Austin Divorce Lawyer
When your marriage is ending, you need experienced guidance. Our Austin divorce lawyer at Evans & Herlihy will stand beside you, providing the knowledgeable legal representation you need at every step in the divorce process.
Austin Divorce Attorney
Our Austin Divorce Lawyer Provides Compassionate and Experienced Counsel to Guide You
Sad. Angry. Frustrated. Worried. You’re not alone in your feelings about an impending divorce. When you face the end of your marriage, the transition in your life and the process of divorce may seem overwhelming. Let’s face it — a divorce is one of the most stressful life events you will ever encounter, especially if you have children. Simply making it through your day-to-day routine can be challenging. Understanding the ins and outs of the associated legal process can seem intimidating.
Divorces can take longer than you’d expect. They can be more complicated than you are ready for. They can have more conflict that you anticipated. There are many reasons to have a strong, skilled, and seasoned divorce lawyer at your side. That’s why you should reach out to our team. Get help from our Austin divorce lawyer as soon as you can, even if you are only considering divorce. It’s good to know your legal options. The length of time and the amount of stress and aggravation (and, sometimes, costs) that accompany divorce depends on factors such as the complexity of the issues, the degree of conflict between the parties, and the skill of the attorneys involved. Contact our Austin divorce attorney today at (512) 732-2727 and learn exactly how we can help you.
Why You Should Turn to Evans & Herlihy
Choosing the Right Austin Divorce Attorney Will Have a Lasting Impact
There is a reason why divorce is one of the most stressful challenges a person can face. That is why having a seasoned professional at your side is so important. When you work with our team at Evans & Herlihy, you will find our Austin divorce lawyer provides you knowledgeable guidance, compassion, and peace of mind. When you work with attorney Scott Herlihy, you can trust that we will consider every way in which your divorce will impact you, both now and in the future. And if you have children, we will keep them front and center of all options we present for you. We will give you legal guidance at every step and keep you informed throughout the process. There will be no surprises when you work with us. You’ll know just what to expect as you move through your divorce.
Don’t Take Our Word for It. Here’s What Our Divorce Clients Say.
Having a Lawyer with Integrity and Knowledge of the Process Is Well Worth the Fees
I hired Scott Herlihy for my divorce, which was not an easy process. He came with a recommendation and I did not “shop around” after speaking to him over the phone with initial questions and concerns. He not only gave me his undivided attention before I hired him, but also made a few suggestions that was helpful, since I had never experienced a divorce before mine. He stayed steadfast throughout, even when the other side was being difficult, and I was getting discouraged. I moved out of state shortly after I filed for divorce and he did everything I needed him to, in my absence. I was never put off or ignored. He was always quick to respond to my phone calls/emails the same day, and if he was in court, he would send me a message to let me know he would be available to call at a later time. Divorce is never an easy choice, and it is intimidating and can be a struggle, but having a lawyer with integrity and knowledge of the process is well worth the fees. I cannot say enough about Scott and the Evans & Herlihy Law Firm. I am very happy I chose him for my divorce. – Jamie F.
Our Divorce Attorney in Austin, TX, Will Help You Navigate Legal Hurdles
Texas Laws Regarding Divorce Are Complex
When you are facing divorce, you are likely concerned about your life and your future. Understanding how the law will affect you may not be top of mind, but it is important. Texas has numerous laws that govern the divorce process, and it can be difficult to know how to proceed. The outcome of your divorce can affect your well-being and that of your children for years, so this is not something you should attempt to go through on your own. Divorce attorneys in Austin can help you understand the laws and what they will mean for you and your family and help you get the best possible outcome.
Important Areas of Law Impacting Divorces in Texas
- Property: How the property you acquired during your marriage will be divided is determined by law. Did you know that Texas is a community property state? This means that property is considered jointly owned by the partners and divided according to what is considered just and right.
- Grounds for Divorce: While Texas is a no-fault divorce state, there are also fault-based grounds for divorce which may lead to a more favorable settlement or child custody situation. Ask your divorce attorney to explain the specifics of this. He or she will be able to decide which approach is best for your individual situation.
