Helping Texas Families Navigate Divorce Since 1986

Facing A Divorce? Get Sound Legal Advice.

Contemplating a divorce is always difficult, even if you know the marriage is over. Making important decisions that will impact your future and your kids’ lives can be overwhelming when you’re in the midst of emotional and possibly financial turmoil. At my firm, the Law Office of Richard Lybarger in Sugar Land, my goal is to provide you with sound guidance and a clear head during this often-challenging time. From dividing marital property fairly to determining a parenting schedule that works for your family, I am a divorce lawyer who has helped countless families throughout the Houston area navigate the complexities of divorce.

Proceeding With A Divorce In Texas

If you have made the decision to divorce, the question becomes how to proceed. In many instances, the parties can save themselves a great deal of time, money and emotional upset by attempting to settle their divorce case through informal settlement discussions. Settlements can also be accomplished through mediation, using a mediator to facilitate a formal negotiation between the parties involved. The Texas Family Code also sets forth collaborative divorce procedures, a more sophisticated process that allows the parties to proceed at their own pace. Collaborative divorce can be particularly beneficial for parties who have large or more complex marital estates and for professionals with obligations that require time and flexibility.

The Distribution Of Community Property

In Texas, all property owned or claimed by a spouse during the marriage is presumed to be community property. Property that was owned before the marriage can be considered separate property. Inheritance money received by one spouse is also separate property. Any claims for separate property must be resolved, and all community property must be divided in order to reach a divorce settlement.

Conservatorship, Child Custody And The Parent-Child Relationship In Texas

Any divorce in Texas that affects children automatically includes a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR). The Texas family courts use a SAPCR to address the needs of children. It will:

  • Include a conservatorship to designate child custody
  • Declare the rights and duties of the parents (by whom and how decisions concerning the children will be made)
  • Identify possession and access to the children (standard possession order, expanded standard possession order, supervised visitation, graduated visitation schedule for children under 3, and domestic and international moveaways)
  • Provide for the financial support of the children (child support and medical support)

These matters often can be highly contested issues in a divorce. Usually, however, the parties are able to reach an agreement resolving all the issues concerning their children with the assistance of good family law attorneys.

Using A Collaborative Divorce Approach For Dispute Resolution

I am a member of the Collaborative Law Institute of Texas, which brings Texas attorneys, family counselors and financial advisers together to learn, practice and promote a collaborative process for problem-solving and peaceful resolution of family law issues. I can help you determine whether your case would benefit from the collaborative divorce process.

What To Expect In The Collaborative Divorce Process

In a collaborative divorce, the parties sign a participation agreement, which gives the parties certain obligations. They must agree to:

  • Exchange complete financial information so that each spouse can make well-informed decisions
  • Maintain absolute confidentiality during the process so that each spouse can feel free to express his or her needs and concerns
  • Reach a written agreement on all issues and concerns outside of contested court proceedings
  • Authorize the attorneys to use the written agreement to obtain a final court decree

One advantage to the parties is that no court appearances are necessary to obtain the final decree.

Deciding If A Collaborative Approach Is Right For Your Divorce

A lot of divorce cases can benefit from this new approach to separation and divorce. You should consider a collaborative divorce if:

  • You believe it is important to protect your children from the harm litigation can inflict.
  • You place a high value on personal responsibility in resolving conflict.
  • You are able to focus on a positive solution for the entire family.
  • You want to preserve a respectful working relationship with your spouse after the process is over.
  • You can understand the need to disclose full and accurate information about financial issues while maintaining privacy and confidentiality.

However, there are times and situations when nothing less than a judge’s order will do to resolve family conflicts. Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, our firm works to resolve divorce cases and complicated issues quickly, while avoiding negative publicity and attention whenever possible.

Call A Divorce Lawyer Today

Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, I have the problem-solving and negotiation skills to help you with mediation, a collaborative divorce or advocate on your behalf in divorce court. Call my firm at 713-678-0658 or send me an email to request a consultation and learn more about your divorce options.