FAMILY LAW

Helping You Through Your Family Law Matters

Seek the Experienced Family Law Team

Palestine lawyers Jim Parsons and Michael Davis have extensive experience in the field of family law, with a particular focus on divorce litigation, child custody, payment of support and protection of client’s interest in matters regarding property division.

Texas law allows for a no-fault divorce on grounds that the marriage has become "insupportable" because "discord or conflict has destroyed the marriage without any reasonable expectation of reconciliation." A divorce may also be granted on various fault-based grounds, such as cruelty, adultery or abandonment. 

Either party may file a petition for divorce in the county where one of the spouses resides. The petitioner must have been a resident of the county for at least 90 days and one of the spouses must have lived in Texas for at least six months prior to the filing.

Under most situations, a divorce in Texas will take at least 60 days from the date the petition is filed. However, the Texas Legislature recently amended this statutory waiting period by adding an exception in situations involving domestic violence and abuse. 

In addition, if there are significant issues to litigate, such as the property distribution, child custody, child support or spousal maintenance, the entire process could take significantly longer.

Property Distribution

In a divorce matter, the court will characterize property as separate or community property. Separate property is property owned by a spouse before marriage; acquired during the marriage by gift, devise or descent; or through a recovery for personal injuries suffered during a marriage (except for recovery of lost wages). 

The court cannot divest a spouse of separate property and will confirm separate property to the spouse who owns it. Community property consists of all other property, other than separate property, acquired during the marriage, and will be divided in a manner that the court deems “just and right,” in accordance with Texas law governing the division of property in a divorce, and considering the rights of the spouses and any children of the marriage. 

The proper characterization and valuation of the property is essential to obtaining a distribution which is truly fair to both spouses. A skilled and knowledgeable attorney can have a significant impact on your chances of obtaining a favorable property distribution.

Child Custody

Legal custody of the child—known as a managing conservatorship—refers to the rights and responsibility for the child’s upbringing, including the rights to make decisions about the child’s education, religious life and medical care. 

In most situations, one of the parents will be awarded the right to determine the primary residence of the child, and the other parent will be awarded scheduled visitation with the child. Depending upon the circumstances, the Court has the authority to implement a restricted visitation plan or, in special circumstances, to prevent one parent from having access to the child altogether.
Family law

Child Support and Spousal Maintenance

In most cases, the court will order the non-custodial parent to pay a monthly support amount to the parent with primary possession. The monthly amount is usually determined according to statutory guidelines considering the obligor’s income and the number of children, although the exact amount may differ depending on the circumstances. 

Maintenance, sometimes referred to in other jurisdictions as alimony or spousal support, may be awarded for a temporary period, up to three years, to give a non-working spouse time to become self-supporting.

In addition to divorce, attorney Jim Parsons helps clients with other family law issues, including adoptions and domestic violence restraining orders. 

Prior to being elected to the judgeship, Jim Parsons was a specialist in Family Law, as certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Mr. Parsons has also lectured to other lawyers in the Advanced Family Law Course sponsored by the State Bar of Texas. 

If you need assistance in connection with a divorce or other family law matter, contact lawyer Jim Parsons today for professional advice and representation.
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Law Offices Of Jim Parsons is a locally owned and operated law firm since 2007.
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