- Children: A critical part of the divorce process is the determination of what will happen to the children and the legal rights and responsibilities of each parent. Unless both parents can come up with a parenting plan that is approved by the court, a judge will set forth the terms governing custody and visitation according to the best interests of the child. How will this affect your children?
- Support: Both child support and spousal maintenance (when appropriate) are important components of a divorce settlement. Depending on the situation, there are differences in how much will be paid, who will pay, how long the payments will last, and how the obligation is enforced.
- Finances: Determining what will happen to debts and assets such as retirement, pensions, gifts, and inheritance is critical. Not everything can or will be split right down the middle. Often there are disagreements as to what is fair and equitable, and a reasonable settlement among the parties needs to be negotiated.
Our Austin divorce attorney at Evans & Herlihy Law Firm understands the sensitive nature of divorce and the strain it puts on families. We work efficiently to resolve any disputes that arise during the divorce process, to ensure that the outcome is beneficial for our clients and their children. We are proud of our reputation and grateful for our clients, some of whom have shared their experiences. Our divorce lawyers offer a free consultation to answer your questions and concerns, so you can get help right away.
Our Austin Divorce Lawyer Explains Texas Divorce Issues
Even a seemingly simple divorce can quickly become complicated. Many clients come to our Austin divorce lawyers with assumptions about the process and soon learn they don’t understand the scope of what’s involved. Here are a few core concepts related to getting a divorce in Texas.
1. Grounds for Divorce in Texas
There are seven grounds for divorce in Texas, six of which can be granted in favor of one spouse. Texas also allows a no-fault divorce under the grounds of “insupportability,” where no fault is assigned to either spouse. The grounds are as follows:
- Insupportability: This is the one no-fault ground for divorce. Basically, it means that no specific wrongful behavior or action by one spouse needs to be alleged as a basis for divorce, but rather that a couple has conflicts or discord that makes reconciliation impossible. Any party can seek, and ultimately be granted, a divorce on this ground.
- Conviction of a Felony: If a spouse has been convicted of a felony and has been imprisoned for at least one year in a penitentiary, the other spouse may petition for divorce on this fault-based ground.
- Abandonment: A spouse may be granted a divorce if the other spouse left the marital home with the intention of abandonment and has been gone for at least one year.
- Living Apart: A spouse may file for divorce when the couple has lived apart, without cohabitation, for at least three years.
- Confinement in a Mental Hospital: One spouse may file for divorce if the other spouse has been confined in a state mental hospital (in Texas or another state) for at least three years and is unlikely to improve.
- Cruelty: This ground might be used when one spouse is engaging in cruel treatment toward the other such that he or she can no longer continue in the marriage.
- Adultery: You may file for this reason if your spouse cheats and you want a divorce.
While most divorces fall into the no-fault category, the courts may look more favorably on a person who is divorcing for one of the six other reasons and may adjust a divorce ruling accordingly. Our Austin divorce lawyer at Evans & Herlihy Law Firm can evaluate the facts of your situation to see which category it would be most beneficial for you.
2. Division of Assets and Debts
Over the course of your marriage, you most likely will have accumulated both assets and debts. Texas is a community property state, so property acquired during a marriage is considered jointly owned by both spouses. During a divorce, community property is often equally divided. However, if it is divided in a manner other than 50/50 it is done so to account for considerations for the rights of each party and any children of the marriage.
Under Texas Family Code Chapter 3, the property is considered separate and is not divided if it was …
- Owned or claimed by the spouse before marriage,
- Acquired by the spouse during marriage by gift or inheritance, or
- Received as the recovery for personal injuries sustained by the spouse during marriage, except for recovery for loss of earning capacity during marriage.
Unfortunately, the division of marital assets is not always an easy task. When a couple cannot agree on how to divide their marital property and assets in a divorce, the court will make that decision for them, as guided by Tex. FAM §7.001 – 7.009. How your assets and debts get divided can have a lasting impact on your financial future. You should always have an experienced divorce attorney at your side in this process.
So, if one spouse earns significantly less income than the other, that person may make a claim to receive a greater share of the marital property in a divorce.
