There is no doubt that divorce is stressful. However, much of the stress is the result of misunderstandings about how divorce works. Here are some of the most persistent myths about Texas divorce and the realities behind them:
1. Divorce Is Always A Battle
Divorce is not one-size-fits-all. If the spouses cannot reach agreements, a battle may be necessary, but it is certainly not a requirement. There are many options to help spouses reach an amicable resolution without the need for a stressful, drawn-out legal battle, including mediation and collaborative law.
2. Somebody Has To Be At Fault
Under Texas law, there are seven grounds for divorce. One of those is insupportability, which means “discord or conflict of personalities.” It is a no-fault ground, and it is the most commonly selected ground for divorce.
3. The Mother Always Gets Custody Of The Child
Texas law favors neither the mother nor the father in child custody matters. Courts are directed to do what is in the best interest of the child. Except when there are extenuating circumstances, this typically means creating child custody arrangements that allow the child to continue his or her relationship with both parents.
4. Property Is Divided 50-50
Texas is a community property state. All property acquired by both spouses, with few exceptions, is considered community property and subject to division. The law requires that it be divided in a manner that is “just and right,” but not necessarily equal. Factors that can shift the balance include child custody arrangements, income and more.
5. Calculating Child Support Is Simple
No part of divorce is truly simple. While there are guidelines that dictate how child support payments are to be calculated, care must be taken to ensure that no income is overlooked. Furthermore, there are situations that call for a deviation from guidelines.
6. Alimony Is Always An Issue
Spousal maintenance, more commonly known as alimony, is not guaranteed. In fact, Texas law states that divorce cases begin with a presumption against an order for spousal maintenance. The spouse seeking alimony must overcome the presumption by demonstrating factors that would make alimony payments necessary.
7. Divorce Agreements Are Set In Stone
While care should be taken to obtain an outcome that makes sense for the foreseeable future, child custody, child support and spousal maintenance can be changed in the future if either spouse encounters a substantial change in circumstances.
Get The Facts From An Experienced Divorce Lawyer
At Heinrich Christian, PLLC, we take pride in making certain everyone we represent understands how Texas divorce really works.