Family Law & Divorce
Family law is unlike any other practice area because it involves major changes to an individual’s personal life and family dynamic. With the personal emotions involved and the nuances of family law ever-changing, it is crucial to choose a law firm with experienced and creative professionals. At Cotten Schmidt, our family law and divorce attorneys pride themselves on our compassionate approach and dedication to innovative, cost-effective strategies.
We are not only skilled litigators in the courtroom, but we also understand that each case is unique, and some disputes call for mediated and collaborative results. Our goal is to resolve each case effectively while providing personalized care and attention to each client. We have been successful in reaching timely and affordable resolutions in a variety of areas of family law, including:
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Collaborative Law Divorce
Complex and High-Conflict Litigation
Defense of Attorney General Actions
Divorce/Annulment – Litigated or Agreed
Enforcement of Divorce Decrees, Child Support, and Possession & Access
Grandparents’ Custody and Visitation Rights
Modification of Child Support/Child Custody ("Conservatorship")/Visitation
Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
Protective Orders/Restraining Orders
Our team is ready to help you pursue your family’s best solution. Reach out to our law firm today to schedule a call. Located in Fort Worth, Texas, we serve clients throughout the surrounding area; including Tarrant, Parker, Dallas, Denton, and Collin Counties.
Your Family's Future Matters
Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements
A prenuptial agreement (prenup) is as a legal contract written by two individuals before their marriage. Prenups give engaged couples space to outline their assets, properties, and financial debts, as well as how they will be divided if their marriage ends.
A postnuptial agreement — or, a marital property agreement — is essentially the same concept, though it can only be created by couples who are already married.
Every engaged couple should consider either a prenup or a postnuptial agreement. When you don’t have a valid agreement in place, the State of Texas will determine what happens to your property in the event of divorce or the death of your spouse. If you and your partner are seeking legal advice regarding a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, our family law attorneys are prepared to help.
Divorce in Texas
Ending a marriage is never easy. Even when you’re in complete agreement with your soon-to-be-ex over the terms of your divorce, the dissolution of marriage process involves numerous decisions that directly affect the future of you and your family. Don’t navigate it alone. From filing to finalizing, our divorce lawyers will be there for you every step of the way.
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce
Divorce is a complex and emotional process. It requires you to make decisions about your shared property, contractual alimony, spousal maintenance, and — if you have children — child custody and support arrangements.
A contested divorce is when you and your spouse disagree over one or more issues addressed in your divorce. Because the court will have to finalize key decisions for you, contested divorces are generally more difficult and expensive to navigate than uncontested divorces — when both parties see eye-to-eye and work together to reach a mutual agreement over their divorce terms.
Texas courts encourage couples to reach agreements to the best of their abilities. At Cotten Schmidt, our divorce attorneys are skilled litigators and mediators. We can help you navigate the important decisions surrounding your marriage dissolution and, if needed, we will advocate for your best interests before a judge.
We understand that every divorce is different, which is why we tailor our approach and services to fit the unique goals and interests of each client. Schedule a call with us today to get started.
Texas is a community property state, meaning that, if you do not have a valid prenup or postnuptial agreement, the judge will view any property you and your spouse acquired during your marriage as equally belonging to both of you. If the parties do not agree on a "fair and right division" of this community property, then the judge will divide your assets between you and your spouse in an equitable manner. Typically, this involves a 50-50 split, but the Judge may alter their decision on this division based on potential fault-based grounds for the Divorce and whatever they deem is most fair and equitable for your specific case considering all relevant circumstances.
Also known as “alimony,” spousal maintenance refers to the payments one party contributes to help support their ex-spouse after a divorce which are court-ordered. "Temporary spousal support" is different; it refers to the payments one party contributes to support their spouse during a divorce which are court-ordered. The amount, duration, and nature of the payments are decided on a case-by-case basis, and spousal maintenance is subject to a statutory formula. In Texas, you can be awarded spousal maintenance if after the Divorce you would lack sufficient property or the financial resources necessary to provide for your minimum reasonable needs, and:
Your marriage has lasted for at least 10 years and you lack the ability to earn sufficient income to provide for your minimum reasonable needs;
The spouse making payments (the obligor) has been convicted of adjudication for a family violence offense against you or your children within two years before filing the divorce, or while the divorce is pending. In these cases, the length of your marriage is irrelevant;
You are the custodian of a child of the marriage who requires substantial care and supervision due to a disability, preventing you from earning sufficient income to provide for your minimum reasonable needs; or
You are unable to earn sufficient income to provide for your minimum reasonable needs because of an incapacitating physical or mental disability.
To learn more about your options for seeking spousal maintenance or temporary spousal support in Texas, schedule a call with our office in Fort Worth today.
Children & Divorce
If you’re a parent navigating divorce, figuring out an ideal child custody (known as "conservatorship" under Texas law), possession and access, and child support arrangement are likely your main concerns. It's important to understand your rights and options to maximize your influence on decisions that will shape the future of your family.
Child Custody & Child Support in Texas
Your child custody, possession and access, and child support arrangements are extremely important, as they directly impact how your children will be supported — financially and emotionally during and after the divorce. Your plan should be tailored to reflect the unique needs of your family. If you and the other parent of your children are able to create a plan together, the court will heavily consider it when finalizing your custody order and visitation schedule.
While protecting your children is your top priority, protecting your rights and best interests is ours. When you need trusted representation for a child custody dispute or modification, or guidance in crafting an arrangement, don’t hesitate to contact our team.
Family Law & Divorce Attorneys in Fort Worth, Texas
At Cotten Schmidt, we’re committed to building lasting and affordable legal solutions for individuals and families throughout Fort Worth, Texas and Tarrant, Parker, Dallas, Denton, and Collin counties. Through creative problem-solving and personalized representation, we strive to help you navigate major life changes with confidence and efficiency. Schedule a call with our family law and divorce attorneys today. We look forward to working with you and your loved ones.
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