The Criteria for Evaluating a Petition for Spousal Support

The Factors for GrantingAlimony in a Texas DivorceThe past 50 years have seen a significant reduction in the number, amount, and duration of alimony awards in Texas and nationwide. The dramatic increase in two-income households has seen spousal support drop from being awarded in about 25% of cases to only 10%. In addition, there’s been a rise in temporary and so-called “rehabilitative” alimony awards, where recipients receive compensation for a limited period of time to allow them to become self-sufficient.

Nonetheless, Texas still allows a judge to award spousal maintenance on a discretionary basis, taking into account a wide range of factors, including the following:

  • the financial resources of the spouse seeking maintenance, including the community and separate property and liabilities apportioned to that spouse in the divorce proceeding, and that spouse’s ability to meet his or her needs independently
  • the ability of the spouse from whom alimony is requested to meet his or her own personal needs
  • the education and job skills of each spouse
  • the length of time the parties have been married—the longer the duration, the greater the likelihood of alimony
  • the age, employment history, earning ability, and health of the spouse seeking support
  • the dissipation of any marital assets
  • the contribution by one spouse to the education or earning capacity of the other
  • any pre-marital property
  • the contribution of a spouse as homemaker
  • any proven marital misconduct of the spouse seeking support
  • the efforts of the spouse seeking maintenance to pursue available employment counseling as set forth in Chapter 304 of the Texas Labor Code

Contact the Law Office of Mark B. Jones

To arrange a private consultation with an experienced Texas family law and divorce attorney, call us at 979-849-8076 or contact us online. Our offices are conveniently located just two blocks from the courthouse in Angleton. We will meet with you evenings or weekends, if necessary. Credit cards are welcome, and payment plans can be arranged.

When You Can File for Divorce in Texas

The Legal Grounds for Divorce in TexasIn Texas, in order to file for and obtain a divorce, you must state the grounds upon which you seek to terminate your marriage. There are seven different reasons you can give the court, six of which involve an allocation of fault on the part of one spouse.

No-Fault Divorce in Texas

Though there have been efforts to repeal the Texas no-fault divorce law in the last couple years, it’s still on the books. If you want to seek a no-fault divorce, the grounds typically stated are that the marriage is “insupportable,” which means there is conflict or discord between you and your spouse and no “reasonable expectation of reconciliation.”

At-Fault Divorce in Texas

Assessing fault in a Texas divorce proceeding can be advantageous with respect to custody, visitation, support, or property determinations. The grounds for at-fault divorce in Texas are the following:

  • Living apart—This ground is available if you have not lived with your spouse for at least three years
  • Confinement in a mental institution—You can seek to terminate your marriage if your spouse has been or will be confined in a state or private mental hospital for at least three years. You also must show that the mental condition is such your spouse is unlikely to recover, or if there is a recovery, that a relapse is probable.
  • Cruelty—You can file for divorce if your spouse has subjected you to treatment that makes it impossible for you to live together.
  • Abandonment—If your spouse has left the marital home and been gone for at least one year, that is sufficient grounds for divorce.
  • Conviction of a felony—You must bring evidence to the court that your spouse has been convicted in a court of law.
  • Adultery—You must provide proof of adultery to the court. You cannot obtain a divorce merely on the assertion of infidelity.

Contact the Law Office of Mark B. Jones

To arrange a private consultation with an experienced Texas family law and divorce attorney, call us at 979-849-8076 or contact us online. Our offices are conveniently located just two blocks from the courthouse in Angleton. We will meet with you evenings or weekends, if necessary. Credit cards are welcome and payment plans can be arranged.

Can a Custodial Parent Move Out of Texas? If So, What Must You Do?

Parental Relocation in a Texas DivorceIn the 21st century, with the extensive mobility of the workforce, it’s not uncommon for a custodial parent to be offered a job in another state. There may be other reasons for such a move—to be closer to family, get remarried, or go to school, for example. Moving away from the non-custodial parent, though, can have a significant impact on minor children, not to mention the parent. Can a custodial parent relocate from Texas to another state? If so, what must that parent do to obtain approval of the court?

