Whether you want to initiate a divorce action or you need to respond in a timely fashion to a divorce petition that's already been filed, we are here to help you. We will file the necessary legal actions to protect you which may involve a number of complex issues, including property division and parenting issues.
Texas is a community property state. As such, your divorce may involve complex propety issues, such as dividing retirement benefits or business interests (and related tax issues), or you may have inherited money during your marriage that has become co-mingled with community funds in a joint bank account shared with your spouse. These and other property issues may require expert legal assistance in order for you to get the best possible results in a 'just and right division' by the court, or by agreement with your spouse. We have the knowledge and experience to negotiate these complex legal issues on your behalf.
Common Law or Informal Marriage?
Common law, or "informal marriage" is recognized in Texas, if the following elements of the statute are met, and the parties have not obtained a marriage license or participated in a marriage ceremony:
The parties have held themselves out to others in Texas as spouses;
The parties have lived togethr in Texas; AND
There parties have agreed to be married.
If all three of the above elements are proven by either party to have occurred simultaneously, then a marriage exists. If that marriage relationship ends, then the marriage must be dissolved by a legal divorce. The challenge that many people encounter in these cases is that the marriage is either denied by the opposing party, or the date of the marriage may be disputed, especially if the parties were "formally" married later. These factors will necessarily impact a potential property division upon divorce, including but not limited to retirement benefits and tax liabilities. Let us explain your legal situation based on your unique facts.
On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges ruling that same-sex marriage is legal in all states. While marriage equality means that all married couples shall be treated equally, significant questions still exist for same-sex couples who seek a divorce. Foremost among these is the date on which community property began to accrue, for purposes of later division. Issues may arise regarding the inception of marriage date - whether it is a common-law marriage, formal marriage, confidential marriage, or a declaration of marriage. We can discuss these important legal concepts with you and how they may significantly impact your divorce.
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