Family Law

Family Law

Life sometimes throws unexpected curve balls and you need to be prepared. When you are facing divorce proceedings, you need an attorney who will be by your side and help you through this challenging process. At The Law Offices and Mediation Center of Susan M. Edmonson, we are committed to treating every family law matter with the highest level of compassion and caring.

Texas Divorce Law

When a couple files for divorce, there are numerous issues to be addressed. Property division can be complicated if the couple has a high combined net worth. Additional issues can arise if property was purchased during the marriage since Texas is a community property state. We can help protect your rights during the divorce process; we understand that division of property, allocation of debt, and other matters must be dealt with fairly. Another large part of a divorce settlement is the custody, support, and visitation for the minor children of the marriage.

Custody and Child Support

In Texas, custody is referred to as conservatorship. Parents may fight for sole conservatorship or joint conservatorship. Unless there are specific reasons not to do so, the courts will nearly always opt for joint conservatorship. Unless one parent has a history of domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse, or has been absent for extended periods of time, joint conservatorship is preferable as it is considered to be in the best interest of the child. This form of custody means parents jointly decide on issues like education, medical care, and religious upbringing. Physical custody is nearly always awarded to one parent, based on what is best for the child.

Child support is typically paid by the parent who does not have physical custody of the child or children of the marriage. There are very specific guidelines laid down by the court based on the net income of each parent. In general, parents who are earning less than $7,500 per month are expected to contribute a minimum of 20 percent of their net income as child support and to provide health insurance for the children. These payments typically continue until the child reaches age 18. The guidelines are adhered to unless the court has a valid reason for not following the standard guidelines.

Modification and Enforcement

Child support orders may only be modified if there is a significant change in circumstances such as a change in a child’s medical insurance, a 20 percent or more increase in a parent’s income, or other extenuating circumstances. If you believe there is a valid reason to change an existing support order, custody ruling, or visitation schedule, contact us and we will help you decide the best way to proceed.

When your former spouse is not paying court-ordered support payments or is not allowing you regular visitations with your child, you may need to file a contempt or enforcement action. We will be happy to review your existing agreement and help you file the proper documents to enforce these orders.

Adoption

Adoption by step-parents or a private adoption is exciting. You should work with an attorney who can help you to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible. We can help you through the adoption process in Galveston, Harris, Chambers, and Brazoria Counties.

Name Changes

There may be legal reasons to change either your name or that of your child. This process requires filing specific documents with the courts and attending a hearing. We will be happy to help you through this process and ensure the right documents are prepared and filed.

The Law Offices and Mediation Center of Susan M. Edmonson has offices located in Galveston and Seabrook, Texas. Contact us for all of your family legal matters and let us help you get prepared for the future.