• When can I file for divorce in Texas?

    Before filing for divorce in Texas, at least one party to the suit must have lived in the state for at least six months and in the county in which the suit is being filed for 90 days prior to filing. In addition to these residency requirements, the court must have personal jurisdiction over each party. The existence of personal jurisdiction is a fact specific inquiry and will vary depending on the circumstances of each suit.
  • How long does the divorce process take in Texas?

    A suit for the dissolution of a marriage in Texas must be on file at least 60 days before the final judgment is entered. However most divorce suits typically last anywhere from six to twelve months. That being said, there is no bright line rule as to how long a divorce suit may be pending and the length of each suit varies based on the complexity of the issues involved.
  • What is mediation?

    Mediation is an informal and confidential way for people to resolve their disputes. A form of alternative dispute resolution, mediation is a process wherein individuals meet with a neutral third party referred to as the “mediator”. The mediator, who is generally a family law attorney, is trained to assist parties in discussing their differences. Serving as an intermediary, the mediator’s role is to facilitate communication between each party aimed at resolving the conflict between them. The process allows parties to reach solutions to their problems on their own. If successful, mediation allows parties to avoid having a hearing or trial altogether.
  • Do I have to attend mediation?

    While mediation is not required in all instances, many courts mandate that parties attend mediation prior to having a hearing or trial of their suit.
  • If I attend mediation, do I have to be in the same room as the other party?

    There are several different mediation styles and, in some instances, mediators do hold what is referred to as a “joint caucus session” where all parties are in the same room. However, this style of mediation is not typically used in family law matters. The more common practice in family law is for each party to remain in their own room with their respective attorney. The mediator will then travel from room to room during the mediation process.
  • Can you get alimony in Texas?

    While Texas law does not recognize alimony per se, the law in Texas does authorize courts to award what is referred to as “spousal maintenance” in certain circumstances. Spousal maintenance is essentially support paid by one spouse to the dependent spouse that continues after the marriage has been dissolved. Spousal maintenance is intended to assist the receiving spouse in meeting his or her minimum reasonable needs and is limited by statute to a specific duration and amount. Depending on the circumstances of your divorce, you may be eligible to receive spousal maintenance or you may be required to support your ex-spouse. If you have questions about when a spouse qualifies for spousal maintenance, how long spousal maintenance can last, or how much spousal maintenance can be ordered by a court, you can always speak with an attorney at The Stout Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
  • What is collaborative divorce?

    Collaborative law is a relatively new way of handling divorce suits that came about in the early 90’s. The concept of collaborative law is focused on parties cooperating with one another and amicably reaching a resolution of all aspects of their divorce without judicial intervention. While each party retains his or her own attorney, the case is handled completely outside the courtroom in a non-adversarial manner. If you are interested in learning more about the collaborative law process, feel free to contact The Stout Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
  • Can the court order my spouse to pay for our child’s college tuition?

    Texas law does not require a parent to support his or her child beyond the age of 18 or graduation from high school, whichever occurs later. While parties may contractually agree that one party will pay for a child’s college tuition, the court is not authorized to order a party to do so.E
  • How much child support will I be required to pay?

    The State of Texas has issued statutory guidelines regarding the amount of money a party may be ordered to pay to support a child. The guidelines are based upon your monthly income and the number of children before the court. The guidelines also take into account a party’s legal obligation to support other children not before the court. The statutory guidelines are presumed to be in the best interest of the child(ren) absent evidence presented to the court that rebuts this presumption. Thus, a court is authorized to find factors exist that warrant ordering more or less child support depending on the circumstances of the case. Ultimately each situation is unique, so meeting with an attorney will give you a much better idea of what you can expect in your particular case.
  • I have shared custody with my children, but I want to move to another state. What do I do?

    Moving out of state can be complicated when custody issues are involved. Check your current order to determine whether a geographic restriction is included in the order limiting the residence of your children to a particular area. If there is a geographic restriction in place, in most instances you will need to file a modification to lift the restriction. Sometimes the other parent conservator is willing to sign a written agreement authorizing the move. In those instances it is prudent to file the necessary paperwork to formally modify the previous order and have the other parent conservator sign off on the agreed modification. If you have additional questions regarding relocation issues, contact The Stout Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
  • I recently had a child with my boyfriend but we’re no longer together. How do I get my ex to contribute to our child’s expenses?

    The first thing you would need to do is to legally establish that your ex is the father of your child. While you may know that to be true, the court will require you to prove it before your ex will be legally required to support the child. There are several ways to legally adjudicate the paternity of a child. Sometimes the father will sign an acknowledgement of paternity at or near the time of the child’s birth that may legally adjudicate him as the child’s father. If this occurred proof of the acknowledgment should be on file with the Texas Bureau of Vital Statistics. Other times you may need to request a DNA test to prove paternity. After the legal adjudication of the child’s father, the court will be able to issue orders regarding conservatorship, possession and access, rights and duties, and support for the child. Having a court order in place that sets out the legal rights and duties for both parents in relation to a child early on, is extremely beneficial to both the parents and the child. The Stout Law Firm, P.L.L.C. is here to assist you in getting the necessary order in place. Contact our office today for a consultation regarding your suit.