San Antonio Divorce Lawyer

Our San Antonio Divorce Lawyer Can Help with All Your Divorce Needs

Going through a divorce is one of life’s greatest stressors, especially when there are children involved. In addition to handling the emotional turmoil that can accompany divorce, you may need to make critical choices about the future, including child custody and visitation, child support, asset and debt division, and spousal maintenance. These important decisions will affect your life and your future, as well as those of your children.

Texas laws regarding divorce are complicated and making mistakes in the divorce process can be costly.

Even if you and your spouse think you can agree on major issues, problems often arise unexpectedly. These issues may create conflict and might best be resolved in consultation with a divorce attorney.

Call the team at Amsberry Law Firm today to get started at (210) 354-2244. We serve clients in the San Antonio area, as well as Austin and throughout South Texas.

Why Choose Our Divorce Lawyer at Amsberry Law Firm?

Compassionate. Experienced. Board Certified.

Since your divorce settlement can affect you and your family well into the future, it is best to have an experienced San Antonio divorce lawyer at Amsberry Law Firm on your side. Our knowledgeable attorney will address all legal issues related to your divorce and provide guidance about your options at every stage of the divorce process.  

Our compassionate attorney understands the stresses that accompany a divorce. Not only do you face significant changes in your daily life, but also you may feel burdened by the weight of the decisions before you. Count on our divorce lawyer to provide you with full and reliable information and the advice you need related to each decision you will make.

Even a seemingly simple divorce can become complex if conflict arises as your divorce moves forward. This is where our experience plays an important role. We have handled a wide range of divorce cases and understand how to address any disagreements that may arise.

We are skilled negotiators who will fight for an outcome that is in the best interest of you and, if you’re a parent, your child.

We not only have the compassion necessary to help you through this stressful time, we also have the legal experience you need.  We have the knowledge it takes to appropriately address the complex legal issues involved in a divorce. In addition to general divorce matters, we can assist you with issues unique to military divorce, such as custody arrangements during deployment and division of important service benefits in your divorce agreement.

Turn to a family law attorney you can trust, one who is highly capable of handling your case. Russell Amsberry is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and can meet with you to talk through your specific concerns, explain the legal process, and begin strategizing to find the best approach in your case. Call our San Antonio divorce lawyer today to get started at (210) 354-2244.

Our Divorce Attorney in San Antonio Explains Texas Divorce Laws and Requirements

Texas has numerous laws that govern divorce. It is important to understand what they mean for you and your family.

When you work with our divorce lawyers, you can rest assured that you will benefit from our decades of experience helping clients navigate divorce and any related custody or alimony agreements.  We have detailed knowledge of all Texas divorce laws and will be sure you understand which ones impact your divorce and how. Knowledge is power. We keep you well-informed throughout your divorce process so that you can make educated decisions.

The following are among the most important divorce-related laws and requirements that may apply to your situation:

Grounds for Divorce

There are many reasons why you may be filing for divorce.  Your reasons are a result of your marriage, your family, and your experience. In general, the easiest path is a no-fault divorce (allowed under Texas law). This divorce is granted on the grounds of “insupportability,” where no blame is attributed to either spouse. Insupportability is defined as “discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marriage and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.” Filing for a no-fault divorce makes the process easier, faster, and less contentious.

Unfortunately, not every couple is in the position to file for a no-fault divorce. Situations do exist where it would be beneficial for a divorce to be granted in favor of one spouse. In some cases, filing for specific grounds may lead to a more favorable settlement or child custody situation. This may be incredibly important to you and your family.  Texas law has six other grounds for divorce which can be granted in favor of one spouse (Texas code subchapter A. Sec. 6.001).

The six statutory grounds for a fault divorce are:

  • Adultery
  • Cruel treatment (that renders further living together insupportable)
  • Abandonment (for at least one year, with the intent to abandon)
  • Long-term incarceration (of more than one year)
  • Confinement to a mental hospital for at least three years
  • Living apart for at least three years.

Your divorce attorney at Amsberry Law Firm can help you move forward with either your no-fault divorce or your divorce on statutory grounds. We can help you work through the often-emotional filing process and enable you to move forward from this difficult time in your life.

Residency Requirements for a Divorce in Texas

When a marriage is in trouble, a couple may choose to live separately, even prior to formally divorcing. It is important to understand the Texas residence requirements for divorce. 

