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DIVORCE RELATED FAQ's

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
You will be billed hourly with a initial retainer fee required. The hourly rate is $350.00 per hour. The retainer fee will depend on the complexity of the case.

WHY NOT A CHEAP DIVORCE?
"Cutting corners" to save money may not be a good idea when it comes to your divorce, because the possible mistakes made by taking this route can hurt you, your family, and your quality of life irrevocably. If you have kids, or property, don’t use cheap methods.

Why or how can it hurt you? For example, if you use an attorney that is not able to justify the time on your case or your kit omits some language in a decree such as language that requires the children to live in the same county as you but then your spouse decides to move away with their new spouse three years after your divorce. You might find yourself without children living where you do (devastating!) but with child support. This could have been preventable. Not much savings then nor much quality of life in traveling to see the children while still paying child support. The cheap divorce looks expensive at that point.

For example, there is no quick fixes or forms to any parent experiencing the other parent trying to remove the non-custodial parent from the children’s lives. This is called parental alienation. This requires an experienced attorney building in legal solutions to your particular circumstances. Court ordered counseling or parenting classes may be options to include in your divorce decree.

For example, how can any quick cursory view of your life circumstances/divorce determine a just and fair division of your property assets when each family is different? If no one takes the time to evaluate it then it should come as no surprise your future may be compromised irrevocably. Decisions are being made in ignorance.

For example, persons who are self employed will not be able to evaluate the value of any business income in the divorce or what the other side should receive as his or her share.

For example, quick easy divorces are not able to take the time or have the forms to add terms that may change your life or your children’s lives. Taking the time to do this makes a difference. For example, is language included to account for the children’s college? What about negotiating the children as tax dependants for the parent paying child support? Etc., etc. The omission of terms such as these can result in one party carrying a large financial burden after the divorce when it didn’t have to be, or you could have worked something out with the other side. The less expensive divorces become expensive after the divorce.

No one form fits all life circumstances and there is no magic shortcut to your life circumstances. Have the attorney evaluate your circumstances and make recommendations on your divorce. Truth is there is no shortcut for this.

For example, some of these divorce kits are not even designed for the local county rules. There are over 200 counties in Texas with many having their own local rules. The attorney should know these rules.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO FINISH MY DIVORCE?
If you have an agreed divorce, it may be completed in as little as three months or less. A complex divorce without agreement may take much longer but will depend on the court’s trial schedule. The court’s backlog varies so getting your divorce completed will vary.

WILL I GET CUSTODY?
No attorney can predict with certainty the outcome of a custody matter. The standard for the court in a divorce case is “best interest of the child”. Although this is a simple standard, it requires a thorough examination of the life circumstances of both parties and the child to answer the question. A judge or a jury may decide this issue in Texas.

CAN A FATHER GET CUSTODY OF HIS CHILDREN IN A TEXAS DIVORCE?
Yes.
Do not assume just because you are a man you cannot win custody nor will you do well in court. Many men have won custody and gotten a favorable property and debt division to the dismay of the other side.

ARE THERE THINGS I CAN DO TO HELP MY CAUSE TO GET CUSTODY OF MY CHILD?
Yes.

WHAT RIGHTS DO I HAVE AS A PARENT ?
Each parent has many rights spelled out in the Texas Family Code and depends on what type of custody agreement you obtained. Many Texas court orders authorize each parent to have set times of possession of their children, rights to attend school functions, rights to take their child to a doctor in case of emergency, right to seek counseling for their child, rights to be informed about the general welfare of their child, and rights to review school and medical records. Your particular order may or may not have these rights.

WHAT IF MY SPOUSE WON’T LET ME SEE THE CHILDREN? CAN I DO ANYTHING?
Yes. You can ask the Court to enforce your court ordered possession.

CAN MY SPOUSE MOVE AWAY WITH THE CHILDREN DURING OR AFTER THE DIVORCE?
Ask the Court to stop the children from being able to move away. You may ask the Court to enter an order during or at the time of the divorce to prohibit the children’s domicile be changed without your written permission or without a further order of the Court. It is the public policy of the State of Texas to promote on-going and frequent contact between parents and children as long as the parent can provide a safe nonviolent environment for the children. The Court has the power to stop the children from moving away.

WHAT IS A FAIR DIVISION OF THE PROPERTY AND DEBTS?
The Court’s standard for dividing property and debts is a “just and fair” division of property. This means the Court is permitted to listen to all relevant facts and legal arguments and make a decision if asked. The outcome is difficult to predict because the Court may consider many factors in dividing property and may consider dividing the property by a disproportionate share given each parties’ circumstances. Courts are permitted to consider dividing the property considering many factors including but not limited to disproportionate income, earning ability, adultery, wasting community assets, length of marriage, and many other factors.

IF WE WERE NEVER MARRIED DO I HAVE PARENTAL RIGHTS?
Yes.

IF I AM NOT ASKING FOR CUSTODY WILL I HAVE TO PAY CHILD SUPPORT AND IF SO HOW MUCH?
Generally yes. Other children and circumstances can change the answers below but generally:
1 child = 20 % of net resources plus health insurance
2 children - 25 % of net resources plus health insurance
3 children= 30 % of net resources plus health insurance

WHAT IS THE BEST THING I CAN DO RIGHT NOW?
Have a 30 minute consultation with the attorney. Contact Randy Essenburg for further assistance.