieve a favorable outcome.