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Divorce Lawyer

Attorney David Heiman, Intro Video on Divorce Services More...

Divorce Lawyer serving Denton County, Lewisville, Denton, Plano, Allen, Frisco, McKinney and Dallas, Texas

Searching for a good Divorce Lawyer is a challenge. Get an attorney that has the experience and the resources you need. If you're ready to make a big change in your life or considering it, get your free consultation today. Attorney David Heiman practices exclusively Family Law, Divorce Law and related matters including Child Custody with the passion and experience you need - so, if you need to make a life change, make the change for the better! Don't wait, contact us today.

Be prepared for life. Have issues at home? Get our free consultation and know your options. Get advance knowledge and be prepared in case you need to make a life change. Knowledge IS Power.

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Divorce Reference Guide

When you’re ready to learn about the divorce process, we’re here to guide you step by step.  Our goal for our clients is to provide you with the best representation possible and arm you with knowledge that will allow you to face this period with assurance. We will discuss your goals with you, fully outline your options, and develop a game plan to achieve your goals. To learn about your specific situation, contact us for a free 30 minute phone consultation. Here are some basic Texas divorce facts:

Residency Requirement

You or your spouse may file for divorce in Texas as long as either one of you (or both of you) have lived in this state for the last 6 months. And, the divorce must be filed in a county where at least one of you had a home during the preceding 90 days. Sometimes, more than one county would be an appropriate place to file

Fault

Texas divorce is no-fault, meaning it is not necessary to assign fault when the marriage has become insupportable because of conflict between partners. It is also possible to file for fault due to adultery, cruelty or confinement in a mental institution among other things.

Spousal Support

Alimony or spousal support payments made by one former spouse to the other are possible in certain circumstances, which we will be happy to discuss with you.  The Court considers many factors when deciding to award alimony including the health of the requesting spouse, ability to work, the length of the marriage, and whether there are children involved or violence during the marriage. Your unique situation will dictate your potential alimony.

Property Division

Texas is also a community property state. However, determining what belongs to the marital estate is the tricky part. A spouse may have Separate Property, which the court cannot award to the other spouse, once it is proved to be Separate Property. The Court is not to divide the Community Estate equally, nor even nearly equally. Rather, the Texas Family Code provides that :

"Sec. 7.001.  GENERAL RULE OF PROPERTY DIVISION.  
In a decree of divorce or annulment, the court shall order a 
division of the estate of the parties
in a manner that the court deems just and right, having due regard for the 
rights of each party and any children of the marriage."

Child Custody

When there are minor children, the divorce case must include them. Child support is almost always awarded, and it will be set in accordance with the provisions of Texas Family Code (we can discuss these with you). Child custody will be awarded as discussed on the “Child Custody” page of this web site

Martial Property Agreements

“At any time, the spouses may partition or exchange between themselves any part of their community property, then existing or to be acquired, as the spouses may desire. Property or a property interest transferred to a spouse by a Partition or Exchange Agreement becomes that spouses separate
property.” Texas Family Code section 4.102

“At any time, the spouses may agree that the income or property arising from the separate property that is then owned by one of them, or that may thereafter be acquired, shall be the separate property of the owner.” Texas Family Code section 4.103

Many of us have heard of Prenuptial Agreements, or “Pre-Nups.” Texas law permits people who are about to marry, as well as those who have already married, to agree on the character of their property, i.e. whether it will be Community Property or a spouse’s Separate Property. In order for such agreements to be valid, the statutory requirements for making these agreements must be strictly adhered to. Because so much is at stake for you and your family, you need an experienced Texas Family Lawyer to assist you in this area.

Marital agreements, whether made before or after marriage (or ideally, at both times) are powerful, and can completely change how people’s assets and liabilities will be divided or allocated upon death or divorce. For example, many of our clients who have been previously divorced want to ensure that there will be no fight about assets, such as retirement benefits or home equity, upon their death or upon another divorce. Clients may also wish to agree that there will be no Community Property created, but rather, that each spouse will own his or her earnings, and the property purchased with those earnings, as Separate Property. When done correctly, there is nothing left to divide nor allocate upon a party’s death or divorce.

We can, certainly, provide for agreements that will take care of those things for you and your family, giving you the peace of mind of knowing that you have already taken care of this important matter.

For your reference: the Texas Constitution, Article XVI, section 15, defines Separate Property as:
All property, both real and personal, a spouse owned or claimed before marriage, and that acquired afterwards by gift, devise, or descent, shall be the separate property of that spouse. That section goes on to authorize Marital Property Agreements, which have been provided for by Texas Family Code Chapter 4.

Texas Family Code section 3.002 defines community property as follows:
“Community property consists of the property, other than separate property, acquired by either spouse during marriage.”

Divorce FAQ

Here are some common questions many clients have about the divorce process and child custody.

Q: How long must I live in Texas before I can file for divorce here?

A: A suit for divorce may not be maintained in this state unless at the time the suit is filed either the husband or wife has been a:

1) domiciliary of Texas for the preceding six months; and

2) resident of the Texas county in which the suit is filed for the preceding 90-day period.

