During a divorce, difficult emotions combined with an unfamiliarity with the legal system can create unrealistic expectations about the divorce process in Texas.
However, managing your expectations can be crucial in navigating a divorce and reaching a satisfactory outcome. Below is information to help parties ground themselves during this complicated experience.
Spousal support expectations
People often assume they will receive spousal support after divorce. However, the truth is that Texas courts award this form of financial maintenance only in specific situations.
These situations include those where the recipient does not have the means to provide for his or her own reasonable needs and:
- Was the victim (or has a child victim) of recent family violence committed by the other party, or
- Has been married for at least 10 years and does not earn a sufficient income, or
- Does not have sufficient income due to incapacitating mental or physical conditions, or
- Cannot work due to caring for a child with significant care and supervision needs.
Outside of these scenarios, and barring any pre- or post-marital agreement, orders for spousal support may not be realistic.
Child custody and support expectations
Shared custody is generally in the best interests of a child, as it allows a child to spend time with both parents. Unless custody or visitation endangers a child or threatens his or her well-being, parents should expect to share custody.
In terms of child support, parents can refer to Texas state guidelines regarding support calculations. The calculations factor in a person’s income, expenditures and the number of children requiring support.
If you expect a dramatic courtroom trial to resolve your divorce-related issues, chances are you are in for a surprise. Most people reach agreements outside of court through mediation or collaboration.
If you expect to square off against each other in court, the fact that this does not have to happen could help you approach the process more cooperatively and amicably.
Of course, every divorce is different, and numerous factors influence what will happen in a specific divorce. As such, it is crucial that you take these as general guidelines. For detailed guidance on what to expect during your divorce, you can talk to your attorney.