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Family Law

Experienced Divorce Attorneys Serving Residents of Rockwall and Surrounding Areas

Family law cases can be difficult for anyone. Almost every case is charged with emotion, and the complications of family dynamics can cause a significant amount of stress. Even if the parties agree about how to handle a certain issue, they still may need to get approval from a court. When the parties are in a heated dispute about how an issue should be resolved, such as a child custody arrangement, it is essential to know what the court is legally required to consider in making a final determination. At the Goodman Law Firm, our lead attorney has over 17 years of experience and has handled over 300 trials on behalf of Texas residents. Rockwall family law lawyer Michael E. Goodman makes it his priority to ensure that you receive the responsive and attentive legal counsel that you deserve.

Protecting Your Rights in a Family Law Proceeding in Texas

Texas is a no-fault divorce state, which means that either spouse can seek a divorce at any time, provided that a number of requirements are met. First, the party seeking the divorce must have been residing in Texas for six months before the petition is filed and must have been a resident of the county in which the petition is filed for at least 90 days. To obtain a no-fault divorce, the party seeking the dissolution must state that the marriage has become insupportable as a result of a conflict of personalities and discord that damages the ultimate purpose of the partnership and renders a reconciliation unlikely. There are also fault-based grounds, including adultery, a felony conviction, cruelty, and abandonment.

To obtain an annulment, by contrast, the spouse must show a specific reason why the marriage was invalid from the start. For example, they might have been suffering from mental incapacity at the time, or the marriage might have taken place because of fraud or duress. A family law attorney can help Rockwall residents determine whether a divorce or an annulment is more appropriate for them.

A common issue involved in a divorce proceeding is the division of marital assets. Texas is a community property state, which means that the parties have an equal property right in any assets earned during the marriage. Any debts incurred during the marriage also generally remain the shared responsibility of the parties following the divorce. However, Texas law gives courts discretion to order an unequal distribution of property if the court finds a reasonable basis for deviating from the community property rule. In considering whether to deviate from this norm, the court can consider a variety of factors, including whether one spouse was responsible for the marriage’s failure, the respective financial status of each party, each party’s earning capacity, and whether one spouse is the primary caregiver for any shared children.

Disputes Over Child Custody and Support

Child custody matters can become contentious, even when they are not part of a divorce proceeding. Under Texas law, child custody arrangements are known as conservatorships. One type of conservatorship that a court can award is a sole managing conservatorship. In this situation, one parent is awarded sole custody of the child and receives the right to perform a broad range of tasks regarding the care and maintenance of the child. Examples of a sole custodian’s rights include obtaining information about the child’s education, health, and welfare, as well as having access to the child’s health records and financial information. The sole conservator is also eligible to receive child support payments from the non-conservator spouse. A court may grant a sole managing conservatorship in a number of instances, such as when the other party has a history of child neglect, domestic violence, substance abuse, or criminal activity. A Rockwall family law attorney can advise you on whether you may have grounds to seek this status. The other type of custody arrangement is known as a joint managing conservatorship, in which both parents have rights and obligations regarding the care and maintenance of the child.

In most instances in which a Texas court is issuing an order regarding custody, the court will also issue an order regarding child support payments. Typically, the court will issue an order entitling the custodial parent to payments from the non-custodial parent. These payments must usually continue until the child reaches 18. Texas has adopted statutory-based child support payment guidelines that the court uses when determining the amount of child support that the receiving parent is entitled to obtain.

Retain a Dedicated Family Law Lawyer in Rockwall

Your family matters to you, and you should never trust your future to an inexperienced paralegal or legal assistant. When you retain the Goodman Law Firm, you will be able to work directly with the attorney handling your case, and you will never be passed off to someone else. We are committed to providing thorough, dedicated legal representation to each and every client who retains our services. Whether you are deeply embroiled in a family law dispute or simply looking for more information about how to go about achieving your objectives, the team at the Goodman Law Firm is prepared to assist you. As a small firm, we are able to provide our clients with a personalized experience, as well as prompt and efficient counsel during stressful times in their lives. We represent people throughout Rockwall, Kaufman, and Hunts Counties, as well as in Dallas and Collin Counties. Call us now at 972-772-4140 or contact us online for a free appointment.

Client Reviews
"I am a local pastor, and we have urged some of our parishioners to use Michael’s services. Michael is not only a good lawyer, he’s committed to the community and has a generous heart. I would not hesitate to recommend him." Ryan T.
"I picked the BEST attorney for sure. You were fair, kind, respectful and just a all around good man. I couldn’t have been more pleased." Pat W.
"This was my first experience with court/lawyers/law suits and Mr. Goodman really made everything easy for me! He answered all my questions in a professional and timely manner! I would recommend him to everyone!" C. Morrison
"Mr. Goodman is my go-to attorney for Texas law. As an attorney myself, I frequently represent litigants with interests in both Texas and California. Mr. Goodman’s advice has always been spot-on and saved my clients thousands of dollars." Pat H.