Q:What does “venue” mean in connection with my divorce?
A:When someone talks about venue in connection with your divorce they are talking about which court and in what county your divorce will be filed in. The proper venue for your case will depend upon a few different factors including the county where you or your spouses are residents. The county seat for Harris County is Houston, Galveston County is Galveston and Richmond for Fort Bend County.
Q:What is mediation?
A:Meeting with a third party to help you and your spouse settle your divorce outside of court is known as mediation. The issues that are disputed in your divorce can be mediated upon with settlement offers being communicated between the two of you by the mediator. Often the mediator is either a practicing family law attorney in your area or a former judge. Many family courts in our area will require that you attend at least one session of mediation prior to a temporary order hearing or divorce trial. A Mediated Settlement Agreement will be completed prior to the end of your mediation session which contains the aspects of your divorce agreed upon.
Q:What happens if I cannot settle issues related to visitation with my co-parent?
A:If your child custody or divorce case cannot be settled, then a family court judge will make a determination on the outstanding issues of your case. The “best interests” of the child standard will be used by the judge. Factors relevant to this discussion include your child’s age, physical needs, emotional needs, and their development in these areas. It is presumed that you and your co-parent should serve as joint managing conservators of your children. This means that you share parental rights and duties.
Q:What percentage of my income can I expect to pay in child support each month?
A:The Texas Family Code contains guidelines for how to determine child support in your case. The guidelines take a percentage beginning at 20% for one child and multiplies that percentage against your net monthly income to determine an amount of child support that you would be responsible for paying. In addition to child support, you will likely be responsible for providing or at least paying for your child’s health and dental insurance.
Q:When does my obligation to pay child support come to an end?
A:If your child marries prior to the age of 18 or joins the military, then your duty to pay child support comes to an end. However, these are rare occurrences. Otherwise, your duty to pay child support comes to an end either when your child turns 18 or graduates from high school- whichever occurs later in time. However, depending upon the circumstances of your case it may happen that your obligation to pay child support continues beyond your child’s 18th birthday. For example, if your child has a disability then your obligation to pay support may be extended.