The decision to marry is one of the biggest you will ever make, and can have enormous impacts on your life. When two people decide to get married, they’re joining their finances, their lives and their families together in ways that are legally binding and that often cannot be undone without legal action. That said, there are plenty of things that Houston family law attorneys wish you knew about marriage so you can have the happiest and healthiest relationship possible as well as provide your future children with the stability they need. Here are just a few of those things.
If a couple has been married for less than two years, they have what is called a no-fault divorce, meaning neither person is at fault for breaking their marriage vows. However, if they’ve been married for more than two years and have any children under 18, then there must be a reason stated for their dissolution.
When a couple splits, all property will be divided by equitable distribution. Equitable distribution is generally defined as fair or just distribution. In Texas, there is no predetermined percentage for equitable distribution; each case depends on its unique circumstances. However, according to experienced Houston family law attorneys at Thompson & Knight, many judges use a 50/50 split when dividing marital assets.
If you are going through a divorce, one of your biggest concerns will likely be child custody. If parents cannot come to an agreement, it is up to a judge to decide who will retain custody and what parenting schedule will be in place. If a couple can’t agree on custody and parenting schedules for their children, there are several alternatives for resolution. Collaborative divorce is often recommended as a positive alternative that promotes cooperation between parties and allows parents more say in how they raise their children.
Visitation is one of those legal terms that doesn’t always translate easily. Essentially, visitation refers to a noncustodial parent’s right to spend time with his or her child.
Before you walk down that aisle, it’s important to know what your future may hold. If your nuptials don’t last or if they end because you decide to divorce, you’ll need to know how spousal support will work. Spousal support is awarded by a court when one spouse earns significantly more than another and needs some financial assistance until he or she can become self-sufficient.