Debts in the name of both parties are often, but not always, divided equally in a Texas divorce. However, unless the spouses have already reached an agreement on that matter, a judge will also decide how to divide shared debts. For example, when couples own a home and have a mortgage, the court may award the home and the mortgage to one spouse and order that the other spouse be granted a money judgment for his or her portion of the equity in the house. Or the court may divide the spouses’ other assets and debts to equalize the overall property division. In other cases, the marital home may need to be sold and the proceeds distributed between the parties.
In any event, it is almost always better for spouses to try to work out the distribution of their assets and debts with the help of their divorce attorneys.
3. Determinations Related to Child Custody and Child Support
Divorces are typically much more complicated when there are children involved. While both spouses might come to an agreement over the terms of custody of the children (called “conservatorship” in Texas), it is not uncommon for custody to be a major issue in dispute in a divorce case. Generally speaking, the clearer the terms and the greater the consensus regarding the specific terms of custody in the divorce proceedings, the easier it will be for all family members going forward. Our divorce lawyer at Evans & Herlihy will explain what custody options you have available to you.
In a Texas divorce proceeding, the court also determines how much the non-custodial parent should pay in child support. Should your circumstances substantially change, custody arrangements, as well as child support, can be modified. For example, if either parent loses their job, child support payments may need to be modified, at least temporarily. Our divorce attorneys can be your guide not only through your divorce, but in the years to come. We will know the factors of your case when you return for our help with modifying your child custody or child support agreements.
In short, the court’s primary objective in determining custody arrangements is making sure that the outcome is what is best for the children. A true joint custody arrangement can sometimes be difficult for children, so courts often award primary physical custody to one parent, with the other parent having visitation rights. What those visitation rights and schedules look like can vary greatly, depending upon the facts and circumstances of each case.
If children are old enough to have an informed opinion, the court may, in certain limited situations, ask them with whom they prefer to primarily live. Otherwise, the court often tries, when possible, to keep children in their current school and current home, to minimize disruption to their lives. Our Austin divorce attorney will help you understand how visitation arrangements can be structured in your custody agreement.
4. Spousal Support (“Alimony”)
In certain situations, the courts may order spousal support maintenance (referred to simply as “maintenance” in Texas) as part of a divorce proceeding. The Texas Family Code lists conditions a spouse must prove in order to collect spousal maintenance.
Are you seeking spousal support as part of your divorce? Here are factors that play a role in the court’s decision of whether or not to award it.
- You were married at least 10 years.
- You made diligent effort to earn sufficient income or to develop skills to do so.
- Your spouse committed abuse.
- You developed a disability that was incapacitating during your marriage.
- You have a child with physical or mental disabilities that require care which prevents you from earning sufficient income.
There are factors that impact the amount of spousal support the court will award in a divorce. If a spouse is eligible for spousal maintenance in a divorce, the judge will determine the amount based on factors such as:
- Earning capacity and employment history of each spouse
- Needs and standard of living of each spouse
- Age and health of both spouses
- Existing debts and assets
- Whether one spouse inappropriately spent community funds
- Child custody arrangements
- Whether one spouse helped the other with education or advancing their career
- Existence of marital misconduct or evidence of domestic violence.
In a Texas divorce, there are caps on both the amount of spousal maintenance and how long spousal maintenance lasts. Your Austin divorce attorney will help you get the best arrangement possible.
5. A Divorce Decree
The end result of the divorce case is the divorce decree. A divorce decree is a court order, a binding legal document, that orders and defines the division of property and debts, as well as obligations regarding child custody, child support, and spousal support, when applicable. Once the court issues the divorce decree, the division of property cannot be modified. It is the final decision.
This decree is the result of the information provided during the divorce. It is clear how important it is to have a professional divorce attorney advocate for you. Because so many details can impact the decisions the court makes in your divorce decree, each party should have their own divorce lawyer, even when a divorce is amicable. This helps to ensure that any agreements they enter into are fair and that their interests are adequately protected.
Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce in Texas
Our Evans & Herlihy Divorce Lawyers Provide Answers
Marriage and divorce are among the most personal and emotional events for couples. While getting married is a time of happiness and joy, divorce is upsetting and frustrating. The details of a divorce and how it proceeds is incredibly personal and specific to the individuals involved. But, there are some questions our clients commonly ask our divorce attorneys in Austin. Below are some of those questions
There is no simple answer to this question. The timing for a divorce to be complete depends upon your personal situation. Uncontested divorces between couples with no minor children tend to be less complicated and move more quickly than those with other mitigating factors. That said, the quickest a divorce can be granted in Texas is 61 days from the date you file your divorce petition. Texas law provides for a right of rescission, also known as a “cooling-off period,” in case you have a change of heart. In general, however, divorce in Texas takes about 6 months to a year, and longer if your case is more complicated.
Not always. If you and your spouse agree on all terms and you file for an uncontested divorce, you do not need to appear before a judge. This situation is more likely when you do not have children. Just because you don’t have to go to court doesn’t mean you don’t need quality legal advice. Your future is at stake when you determine the terms of your divorce. That’s why you should reach out for your free consultation with our Austin divorce attorneys.
Yes, there are. According to Texas Law, residency requirements are twofold. First, either you or your spouse must have declared residency in Texas and lived in the state for at least six months. Additionally, one of you must also have lived for a minimum of three months in the county in which you are filing (Tex. FAM §6.301).
An uncontested divorce is possible when both spouses are in agreement that there was no-fault and they agree regarding all terms of the divorce (Tex. FAM §6.001). There are several requirements you must meet to proceed with an uncontested divorce in Texas.
You cannot proceed with an uncontested divorce in Texas if any of the below apply:
- You have minor children together.
- You have a disabled child.
- The wife in the marriage is pregnant (even by another man).
- The wife had a child by another man at some point since you were married.
- One spouse seeks alimony.
- You are buying real estate.
- You or your spouse has an ongoing bankruptcy case.
- You have joint ownership of property.
- You have joint retirement benefits.
- Both do not agree to end the marriage.
In Texas, all property a couple acquires together, once they are married, is deemed community property. It is important to note that the name the property is in is irrelevant. Property purchased or received, by either spouse, prior to marriage is NOT community property.
Legally, you do not need to engage a divorce attorney in Austin, TX. However, in many cases, having the advice and counsel of an experienced professional is incredibly valuable. You want to do everything you can to protect your future, and a divorce lawyer can help you do just that. Working with a professional who understands the state laws and is not emotionally involved can benefit you during this difficult and often confusing time.
Of course, these are just some of the most common issues that concern our clients when they come to our divorce attorneys for help. Divorce is personal and complex. Questions are commonplace. That’s why you can turn to Evans & Herlihy for guidance.
”I hired Scott Herlihy for my divorce, which was not an easy process. He came with a recommendation and I did not “shop around” after speaking to him over the phone with initial questions and concerns. He not only gave me his undivided attention before I hired him, but also made a few suggestions that was helpful, since I had never experienced a divorce before mine. He stayed steadfast throughout, even when the other side was being difficult and I was getting discouraged. I moved out of state shortly after I filed for divorce and he did everything I needed him to, in my absence. I was never put off or ignored. He was always quick to respond to my phone calls/emails the same day, and if he was in court, he would send me a message to let me know he would be available to call at a later time. Divorce is never an easy choice, and it is intimidating and can be a struggle, but having a lawyer with integrity and knowledge of the process is well worth the fees. I cannot say enough about Scott and The Evans Law Firm. I am very happy I chose him for my divorce.” – Jamie Franklin (Google Review)
Our Austin Divorce Lawyer Looks Out for You
Divorce is a life-changing event. Even a seemingly simple divorce is a difficult and painful undertaking for most people. Let Evans & Herlihy handle the legal work so you can focus on moving forward with your life. Our Austin divorce attorneys will help with allocating joint assets and debts, determining who will stay in the family home or selling that home and distributing the sales proceeds if necessary, and making appropriate child custody and child support arrangements.
Our Experienced Divorce Attorneys in Austin Are Ready to Help You Today
Texas divorce law is complicated, and making mistakes can be costly. If you are anticipating a divorce, don’t agree to anything in writing with your spouse until you’ve talked to our Austin divorce lawyers. At the Evans & Herlihy Law Firm, we always look out for your best interests when we negotiate the terms of your divorce. Don’t leave your future to chance by choosing a less experienced attorney.