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New Braunfels, Texas Divorce Lawyer

Experienced Divorce Attorney in Comal County and Guadalupe County

Most couples who have been married any length of time have acquired or accumulated property such as houses, cars, or retirement accounts, and they may have incurred debts such as vehicle loans, mortgage loans, and credit cards. According to the Texas Family Code, both community debt and property must be divided in a just and right manner. In some cases, the divorce itself may be a source of contention, especially if the petitioners allege adultery, cruelty, abandonment, or some other reasons why their marriage is ending.

The assertive team at The Bettersworth Law Firm is ready to aggressively stand up for your legal and financial rights, both in the courthouse and at the negotiating table. Our approach is to seize the initiative as early as possible, to keep our opponents on their heels. In fact, we are never satisfied with anything less than the best possible result under the circumstances. We are ready to help you address and resolve the issues that may arise during your case, including determining whether you may be eligible for spousal support/alimony, establishing child custody agreements, and putting appropriate child support orders in place.

Grounds for Divorce

Although the vast majority of Texas divorces are based on insupportability or irreconcilable differences, an evidence-based divorce is appropriate in many circumstances, whether or not it is uncontested. Many petitioners have legitimate personal or religious reasons for an at-fault divorce. Other people have legal reasons because, in Texas, fault in the breakup of the marriage is relevant for property division purposes. Some grounds for divorce include:

  • Cruelty: The emotional, physical, or verbal cruel treatment must be of such a nature that it "renders further living together insupportable."
  • Adultery: This term is not defined in the Family Code, but most courts limit it to sexual intercourse with a partner who is not the person's husband or wife.
  • Abandonment: The spouse must express an intent to abandon the relationship and remain away for at least a year.
  • Felony conviction: The person must spend at least a year in prison.
  • Separation: A judge can grant a divorce if the parties have lived apart "without cohabitation" for at least three years. There is some dispute as to whether or not the time period in which a couple is separated must be uninterrupted.
  • Mental disease: The person must be confined in a state or private hospital for at least three years and be unable to adjust to life on the outside.

The petitioner has the burden of proof to establish grounds for divorce by a preponderance of the evidence, which means "more likely than not." In a contested divorce, establishing fault-based grounds for divorce may be the first step taken when starting the process of dissolving a marriage. An experienced lawyer can provide guidance on the best approach to take in these situations.

Property Division

It is not at all unusual for courts to divide property unequally and consider it a "just and right" division. The judge must base the distribution on a number of different factors, including:

  • Relative age, education, and health of the spouses
  • Fault in the breakup of the marriage
  • Economic and non-economic contributions to the marriage
  • Custody of minor children
  • Length of the marriage
  • The separate property awarded to the spouse

Most judges also give a great deal of deference to agreements between the parties, including prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, as long as they are not manifestly unfair.

Child Custody

For couples who have children, the divorce process will involve a variety of decisions about how they will share custody and address ongoing child-related issues. Most of the time, parents will be awarded joint managing conservatorship of their children, giving them both the right to participate in decisions about how the children will be raised. A schedule for possession and access (visitation) will also be created, and each parent will usually be entitled to reasonable amounts of time with their children. In a contested divorce involving children, disputes related to child custody can sometimes be difficult to resolve, which is why it is crucial to have legal representation from an experienced attorney.

Contact Our Comal County Divorce Lawyer

A contested divorce nearly always involves complicated issues. At The Bettersworth Law Firm, we can provide effective representation during the divorce process, and we can also assist with modifications or enforcement of divorce orders. For a free consultation in this area, contact us at 830-606-0404. We represent individuals and families throughout South Central Texas.

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