Deitchle + Simone understands that the breakdown of a marriage, no matter how amicable, is a difficult time for everyone involved. We prefer to first talk to you about your options regarding a divorce settlement, rather than the traditional, adversarial, divorce in a courtroom. We understand that this is not appropriate for all couples and that every situation is different. Speak to us about what may be the best option for your family.
At Deitchle + Simone, we cover everything from divorce, to child custody, to paternity, to child support to grandparents' rights. We can also assist with second-parent adoption, name changes and legally correcting your gender identity. We welcome traditional families and those under the LGBTQ+ umbrella. We practice predominantly in Travis County.
There are two types of divorce in Texas. If you and your spouse disagree on issues, such as the division of property, child support or child custody, then it becomes a “contested” divorce. If you and your spouse agree on all issues, it is an “uncontested” divorce.
We offer uncontested divorce flat fee packages for the following:
Same-sex marital rights fundamentally changed in 2015 when same-sex marriage was legalized across the United States with the decision of Obergefell v. Hodges. This right ensured that same-sex couples in Texas have the right to be married. With that right, comes the right to divorce. Deitchle + Simone understands that there can be unique issues that same-sex couples face when ending a relationship, whether it is a formal marriage, or informal (common law). These can include:
Child custody in Texas is known as “conservatorship.” There is an expectation in Texas that both parents remained involved in a child’s life following a divorce. Parents are given titles that designate their rights, duties, and possession of the child after the divorce. It is presumed that both parents will be “Joint Managing Conservators” and both will play a role in the child’s life. However, one parent may have the right to designate the child’s residence and one parent may have visitation rights but also have to pay child support.
When there are children involved in a divorce, our first priority is making sure their interests are a priority when any decision is made regarding custody and visitation.
There are several factors that are considered when deciding who of the two parents will live with the child after divorce. The best interests of the child are always paramount.
Factors a Texas court will consider when determining custody are:
We understand that child custody issues can be highly emotional and we have the necessary experience and empathy to guide you through this process.
Texas takes child support very seriously. There are statutory guidelines that outline what percent of child support must be paid by the obligor (the parent obliged to pay). The amount to pay will be based upon how many children require support (20% for one child, 25% for two children and so on) and the net resources of the obligor. An obligor is obligated to pay child support from the first $9,200.00 of their net resources (wages and salary, among other things). The obligor can stop paying child support when the child turns 18, gets married, graduates high school, or is emancipated (provided the obligor is not in arrears).
Sometimes, there can be reasons to establish a different child support amount than what is listed in the guidelines. We can assist with fighting for a fair child support order if your situation calls for something outside of the guidelines.
The factors a court will consider when setting child support are:
Texas is a community property state. This means that all property acquired during the marriage (with some exceptions) is considered community property and must be divided in a “fair and just” manner upon divorce. This does not mean that each spouse will automatically receive 50% of the marital estate. There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration when dividing assets and property. We can assist with determining what is community property and what is separate property and ensuring that our client receives their fair share of the marital estate.
Texas does not provide for the traditional “alimony.” Instead, depending on the length of your marriage, you may be entitled spousal maintenance. Spousal maintenance is considered a temporary measure for the spouse who is unable to provide for themselves after a divorce. Whether you are on the receiving end or the paying end, our priority is to make sure that a fair amount of support is requested.
When there is a change of circumstances, a modification may be required. Modifications can be made to spousal maintenance, child custody, child support, among other things.
One of the most common divorce modifications deals with the children. This can be with regards to child custody, visitation and child support. There are many factors that may require a modification. These include the loss of a parent’s job, neglect or abuse of the children, CPS involvement, relocation, new relationship or financial hardship. There are certain rules that must be followed to qualify to make a modification so please contact us so we can review your case and advise accordingly.
The legal term for fatherhood in Texas is Paternity. If there is a question as to who the father of a child is, the case is usually called a paternity case, or SAPCR Establishment case. Paternity cases in Texas are often combined with a Suit Affecting Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR) Establishment case. Establishing paternity can be beneficial for all parties involved.
By establishing paternity:
If you are in a same-sex relationship and want to become the other legal parent of your partner’s child, you will need to legally adopt the child. This is extremely important for same-sex couples in Texas where judges can still be skeptical of parentage when there is not adoption order in place.
Name changes are not just for married women who get divorced and want to revert back to their maiden name. There are many other people who choose to change their name for a multitude of reasons.
Some examples of who we can help are:
Legally correcting your gender identity is possible in Texas. It can either be done on its own or combined with a name change.
We talk with our clients about their goals and various options in family and divorce cases. Our first goal is to collaborate and resolve things without courtroom battles, if possible, where amicable resolution is best for you or your children. Based in Austin, our family law attorneys practice primarily in Travis County, Texas. For more information, contact Deitchle + Simone.