FREQUENTLY ASKED FAMILY LAW QUESTIONS
Law Court (the "Divorce Court") is the only Court where in a single
lawsuit, you can lose your spouse, your children, your property and
your liberty (for non-compliance with a Court order or non-payment
of child support). This overwhelming prospect is what many have to
come to terms with and the first step to that end is the initial interview
with an attorney. This interview is the appointment made in response
to the plea "Well, I just need to know what my rights are".
No Legal Separation
The most common question regards obtaining a "legal separation". This
term does not apply in the State of Texas. You are either married
in the State of Texas or you are a party to a lawsuit and are getting
Children Choose Custodial Parent
"What age can our son or daughter decide where they want to live?"
At the tender age of 12 years. The child's election is in most cases
the most legally significant element.
Children Cannot Refuse Visitation
The answer to "At what age can my child decide not to visit" is in
direct contrast to their ability to choose their custodial parent.
When the child reaches their majority (in the average case, 18 years
of age). Just as the child does not have the right to choose to go
to school, eat their vegetables or elect their bedtime, they also
cannot refuse visitation.
Child Support and Visitation
The statement, "I am not receiving my child support, so I do not have
to let the children go for visitation" although a common conclusion,
is also an erroneous conclusion. Do we not remember that two wrongs
do not make a right?
Court with Continuing Jurisdiction
The Court where your divorce is filed remains the Court "continuing"
to have the authority in all future family suits to make decisions
on yourself, your former spouse and the children. You are actually
going to feel you remain married to the same District Court after
your marriage from your spouse is terminated. The Judges can come
and go, but you cannot.
Equitable division with the Court taking all factors into consideration,
which may include fault in the break up of the marriage, length of
the marriage, future employability, size of the estate, need for future
support and any other equities. A 50/50 division of property may not
be the end result.