If you are divorcing for the first time in Texas, you may be concerned about things you have heard. There are myths about divorce that our attorneys at Springer & Lyle want to clarify.
Common Myths About Divorce
Children can choose which parent they want to live with. In Texas, a child under the age of 18 cannot choose which parent to live with. Upon a request by either or both parents, a judge will talk privately with a child aged 12 or over and listen to their preference. The judge may or may not grant a request depending upon all the facts of the case. Ultimately the court makes its decision based on what it deems is in the best interest of the child.
All property in one person’s name is that person’s separate property. This is not true. Texas is a community property state, which means that all assets accumulated by the couple during the course of their marriage are owned 50-50 by them both. This includes retirement plans that are often provided by employers and owned only in the name of the employee spouse.
Property that is separate is property includes:
- Property that was owned by one party at the time of the marriage and never comingled.
- An inheritance left to one party.
- A personal injury award to one party.
- Property the couple agrees is separate property.
One party must be at fault in order to get a divorce. Most divorces in Texas are no-fault, meaning that at least one of the spouses has decided they no longer want to be married. There are also fault grounds such as adultery, cruelty, imprisonment for a felony, and abandonment.
The party alleging fault bears the burden of proving the other party was at fault. If the burden is met, the court may punish the person at fault by awarding the other party more than half of the community property. This dispels the myth that community property is always, under all circumstances, split 50-50.
If one parent does not pay child support, the other parent can deny visitation. This is not true. Child support and visitation are two separate issues. The parent who denies visitation, believing it is legal, is in contempt of court and the parent who was denied can ask the court for a contempt order.
If the divorce is contested, the court can deny a divorce. In Texas, if one person wants a divorce, the judge will grant it and has no authority to deny it.
Attorney Daniel Abasolo at Springer & Lyle can help you answer questions regarding divorce. He can help you make decisions that are best for your family. Contact us at 940.387.0404 to schedule your divorce consultation with Mr. Abasolo.