Common Family Law Questions You Were Afraid to Ask

When it comes to family law questions, you may have so many that you don’t even know where to begin. Whether you’re about to get married, considering divorce, or need help navigating conservatorship issues or support payments, finding the right attorney to advocate for you is a major decision. Before you begin your search, it’s a good idea to know some basic facts about family law in Texas. Many common family law questions have simple, straightforward answers. The following are a few examples of common questions:

 

  • What’s the difference between a prenuptial agreement and a postnuptial agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is signed before the wedding and can include provisions for support and division of property in the event of divorce. A postnuptial agreement is drawn and signed after the wedding. Both of these agreements can also address who is responsible for debt and establish limits on how money can be spent in the marriage. Neither type of agreement can include excusing either spouse from paying child support.

  • How much does it cost to hire a lawyer?

This is one of the more common family law questions. Lawyers’ fees and retainers can vary greatly. Any lawyer you speak to should be up front about costs. A collaborative law divorce can save money and time versus litigation, but the former should only be attempted if the parties can be civil and cooperative.

  • How long does a divorce take?

A divorce cannot be finalized for 60 days after the first papers are filed, though it may take longer depending on the particulars of the case.

  • What is a TRO and why would I need one?

A TRO is a temporary restraining order. It may require that spouses stay away from the family home, children, the other spouse, a place of work, joint bank accounts, and more. The TRO protects all parties from accusations of wrongdoing during the divorce process. Not all cases necessitate TROs.

  • My ex hasn’t paid child support. Can I withhold visitation?

This is another common family law question. Texas law is based on the idea that both parents should be active in a child’s life whenever possible. This concept, like many Texas family law principles, is considered to be in the best interest of the child. Even if your former spouse is behind on support payments, he or she cannot legally be denied visitation.

  • I lost my job and can’t make support payments. What do I do?

Support payments can be revisited and modified if circumstances change. Your lawyer can best advise you on how to proceed in your specific situation.

  • Is a prenuptial agreement always binding?

There are some circumstances that can negate a prenuptial agreement. An oral agreement versus a written one might not hold up in court. Also, both parties must fully and honestly disclose all assets, debts, and other pertinent facts. Doing otherwise can cause the courts to throw the agreement out.

  • How can I protect my children and myself from an abusive spouse?

A temporary restraining order (see above) or a protective order can help. Family law questions surrounding domestic violence can be difficult and painful to ask, but the answers can ultimately give you peace of mind.

  • Is it true that courts favor the mother in most custody cases?

Texas law requires that both parents be evaluated for conservatorship without regard to gender. Courts tend to favor joint conservatorship when possible.

  • How do I know I’ve hired the right attorney?

 

When you meet with the attorney, have a list of family law questions handy. If the attorney answers your questions completely and in a way that you can understand, that’s a good start. The lawyer you choose to represent you should help you feel comfortable, heard, and respected. He or she should have experience in cases like yours and be forthcoming about time frames, fees, and what the process will entail.

Contact Espronceda Law to speak with an experienced attorney about your family law questions.

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