Q: What are the terms used to identify the parties in a divorce proceeding?

A: The party filing the action is called the “Petitioner,” while the other party to the divorce is referred to as the “Respondent.”

Q: What is “venue,” and what is the proper venue for a Denton County divorce case?

A: “Venue” refers to which particular county, of those having jurisdiction, is the proper court for a particular case. In Texas, proper venue for the divorce action is in the District Court within a county in which the residency requirements (discussed above) are met.

Q: Is There a waiting period for a divorce action?

A: Yes. After the divorce is filed, there is a minimum sixty-day aiting period before the divorce can be granted. Most cases take more than sixty days, to learn what property there is, what the issues are, and to either finalize the agreed documents, or to prepare the case for trial.

Q: What is meant by “grounds for divorce?”

A: A “ground” is one of the legally-recognized reasons, or justifications, for a divorce.

Q: What are the divorce grounds in Texas?

A: No Fault - on the petition of either party to a marriage, the court may grant a divorce without regard to fault if the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marriage, and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.

B: There are also fault grounds for divorce. These are grounds for which one of the parties is at fault for the failure of the marriage. Cruelty, adultery, confinement in a mental hospital, and concealed divorce are fault grounds recognized in Texas.

Q: What does the term “spousal support” mean?

A: “Spousal support” (sometimes called “alimony”) is money paid by one spouse to the other to compensate a spouse for the loss of income which will be experienced by the “payee spouse.”

Q: Is spousal support available while the divorce is pending in court, or only after the divorce has become finalized?

A: The court may order that one spouse support the other during the pendancy of the divorce action and/or after the divorce has become final. Support awarded pending the final decree of divorce is not to extend beyond the period of time necessary for the prosecution of the divorce action.

Q: What is the duration of alimony (spousal support) payments?

A: To receive alimony after divorce, generally, you must have been married for a period exceeding 10 years, and in certain situations, you may be qualified to receive up to $2,500 per month for a maximum of three years. That period may be extended if there is a disabled child or spouse.

Q: What factors will the court consider when determining how much alimony to award to a party?

A: The Court will consider the needs of the requesting spouse and the ability of the other spouse to pay. The Court will additionally consider the health and age of the parties, ability to work, responsibility for children, availability of funds, and the length of the marriage.

Q: On what basis does the court decide how marital property is divided?

A: Texas is a so-called “equitable distribution” state. This means that the division of property and debts between the divorcing parties should be fair and equitable, but not necessarily equal. The court has wide discretion in dividing property.

Q: Is the “separate property” of one spouse subject to being divided up?

A: The question here is whether property “belonging to” one of the parties should be included in the marital estate for purposes of an equitable division. Generally, separate property acquired before the marriage, or by gift or inheritance at any time, is excluded from the marital estate unless it has been ‘comingled” with community property such that it is no longer distinguishable. There are a lot of tricky considerations concerning Texas Community Property law, such as whether income from separate property is separate or community property, or whether the parties may agree between themselves to alter the character of certain items or classes of their property. We will be happy to meet to discuss your particular situation with you.

Q: What is managing conservatorship (custody) and possession and access (visitation)?

A: In Texas, there is a rebuttable presumption that parents should serve as the Joint Managing Conservators of their children. In Texas, “Conservatorship” is “Custody” of the children. Joint Managing Conservatorship does not mean that each party will have the children one-half of the time. It also does not mean that child support will not be awarded to one parent. Joint Managing Conservatorship does mean that the parents will either share, allocate, or apportion parental rights and duties. In most cases, it also means that the child’s domicile must be established in the final Court orders. “Possession and access” speaks to when each parent has the right to visit with, and spend time with, the child(ren).

Q: If the parents cannot agree on conservatorship and access issues, on what basis will the court decide?

A: These matters, like all of those pertaining to children, are based upon the court’s determination of the child’s best interest.

Q: What is “child support?”

A: Child support is money paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent in order to meet the needs of the child(ren).

Q: To what should the parties look for guidance regarding the amount of child support to be paid? What standard will the court use if the parties cannot agree?

A: The Texas Family Code contains guidelines for the computation of child support. The guideline amount is presumably the minimum amount which should be awarded as support for the child(ren).

Q: When does the duty to pay child support end?

A: Absent marriage or other acts which would emancipate the child, child support orders continue until the child reaches age 18. If the child is in high school at age 18, support continues until high school graduation. If the child is disabled, it may be possible to continue child support for an indefinite period. Texas law makes no provision for support during college, or the payment of college expenses. But, the parties may provide for the payment of those expenses by contract.

About Us

The Heiman Law Firm provides professional family law services in cases such as divorce, child custody, child support, CPS, adoption and more. We have been proudly serving clients, primarily in Denton County, for over 25 years.

Contact Info

Heiman Law Firm
405 State Highway 121 Byp Ste A250
Lewisville, TX. 75067-4183
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  (469) 948-4764

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Office Hours

Monday-Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Saturday Appointments Available