In Texas, there are 2 ways to set the terms of your divorce—you can enter into a marital settlement agreement with your spouse or you can go to court and let a judge decide the terms. You can save time and money by going with a marital settlement agreement. A divorce lawyer in Granbury, TX, can draft your marital settlement agreement so the terms are clear, and the agreement anticipates situations that might arise after the divorce is final.
Working out a marital settlement agreement with your spouse is better than a contentious legal battle.
- Risks of an adversarial divorce: You're more likely to reach an amicable agreement if you and your spouse work together. You may have to compromise to come to an agreement, but you'll have more of a say in the outcome.
- Length of the divorce: If you and your spouse can agree on the terms of a marital settlement agreement, you can shorten the amount of time necessary to bring your divorce to a conclusion.
- Cost of a divorce: A contentious divorce can be expensive. The longer your attorney has to spend on the case, the more attorney fees you'll have. As the divorce process continues, you'll incur other fees, such as court costs and the fees of expert witnesses.
- A less stressful divorce: Divorces are stressful. If you and your spouse can agree on the terms of a marital settlement agreement, you can avoid the anxiety and hard feelings that can result from a contested divorce.
- Clarity of divorce terms: Your marital settlement agreement can spell out the terms in detail and with clarity. The agreement can focus on issues where a conflict may occur, such as how you'll handle exchanging custody of the children. The goal is to avoid future legal clashes after the divorce is final.
Your children will benefit if you and your spouse can agree on parenting terms in a marital settlement agreement. A drawn-out divorce process will increase tension between you and your spouse, and this could be detrimental to your children.
You must prove that you have need for spousal support, commonly known as alimony. If you choose to go to court, a judge will decide if you need alimony, how much you need, and how long the support should last. Let your attorney negotiate with your spouse's attorney to reach an agreement that works for both parties. You may lower your support demands for a better property division.
Child support in Texas is based on a formula, which takes into account the income of each parent and the number of children of the marriage. Your attorney can investigate to make sure your spouse is reporting all of his or her income.
In Texas, property acquired during the marriage is community property and will be divided equitably, which isn't necessarily equal. Property you own before the marriage or property you inherit or receive as a gift is your separate property and not subject to division in the divorce. Your marital settlement agreement will specify how marital property is to be divided. You and your spouse can decide if one of you is to get the family home or if the home will be sold. The agreement will specify how to split retirement accounts and pensions. Your attorney can negotiate the details, including tax issues.
If you're contemplating a divorce, contact a family law attorney at GIG Law at (817) 578-8700.