Most people, at various times in their life, need the assistance of an attorney. Knowing which type of attorney you need when you have a legal problem is the first step in finding and retaining the right attorney. Sometimes, deciding what type of attorney you need is rather simple. For example, if you need to file for bankruptcy, you hire a bankruptcy attorney. When it comes to family law issues, however, it can be a bit more difficult knowing who to turn to for legal representation. If you wish to end your marriage, you obviously need a divorce lawyer; however, did you know there are other legal issues for which you may also need a divorce attorney? To ensure that you retain the right type of attorney for your legal issues, consider the following five reasons – other than for a divorce — that you might need a divorce lawyer.
- Custody (conservatorship) disputes. When the parents of a minor child do not live together, custody (referred to as “conservatorship” in Texas) of the minor child must be established by law. If the parents were married at the time of the child’s birth, and later divorced, conservatorship would have been addressed during the divorce proceedings. If the parents were not married, conservatorship would likely have been addressed when paternity was legally established. Conservatorship, however, is an issue that can come up again long after an initial determination. Whether you wish to modify conservatorship, or prevent a modification, a divorce lawyer can help you.
- Modify or enforce child support. Child support is much like conservatorship in that it can be modified after being initially established. If you are the payor, and your income has changed significantly, you may wish to lower your child support obligation or you may be facing an enforcement action because you are behind on your payments. If you are the payee and you have reason to believe the other parent is now making considerably more than at the time support was first established, you may wish to increase the established support amount. You may also need to enforce the current order if you have not been receiving your payments. In either case, a divorce lawyer can help.
- Establish paternity. When a child is born out of wedlock, legal paternity of the child must be established. Doing so gives the father rights to parenting time with the child and potentially the legal right to have a say so in major decisions affecting the child. It also obligates the father to financially support the child until he/she reaches adulthood. If you need to establish paternity, or you have been served with a petition to do so, contact a divorce lawyer for assistance.
- Prevent, or facilitate, a move out of state with minor children. Most divorce decrees include a provision that prevents the primary conservator from moving out of state with the child without first obtaining the court’s approval. If you are the parent planning to move, or the parent who wishes to prevent the move, consulting with a divorce attorney is imperative so you know what steps must be taken and what your chances are of prevailing.
- Pre-nuptial agreement. Although once viewed with skepticism, if not fear, by a prospective spouse, pre-nuptial agreements are now fairly common, One reason for this is the number of second (and subsequent) marriages in the United States that involve children from a previous marriage. Second marriages also typically occur later on in life when one, or both, spouse has accrued significant assets already. The best way to protect your assets, and ensure that your pre-existing children are protected, is to enter into a pre-nuptial agreement prior to marriage. Executing a pre-nuptial agreement does not mean you don’t have faith in your upcoming marriage. In fact, a pre-nuptial agreement also protects you, your children, and your assets, in the event of a death. Because you cannot predict the future, it only makes sense to plan for the possibility of things not turning out as planned.
Contact a Texas Divorce Lawyer
If you have additional questions or concerns about any of these legal issues in the State of Texas, contact an experienced Texas divorce lawyer at The Law Office of Jon R. Boyd by calling 972-332-0104 to schedule your appointment today.