A contested divorce can be one of the most traumatic periods in a person's life. Not only are you dealing with the issues of finances and children, but you also are watching the end of what once was likely a very good relationship.
Years ago, a person had to have "grounds" for a divorce, usually adultery or cruel treatment. Now, most divorces are "no-fault" so you don't have to make inflammatory accusation that might get in the way of a reasonable settlement of the case. Of course, if it might affect issues concerning the property division or the children, then a spouse might want to plead for grounds for the divorce.
Every divorce involves the division of property, even if it is only clothing and a few pieces of personal property. This division can get very emotional. When there is a substantial amount of money or there are substantial other assets involved, the emotions can run even higher.
If the spouses have approximately the same income, then at some point each one of them is going to realize that he or she will suddenly be living a lifestyle based on half of that income. If the income of one spouse is substantially greater than that of the other spouse, then the other spouse will reach the conclusion that his or her income stream will be cut even more. The same emotional issues arise concerning the division of property.
Since Texas is one of nine "community property" states it is sometimes a surprise to someone that the money that they have earned during the marriage belongs to both spouses. On the other hand, there is often a commingling of one party's separate funds with the funds of the community estate, which leads to significant disagreement.
A family law judge is only required to divide the community property "in a manner that is just and right." What is just and right might mean very different things to you and your spouse. It does not have to mean 50/50.
A well-qualified family law attorney will be able to guide you through the minefield of attaining the most favorable result in your property division. In addition, the legislature has provided other tools to equalize discrepancies between the spouses including spousal maintenance, the Texas form of alimony. The attorneys at the Bob Leonard Law Group are well versed on handling these issues and are ready to go to work to protect you.
As emotional as the division of property can sometimes get, dividing rights relative to children can be infinitely worse. Although the Texas legislature has provided "guidelines" for child support and a standard possession order that is presumed to be in the best interest of the children, there are still many exceptions and opportunities to improve your situation.
In addition, the wise parent will closely look at what is truly in the best interests of the child and will need to place the child's interests above his or her own interest. Even without the emotions of a divorce, this balancing act is tricky; inside of a divorce case, it can be almost impossible to deal with these issues. Your attorney should be up-to-date on all matters having to do with your rights and duties as to your children and your ability to provide for them.
Many other issues need to be decided in a divorce. You may seek alimony or a better possession order for your children. You may want to provide for your financial security. A skilled family law attorney can guide you through these areas and help design creative solutions to seemingly impossible tasks. The Fort Worth contested divorce attorneys at the Bob Leonard Law Group are ready to help you do just that.