Whether a marriage lasted for decades or ended relatively quickly, dissolving the legal relationship and moving on is difficult. Sometimes, the emotions associated with divorce lead husbands and wives to give up their rights in an effort to “keep the peace” or “get things over with.” Unfortunately, divorcing spouses don’t get second chances, and failing to protect your interests could have longstanding negative consequences for you and your children. Seigman, Starritt-Burnett & Sinkfield, PLLC in Harker Heights is dedicated to giving their clients the information and assertive representation they need to pursue favorable terms relating to custody, child support, property distribution and alimony.
Throughout Bell and Coryell counties, family law attorney Cari Starritt-Burnett delivers valuable counsel to divorcing spouses on a range of issues, such as:
Starting with a free initial consultation, we’ll make every effort to help you start this new part of your life on a positive note.
The Texas Family Code uses the terms “conservatorship,” “possession” and “access” to address what many people refer to as child custody. Typically, joint managing conservatorships will be established to ensure that both parents are vested with the legal authority to make important decisions on their child’s behalf. Orders on possession and access detail where the child lives and the terms that state how the parent lacking residential custody will maintain frequent, meaningful contact with them. Our lawyers work closely with parents to find creative solutions to disagreements and also handle disputes that arise relating to child support. The presumption in Texas is Standard Possession Order, but that can be unworkable for some parents or the child, based on parents’ work schedules or the child’s age and/or stage of development.
During the course of a marriage, each spouse has certain responsibilities. Often, one will earn most or all of the income while the other takes care of the home or children. This could leave the stay-at-home spouse unable to meet their basic needs after divorce. What many states refer to as alimony is referred to as spousal maintenance in Texas. Courts can order these payments in certain situations, including where the recipient has a disability that prevents them from earning a suitable living, must take care of a special needs child or has been victimized by domestic violence. If a marriage has lasted 10 years and the wife or husband who has not worked outside the home for a long time can’t meet their basic needs, maintenance might be awarded.
Homes, vehicles, bank accounts, stocks and other assets acquired by either spouse during a marriage are classified as community property under Texas law. Should the parties fail to agree on how to divide these items, a judge allocates marital assets and debts based on what he or she believes to be “just and right.” This can be an even split, but the judge has significant leeway. We understand how important it is to emerge from a marriage on a sound financial foundation and that courts aren’t always aware of the true value of certain property items. Our firm vigorously pursues fair allocations so you can go forward with confidence. Remember, the court’s decision or settlement may be “fair and equitable”, but not necessarily equal (50/50).
Our experienced family law attorney will review drafted settlement documents to ensure you are protected. Family law documents involve support decisions, property division, and custodial arrangements. Be informed before you sign, and let Cari Starritt-Burnett review and go over your settlement agreement terms. Our review of already prepared settlement documents is charged at the attorney’s hourly rate.
Seigman, Starritt-Burnett & Sinkfield, PLLC assists Central Texas spouses as they end their marriage and seek favorable divorce terms. Our office is located in Harker Heights, and you can make an appointment for a free initial consultation by calling us at 254-781-8282 or contacting us online. We serve clients in Copperas Cove, Killeen and throughout Bell and Coryell counties.