Family Law Experience
Occasionally, family matters and relationship issues, including divorce, marital agreements, alimony, adoption, asset division, child custody, support, and visitation, require legal guidance. With heightened emotions and the psychological toll involved, having professional support and experienced representation is crucial.
Attorney M. Avery Austin III is committed to offering reliable advocacy in family law-related matters. As a knowledgeable Texas family law attorney, Austin is available to discuss your situation and help you explore your legal options. Whether you are considering making changes to your family structure or need help resolving relationship issues, Austin can offer the detailed counsel and direction you need to make important decisions.
Pre & Postnuptial Agreements
A marital agreement is a contract that defines how a couple’s assets will be divided in the event of a divorce, legal separation, or the death of a spouse. Marital agreements help couples define expectations, prepare for life’s uncertainties, pursue financial security, and protect their assets and children.
A marital agreement entered into by engaged couples before the marriage is known as a prenuptial agreement. Conversely, a marital agreement entered into by the married spouses is referred to as a postnuptial agreement.
Marital agreements ensure that both parties are able to set parameters regarding assets division in the event of a divorce or legal separation. Both couples entering into a marriage or those who are already married can benefit from establishing a marital agreement.
Divorce in Texas
In Texas, couples can file for divorce on either a no-fault or fault basis. Filing for a no-fault divorce requires that you and your partner must have lived “separate and apart” — continuously, without cohabitation — for at least one year. Conversely, you can file for a fault divorce if your partner commits adultery, a felony, or is guilty of marital misconduct.
Divorce in Texas generally falls into two categories — uncontested or contested.
In an uncontested divorce, spouses mutually agree on the essential terms of the divorce. A separation agreement must also be established to outline key terms of the divorce settlement, including asset division, spousal support, child support, and child custody. All agreed-upon terms will be filed with the Texas court for official approval.
In a contested divorce, both spouses are unable to agree on one or more key items in the divorce settlement. Court intervention may be required to settle divorce issues. During the hearing, the judge will issue the divorce order. An experienced attorney can help present your case and improve your chances of a favorable arrangement.
In both cases, mediation can help bring both parties closer to resolution. Here are some simple tips to prepare for divorce mediation.
Spousal support is a regular payment from the higher-earning spouse to the lower-earning spouse for a period during or after the divorce. In Texas, the divorcing spouses may agree on the duration and amount of spousal support payments and include it in their separation agreement. If they are unable to agree, the court may award spousal support depending on the economic circumstances and the needs of either spouse.
Children and Divorce
In a divorce, child custody and support are essential issues that need to be addressed. The court will award custody while prioritizing the child’s best interests and welfare.
In determining custody, the following factors are often considered:
The reasonable preference of the child
The child’s needs
The age, physical health, and mental condition of the child
The age, physical health, emotional and mental condition of each parent
The existing relationships between the child and the parents, siblings, peers, and extended family members
The role of each parent in the upbringing and care of the child
The ability of each parent to actively support the child’s contact and relationship with the other parent
The willingness of each parent to maintain a close and ongoing relationship with the child
The ability of each parent to cooperate and resolve disputes regarding matters affecting the child
Any history of family abuse, child abuse, neglect, abandonment, sexual abuse, or domestic violence
Other factors as considered necessary by the court
The following factors may be considered to determine a fair amount in child support payments:
- The earning capacity or income of each parent
- The custodial arrangement between the parents
- The number of children the parents have together
- The existence of minor children outside of the relationship either parent is responsible for financially
- Other expenses related to taking care of the child
Child Support Guidelines in Texas
Choose a Knowledgeable Attorney
Resolving family legal issues usually involves a lot of complicated procedures. Consulting with a knowledgeable family law attorney is important to receive proper guidance and to ensure that your family issues are resolved properly.
M. Avery Austin III is highly experienced and knowledgeable in family legal matters, including marital agreements, divorce, spousal support, child support, custody, and parenting time. As your attorney, Austin will work meticulously with all parties involved to resolve all family issues and relationship differences as quickly and peacefully as possible.
Whether you’re looking to create a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, file for divorce, or establish an alimony arrangement, Austin can offer you the experienced guidance you need to make informed decisions. Even if you need to establish a parenting plan, including child custody, support, or a visitation schedule, he will help craft a solution that works best for you and your family. Austin will fight to protect your rights and your family’s best interests.