Questions for Divorcing Parents
In our last blog post, we asked whether or not childless couples face easier divorces. While the absence of children in a marriage doesn't always make the divorce process more efficient, children necessitate a child custody, child support, and (sometimes) spousal support payments. These issues can be very complicated. Here are three of the most important questions that couples with children can ask during a divorce:
- How much will I pay/receive for child support? Every state uses a different formula to calculate child support payments. In Texas, the noncustodial parent is obligated to provide financial support until the child is 18 years old. The support payment will be calculated from the net income of the non-custodial parent. A family with one child will receive 20% of the net income; two children will receive 25% of the income; three children will receive 30% of the net income; four-child families are entitled to 35% of the net income, etc. A family with six children will receive no less than 40% of the noncustodial parent's net income.
- Will I receive spousal support or maintenance?Spousal support refers to a temporary agreement, whereas spousal maintenance refers a long-term agreement that will continue after the couple finalizes their divorce. In order to receive maintenance, you and your spouse must have been married for at least ten years. Additionally, you must be able to demonstrate a lack of employment opportunities and financial hardship. Spousal maintenance unusually lasts for three years, if you qualify. In order to receive spousal support, you must demonstrate financial need. Spousal support is also need-based and can be used to pay for utilities, insurance, housing, and transportation.
- How can I obtain full custody of my children? In Texas, "full custody" is not a legitimate legal term. You can receive primary conservatorship, though. This means that you decide where the child will live and have the primary right to spend time with the child. You must be able to demonstrate that you are the child's primary parental figure in order to gain primary conservatorship. In many cases, primary conservatorship is granted when the other spouse is unable to care for the child. For example, you might receive primary conservatorship if your spouse has a history of drug or alcohol abuse.
Divorce questions in Austin? We can help!
If you're looking to file a divorce in Texas, you probably have a lot of questions about your unique circumstances. The Austin divorce lawyers at Menduni Martindill, PLLC can help you find the answers. When you work with our firm, you can have peace of mind that a compassionate lawyer will be on your side, ready to fight for your rights and the future of your family in court. Contact us to learn more about your opportunities with Menduni Martindill.