Family Law Attorneys Serving Clients in Kountze, Hardin County and Neighboring Areas
The Butler Law Firm is your source for help with virtually any family law matter in Kountze, Hardin County and surrounding areas. Our family law attorneys are here for you if you are going through a divorce, seeking or opposing a modification to court orders post-divorce, need help with an adoption, a suit affecting the parent-child relationship, or another pressing family law issue. Learn more below about some of the main areas of our family law practice, and call our office at 409-246-3600 to visit with us about your particular needs or concerns.
Texas Divorce Cases
A divorce in Texas can be based on “fault” such as cruelty, adultery, conviction of a felony, abandonment, confinement in a mental hospital, or if the spouses have lived apart without cohabitation for at least three years. The court can also grant a “no-fault” divorce if the marriage has become insupportable due to marital discord or personality conflicts.
Even in a no-fault divorce, the divorce can be contested or uncontested. A contested divorce simply means that the parties are not in complete agreement on how to handle issues such as child custody, child support, alimony or the division of marital property. A contested divorce is not uncommon. The Kountze divorce lawyers at The Butler Law Firm can represent you in a contested or uncontested Texas divorce. We can guide and support you through the process of ironing out disagreements and reaching a settlement on critical marital issues. When the spouses can’t agree, we can be your advocate in court and argue for a judicial resolution that protects your rights and meets your needs. Count on The Butler Law Firm for advice and representation regarding all contested matters in your Hardin County divorce, including:
Conservatorship – This aspect of child custody determines whether one or both parents will have access to the child’s doctors and medical records, teachers and education records, and information from the other parent. Texas courts can impose a sole conservatorship or a joint managing conservatorship. Although courts start with a presumption in favor of a joint managing conservatorship (shared custody), judges can grant sole conservatorship in the face of domestic violence, neglect, drugs or alcohol abuse, criminal activity, an absent parent, or extreme, unmanageable conflict between the parents.
Possession and access – Texas law outlines a standard possession order that presumes physical custody of the children will be shared by the parents. However, either the court or the parents by agreement can deviate from the standard order and visitation schedule. A parent may be a possessory conservator with access and visitation or a managing conservator with the right to determine the child’s residence.
Child support – Child support in Texas is decided according to a statutory formula that awards a percentage of the net resources of the noncustodial parent, depending on the number of children to be supported. Whether you are the parent who will be paying or receiving support, we can help ensure that net resources are calculated appropriately for a fair amount of support under the law. We also represent parents seeking or opposing a deviation from the formula amount based on the children’s best interests.
Spousal maintenance – If one of the spouses in the divorce will require some time to acquire education or job skills in order to become self-sufficient, the court might order the other spouse to pay maintenance – also known as alimony or spousal support – during that period. Spousal maintenance can be awarded for as long as five, seven or ten years, depending on the length of the marriage, although judges are expected to order the least amount of maintenance necessary. Several criteria go into the determination of whether spousal maintenance is appropriate, and an additional set of factors are considered when deciding the size and duration of the award. If you and your spouse disagree over maintenance, we’ll represent your interests in court as the prospective payor or recipient of spousal support.
Division of property – Income that is earned by either party and property acquired during the marriage are community property that belong equally to both spouses. However, the court is authorized to split up the property unevenly when to do so would be “just and right.” We can help you work out a property settlement agreement that meets your needs or litigate your case in court if you or your spouse are arguing for an uneven division based on fault, earning capacity or other factors.
Post-Divorce Modification of Court Orders
Decisions in a divorce regarding custody and support are court orders, and they can only be changed by going to court. Even if you and your former spouse agree on a modification, you must still get court approval first. If only one ex-spouse wants to modify a court order and the move is contested by the other party, the judge will hold a hearing to decide whether a modification is appropriate.
The Butler Law Firm can represent you in negotiations with your former spouse or litigation in court regarding modification of child custody, child support or spousal maintenance. Child support orders can be modified if changed circumstances make the current award unfair or unworkable, but only if the change is in the best interests of the child. We’ll prepare and present a compelling case for the court regarding any post-divorce modification.
Suits Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR)
When parents had a child together but weren’t married, they will nevertheless want to get court orders established regarding possession, access, conservatorship and child support. The procedure to get a custody order in this circumstance is called a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR), governed by the laws found in Title 5 of the Texas Family Code. Non-parents (such as grandparents) can also be parties to a SAPCR lawsuit if they had actual care, control and possession of the children for at least six months. If you are a parent or other interested party in a Texas child custody proceeding in Hardin County, our Kountze family law attorneys can represent your interests in a SAPCR proceeding.
Growing your family through adoption is richly rewarding to the parents and the children, and you are also doing a wonderful service for a child in need. The adoption process, however, can be difficult to navigate. Mistakes can be costly and ultimately render the adoption unsuccessful, despite putting months of hard work and emotions into the process. Our Texas family lawyers can guide you through every step of adoption through DFPS, an adoption agency or a private (independent) adoption. We can also counsel you on the benefits of stepparent adoption or alternatives such as SAPCR. These cases can involve the termination of parental rights and should be undertaken with the help of skilled and knowledgeable Texas family law attorneys.
Get Help Now From Your Kountze Family Law Attorneys
If you would like to discuss divorce or other family law matters in Hardin County or surrounding areas, including Tyler and Jefferson counties, call The Butler Law Firm in Kountze at 409-246-3600. We are local family lawyers dedicated to serving the legal needs of families in southeast Texas.