Divorce Components

The different components of a divorce are worth thinking about individually. Sometimes it is easier to break a big issue down to the individual components, because trying to handle it all at once is too much.

In everything that you face in life, proper evaluation is necessary so that you can prepare and react appropriately. Sometimes, it is easy to conclude that a certain thing is impossible to accomplish or conquer when you are just evaluating it from one aspect.

However, viewing it from different sides and studying each factor would make you realize that it’s not impossible to deal with it successfully. In fact, it is much easier to handle a gigantic thing when you deal with it one little piece of it at a time. This can also be your mindset towards divorce.

Now you are probably wondering what are the smaller factors that constitute this huge, intimidating thing called divorce. You might have heard about many different factors of divorce from your friends, but not all of those apply to you because each situation is different. There are a few of it that applies to almost all divorce cases though. Check out these relevant factors of divorce below.

1. Conservatorship

One of the major factors of divorce is conservatorship of the children. In a divorce, reaching an agreement about the visitation schedule that works for both sides is crucial. Along with that, the duties and rights of each parent also needs to be established properly before the final divorce decree rolls out.

Based on the Texas Family Code, both parents ought to maintain good relationships with the children, regardless of who is awarded the primary conservatorship.

Despite one being the ‘primary conservator’, both parents can be joint managing conservators – a set up where both share the rights and duties as parents despite not living under one roof.

Your rights to your child means that you are entitled to have access to information about their health, education, social activities and basically everything about their life.

Your duties of course include providing all the necessary support your children needs, not just the financial aspect of it. An exception to this equal distribution of rights and duties happens when domestic violence, sexual abuse, drug use and other extreme circumstance is present in the marriage.

When this is the case, it is likely that the spouse with the extreme behavior will lose his or her rights to the children while the other spouse will be the sole managing conservator. You can learn more about conservatorship in our article, What You Need To Know About Conservatorship in Texas .

2. Child Support

In line with conservatorship is another one of the factors of divorce: child support. Child support can also be a source of conflict and dispute in a divorce.

There are guidelines dealing with child support in the Texas Family Code. It includes a guide for the computation of child support. Basically, your child support obligation is computed by multiplying your monthly income by a certain percentage which can be between 20 to 40 percent.

If you are caring for another child who is not a part of your current divorce, a small percentage can be subtracted from your obligation as consideration for your other responsibility.

Your child support obligation will continue until your child turns 18 or graduates from high school. If you pass away before you finish your child support obligation, it is likely that your estate would still be obligated to continue child support.

This is not automatic. It all depends on what is stated on your final divorce decree issued by the court. It is also possible that you will have to pay child support beyond the standard duration, especially in cases where your child has special needs or medical considerations.

There is also a possibility that your ex-spouse will request for amendments regarding the amount you pay for child support. You can learn more about child support issues in our article, Busting Myths and Rumors About Child Support in Texas .

3. Spousal Support

This is also referred to by some people as alimony. You might have heard people talk about spousal support. Indeed, it is one of the factors of divorce but it does not mean that it is part of every single case in Texas.

Spousal support in Texas is basically a spouse’s assistance to the other spouse after the divorce until he or she gets on his or her feet financially. It is usually a temporary support for a spouse to provide basic needs or means to find financial stability later on.

This definitely does not apply to every marriage undergoing a divorce, so there is only a chance that you will provide or receive it – nothing is set in stone. Besides, there are requirements before the judge will award support to your ex-spouse.

An example of this is the length of time you have been married before seeking a divorce. You must have been married for at least ten years before you can be eligible for it. The length of your marriage also plays a role in the amount of spousal support that can be awarded. We have discussed this in detail in our article,  Spousal Maintenance 101: Everything You Need To Know .

All these factors in a  divorce are crucial. You definitely need to prepare appropriately so that you would be able to protect your rights and perform your duties as a parent and a citizen.

You will need all the help that you can get. We suggest consulting with an experienced family law attorney to have access to the most useful advice regarding your situation. Preparing for these factors now will surely save you a lot of trouble later, so give it all you got!

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas. If you have any questions you can contact him at timothy.hutton@austintexaslegal.com

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