As a general rule, an initial custody order in Texas prohibits relocation by the primary parent outside of a specified area, typically the county of residence and any contiguous counties. That’s not to say a custodial parent may never move out of that area, but it does require a court order to make that kind of relocation.

Furthermore, just because your divorce decree doesn’t address the issue of relocation, that doesn’t mean you are free to move away at will and go wherever you choose. If you intend to move with a child, you must notify the other parent. The other parent can agree but also may file a motion with the court seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent the move.

If the non-custodial spouse files such a motion, the court must have a relocation hearing. At that proceeding, you must provide the court with compelling reasons for the intended move. The court will look at those reasons but will give priority to the best interests of the children. If the move will be in their best interests, the court will likely grant the request but will require the parents to work out visitation that is in the best interests of the children.

Contact the Law Office of Mark B. Jones

To arrange a private consultation with an experienced Texas family law and divorce attorney, call us at 979-849-8076 or contact us online. Our offices are conveniently located just two blocks from the courthouse in Angleton. We will meet with you evenings or weekends, if necessary. Credit cards are welcome and payment plans can be arranged.

Angleton, Texas, Child Custody Lawyer

Almost Two Decades of Family Law Legal Services on the Texas Gulf Coast

The process of determining and pursuing your child custody goals is highly personal. It’s important, then to ask: Will your attorney understand the full importance of your wish to be involved in the life of your child? Will your lawyer understand and respect your desire to shield your child as much as possible from the marital discord that can occur during a divorce and/or during a child custody dispute? And will your attorney have the skills to help you and your spouse or other individual minimize or even eliminate conflict and to guide your entire family to a mutually beneficial solution?

Attorney Mark B. Jones and the staff of The Law Office of Mark B. Jones have decades of experience providing child custody and divorce law legal services to residents of Texas’ Gulf Coast. We know that it is important both to achieve your child custody goals and to do so in a process that both you and your family can live with.

To aid in the pursuit of these goals, attorney Jones has become a certified family law mediator. In addition, he has 18 years of courtroom litigation experience. The result? Countless clients who have achieved their child custody, child support and other divorce-related legal goals. As one client recently wrote, “I have now used and his staff for two separate family matters and couldn’t have been more pleased. Not only is his staff friendly…but the no nonsense of this team is phenomenal. In both cases I feel their assistance got me what I paid for and nothing less.”

If you face a pending child custody legal challenge, depend on the services of The Law Office of Mark B. Jones. Contact us by calling 979-849-8076.

Angleton, Texas, Divorce Attorney

18 Years of Family Law Legal Services on the Texas Gulf Coast

For most individuals facing divorce, it’s important to work with an attorney who combines compassionate understanding with legal effectiveness, efficiency and experience.

For almost two decades, attorney Mark B. Jones of The Law Office of Mark B. Jones has provided divorce law legal services aimed at providing peace of mind throughout the legal process. At the same time, attorney Jones brings the range of experience and breadth of legal options needed for a satisfactory outcome to your family law legal challenge.

We know that you’ll need a listening ear as we work together to handle what can sometimes be highly emotional issues during your divorce. While providing personalized and understanding assistance we can also guide you to and through the dispute resolution option that is right for you. For instance, attorney Jones:

  • Is an experienced trial attorney
  • Is a certified family law mediator
  • Has negotiated family law disagreements in hundreds of cases

With years of experience litigating family law cases in court and providing mediation services to resolve disputes, you can trust our firm to pursue your goals effectively whether you choose traditional litigation or an alternative form of dispute resolution.

Attorney Jones is BV rate by Martindale-Hubbell’s peer review rating system and handles all divorce law legal issues, including child support, child custody, property division, modifications and spousal support. To contact The Law Office of Mark B. Jones to schedule a confidential divorce law consultation, call 979-849-8076. We are located just two blocks south of the courthouse in Angleton.