In Texas, to file for a divorce, one of the spouses must have been a resident of the state for a continuous six-month period. In addition, one of the spouses must have been a resident of the county where the divorce is filed for at least 90 days.

If either you or your spouse meets these requirements, you can move forward. It is important to consider your county of residence so you can file for divorce in the correct jurisdiction.

Property Division Requirements

Division of property is likely to be on your list of concerns. After all, married couples often have a great deal of “couple’s assets,” including real estate, automobiles, home furnishings and even financial assets. Understanding how Texas divides property is important; this knowledge offers you insight as to what you can expect.

According to Texas code Sec. 7.001, Texas is a community property state. This means that marital property is considered equally owned by each partner and divided according to “what is considered just and right having due regard for the rights of each party and any children of the marriage.”

Under this regulation, all the property earned or acquired by both spouses during the marriage is community property and, upon the divorce, will be allocated as such. But, if you believe that some of your property should be considered as separate property and belong to you alone, you will have to prove it with “clear and convincing evidence.” To be separate property, it must have been:

  • Acquired before the marriage, or
  • Given by gift or inheritance to only one spouse, or
  • Received as recovery for personal injuries.

Knowing your options to declare some of your property as separate allows you to prepare better in advance of filing for divorce.

In most cases, the courts will split community property 50-50. However, in dividing property, consideration will also be given to factors such as unequal earning power and who is at fault. This could result in a different allocation.

Our San Antonio divorce attorney at Amsberry Law will provide you with legal guidance about how the property division laws may affect you. Give us a call at (210) 354-2244 to discuss your situation. We will ensure that your rights to property are well-protected in your divorce.

Our Divorce Lawyer Handles Issues of Child Custody, Support, and Visitation

We know that if you have children, their well-being is likely your number one priority. We share this belief. We will work closely with you to advocate for the best situation for your minor children.

Some of the most important divorce issues where minor children are involved include child custody, child support, and visitation. Texas has specific terms used when speaking about “custody” and “visitation.” The courts refer to the parent or guardian of a child as a “conservator” and the amount of time a parent spends with the child as “access.” If you have children, our attorney will make sure that their best interests, and yours, are well-protected in the divorce process.

How a Conservatorship Works

Determining conservatorship is one of the primary responsibilities of the courts. A conservator can have the right to inquire, participate in, and make decisions regarding the child’s education, health, after-school activities, what religion the child practices, and legal needs.

Because of the importance of these decisions, the courts always consider the best interests of the child when making their decisions. Factors that will be considered include:

  • The ability to provide overall care and a stable environment for the child
  • The child’s emotional and physical needs
  • The child’s age and preferences
  • The health of the parents
  • Any history of abuse or neglect.

There are a few options regarding conservatorship. Sometimes, the courts determine that the parents should have joint managing conservatorship (JMC) and share rights and responsibilities. On the other hand, sometimes they rule that one parent should have sole managing conservatorship (SMC). An SMC may also allow one parent to receive child support, usually paid by the non-custodial parent, until the child reaches 18 years of age and graduates from high school. If the child is disabled, in both JMCs and SMCs payments may continue after age 18.  Texas courts will consider many factors in deciding which of several options for conservatorship to use.

Our San Antonio divorce lawyer will work with you to clearly illustrate your specific situation in court, raising any appropriate issues, and making a strong case for the best conservatorship for your child.

How Possession Works

In addition to custody, you may also have concerns about visitation. In Texas, the phrases “possession of” and “access to the child” are used instead of “custody” and “visitation.” Texas courts will often consider many of the same factors when deciding the time each parent has with the child.

Parents have possession of a child when the child is with the parent. A possessory conservatorship gives a parent the right to access and visit the child, but not necessarily the authority to make legal decisions for the child.

The terminology and laws concerning custody and visitation can be confusing, especially during such a stressful time. Your divorce attorney will help you understand how these complex laws affect you. Contact Amsberry Law Firm today at (210) 354-2244 with your custody and visitation questions.

Our Divorce Lawyer Can Help with a Spousal Maintenance Agreement

In a marriage, one person may earn significantly more money than the other. The reasons for this are numerous.  Sometimes the difference can be explained based on the careers of both parties. For example, if one person is a social worker and the other a surgeon, income levels will be vastly different.  In other situations, one party may have cut their career path short to support their spouse. Or perhaps one person stopped working to care for the children and the home while the other pursued their profession.  In all three, an imbalance of earnings exists. Upon divorce, one person may face financial hardship. The court will take this into consideration, and one spouse may be awarded support to be paid by the other.

