Texas Divorce Lawyer

Divorce is a major life transition. Whether you've been preparing for it or it comes as a surprise, the process has a tendency to be emotionally and financially exhausting. That's why it's important to have an experienced divorce attorney in your corner who you can trust to advocate for you every step of the way. 

Divorce laws vary from state to state, and they are constantly changing. Lisa M. Potter at The Okoh-Brown Law Group, PLLC offers compassionate guidance and up-to-date knowledge on Texas family laws and how they will apply to your specific case. She also has experience dealing with different types of divorce cases—from highly contested, high-asset divorces to more amicable (uncontested) ones.  

Lisa understands the challenges that come with ending a marriage. Her Houston family law firm is dedicated to providing personal and effective legal representation to help you navigate this difficult period with clarity and confidence. She offers her family law services to residents throughout Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, El Paso, and across the state.

Contact her today to set up an initial consultation.  

An Overview of Need-to-Know Texas Divorce Laws

Every divorce case is unique, which is why Lisa develops customized legal strategies tailored to each client's specific needs and circumstances. Understanding some Texas divorce law fundamentals can help you start the process with a clearer understanding of what to expect.  

Grounds for Divorce

Texas allows for both fault and no-fault divorces. While a no-fault divorce allows couples to dissolve their marriage without assigning blame, fault divorces can be filed when one spouse's actions have directly contributed to the breakdown of the marriage.  

Grounds for a fault divorce in Texas include: 

  • Adultery 

  • Cruelty (physical or emotional abuse) 

  • Abandonment for at least one year 

  • Felony conviction with imprisonment for over a year 

  • Living apart without cohabitation for three years 

  • Confinement in a mental hospital for at least three years 

The most common ground cited is "insupportability," which essentially means irreconcilable differences. 

It's important to note that alleging fault can impact the division of property, spousal support, and other aspects of the divorce settlement. Therefore, it's crucial to consult with an experienced divorce lawyer to understand the implications and to determine the best course of action for your individual circumstances.

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Division of Marital Property 

Texas is a community property state, which means any property acquired during the marriage is generally considered jointly owned and will be divided equally. However, this doesn't necessarily mean a 50/50 split, as the court will consider factors such as the earning capacity of each spouse, duration of the marriage, and any fault in the breakdown of the marriage. 

Child Custody & Support 

Texas divorce courts are required to make decisions that prioritize the best interest of children. Regarding child custody, joint managing conservatorship is commonly awarded, as it’s the more ideal outcome where both parents share the rights and duties of raising their children. However, one parent may still be designated as the primary custodial parent, with whom the child will primarily reside. 

Child support in Texas is calculated based on guidelines that consider the non-custodial parent's income and the number of children requiring support. Child support typically ends when the youngest child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever comes later. If your child has a disability, it might continue for longer. 

As your divorce lawyer, Lisa will prioritize the best interests of your children and work to develop a custody and visitation plan that fosters a nurturing and stable environment. She'll also fight to ensure that child support calculations are accurate and fair, adhering to Texas guidelines to secure the financial well-being of your family unit. 

Spousal Maintenance 

In Texas, spousal maintenance (also known as alimony or spousal support) may be awarded to a financially dependent spouse based on several factors, including each spouse's earning capacity and any fault in the breakdown of the marriage. 

Texas law limits how long payments can last based on the length of the marriage. Here are the maximum durations: 

  • Five years if the marriage lasted 10-20 years, or less than 10 years with eligibility due to family violence. 

  • Seven years if the marriage lasted 20-30 years. 

  • Ten years if the marriage lasted over 30 years. 

Judges may order maintenance for a shorter time than the maximum allowed.

They're actually required to limit maintenance to the shortest period needed for the dependent spouse to become minimally self-supporting (earning enough to cover basic needs). However, there's an exception when a "compelling" obstacle prevents self-support, such as a physical or mental disability or duties as the custodian of a young child from the marriage. 

Whether you are seeking spousal support or contesting an unfair demand, Lisa will be by your side advocating for your best interests.  

An Overview of the Process: What to Expect

The Texas divorce process typically begins with filing an "Original Petition for Divorce" with the appropriate district court. This document initiates the legal procedure and outlines the grounds for the divorce, whether no-fault or fault-based. 

Following the filing, the petitioner must serve the other spouse, known as the respondent, with divorce papers. In most cases, this service is handled by a sheriff, a constable, or a private process server. 

Once the respondent is served, they have a specific time frame to file an answer with the court, typically within 20 days plus the following Monday. This response allows the respondent to address any claims made in the petition and to assert their own requests.  

After both parties have submitted the necessary documents, there may be a series of temporary order hearings to address immediate concerns such as temporary custody, support, and living arrangements. These temporary orders set the stage for how certain issues will be handled until the final divorce decree is issued.  

From this point, both parties will engage in the discovery process—exchanging information and documentation pertinent to the divorce, which can affect property division, custody arrangements, and support obligations. 

Mediation is often the next step, serving as an opportunity for both parties to negotiate and reach amicable agreements outside of the courtroom, with the guidance of a neutral third-party mediator. If a settlement is successfully reached through mediation, a final hearing will be scheduled where the agreed terms are presented to the judge for approval.  

Should mediation fail, the case proceeds to trial where a judge will decide on unresolved issues. It’s essential to approach each phase of the process with thorough preparation and, if necessary, the support of a skilled attorney to advocate for a fair outcome. 

Lastly, Texas mandates a 60-day waiting period from the date the divorce petition is filed before the divorce can be finalized. This period allows time for reflection and negotiation. Consulting with an experienced Texas divorce lawyer like Lisa M. Potter can help clients understand these nuances and ensure their rights are protected throughout the process. 

Understanding Post-Divorce Modifications

Life circumstances can change, which is why it's legally possible to amend any existing divorce agreements. Whether you need to adjust child custody arrangements, child support payments, or spousal support orders, The Okoh-Brown Law Group, PLLC can assist you in collecting essential evidence and petitioning the court for necessary changes. 

Lisa is committed to providing ongoing legal support for her family law clients and can help you make sure any post-divorce modifications reflect your current situation and continue to meet your needs. 

Enlist Aggressive Representation for Your Divorce

Lisa M. Potter enlists a zealous approach to her divorce cases that is rooted in genuine care for her clients. Her tenacity and commitment to your best interests are unmatched. Whether you're dealing with a contentious property division, a heated custody battle, or fighting for fair spousal support, Lisa's aggressive representation style will ensure that your voice is heard and your rights are protected.  

Her firm also offers flexible payment plans to make quality legal services accessible to everyone. If you are considering divorce or have already begun the process, contact The Okoh-Brown Law Group today to schedule a consultation. Let Lisa help you move forward with confidence and peace of mind. 

Divorce Attorney Serving Clients Across Texas

Don't navigate your divorce with inadequate representation—enlist the help of an experienced and compassionate lawyer who will fight for your rights and guide you through this challenging process. Contact The Okoh-Brown Law Group today to schedule a consultation with Lisa M. Potter and take the first step towards a brighter future.

While Lisa M. Potter is based in Houston, she serves clients throughout the state of Texas, including Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, El Paso, and more.