When Can a Spouse Be Provided Alimony and for How Long?

Texas family code chapter 8 deals with spousal maintenance after divorce. Either spouse can request maintenance, also referred to as “alimony,” during the divorce process in Texas. The courts will evaluate several factors to determine support amounts and duration of time during which support is paid. However, the court can award support if the requesting spouse does not have enough property at the time of the divorce to provide for basic needs. Other circumstances also exist in which awarded support may be ordered, like being unable to earn enough income to be self-supporting.

Texas courts try to avoid awarding long-term spousal support. With the exception of the support recipient’s having a physical or mental disability, being a custodial parent, or having another compelling circumstance, Texas law requires judges to order support for the shortest duration necessary in order for the supported spouse to become self-supporting.

In addition, Texas law limits the amount of support. Maintenance awards may not be more than $5,000 per month or more than 20% of the paying spouse’s average monthly gross income (whichever is less).

Whether you anticipate paying or receiving support after your divorce, we can help negotiate an agreement that protects your interests. Our divorce lawyers at Amsberry Law Firm will fight for the best spousal maintenance arrangement possible, according to your individual circumstances. If you have concerns about how an alimony arrangement will be structured in your divorce, call us at (210) 354-2244. Our skilled attorneys are ready to help you.

Common Questions Our Divorce Attorneys Hear from Clients

What happens to debts in divorce?

Debts are generally split the same way as assets and property in a Texas divorce. This means that unless a debt belongs specifically to one spouse, it is considered equally owed by each partner and divided accordingly.

What do I do if I am a victim of domestic violence?

If you are a victim of domestic violence in Texas, the courts are likely to determine a custody arrangement that protects you and your children. Courts may also provide spousal maintenance if the abuse has impacted your ability to work.

What are grandparents’ rights in a divorce?

While grandparents do not have an absolute right to visitation, Texas courts can authorize visitation for grandparents if it is in the child’s best interest and one of the following circumstances exists:

  • The parents are divorced.
  • The parent abused or neglected the child.
  • The parent has been incarcerated, found incompetent, or died.
  • There is a court order terminating the parent-child relationship.
  • The child has lived with the grandparent for at least six months.

Grandparents may also seek custody of a child who lives with them and apply for child support from the parents.

Do you need to be separated to file for divorce in Texas?

No, Texas does not require that couples be separated for any amount of time before they can file for divorce. As long you meet the residency requirements, you can move forward.

How quickly can I change my name if I am getting divorced?

Relatively quickly. When you file for divorce, you will need to request that a name change to go into effect at the time the divorce is granted. That said, you would have to file separately, with relevant organizations or government agencies, to have your official documents changed to match your name.

How long does it take to finalize a divorce in Texas?

In our state, a divorce cannot be finalized for at least 60 days after the petition is filed, and it typically takes six months to over a year. The divorce is not final until a judge pronounces it so in open court and signs the decree of divorce.

Our divorce attorneys are available to answer any additional questions you may have. We appreciate that each marriage and divorce is unique. We take the time to understand your specific situation to give you the best possible advice.

Contact Our Experienced Divorce Lawyer in San Antonio

Even in the most amicable of circumstances, divorce can be emotional and stressful. The divorce attorneys at the Amsberry Law Firm understand how difficult this process can be. Our caring legal team is here to deal with all issues that arise and to provide personalized attention and guidance throughout the process so you can obtain the best possible outcome. Attorney Russell Amsberry has experience you can trust and is licensed to practice before all Texas state and federal courts, the 5th Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

We will apply the cost of your initial consultation to our retainer and always go the distance for our clients. Please call our offices at (210) 354-2244 today to get started. Our team helps clients in the San Antonio and surrounding areas, as well as Austin and throughout South Texas.

Attorney Russell Amsberry

Attorney Russell J.G. Amsberry

Attorney Russell J.G. Amsberry founded the Amsberry Law Firm in 1995 with the goal of providing clients with exceptional, focused representation on their issues. His success as a legal advocate has been reflected in the numerous professional honors he has received, such as speaking engagements and inclusion in Scene in SA magazine’s listing of the best lawyers in San Antonio, a Distinguished rating from Martindale-Hubble, and an amazing rating from Avvo. [ Attorney Bio ]