Family Law

At Showalter Law Firm, we are proud of the personal connections we make with our family law clients. Most of these types of matters are resolved by agreement, or as the result of mediation prior to trial. Some require trial on all or limited portions of the issues. You need a legal team with trial experience, to protect your rights, and to be prepared if necessary to take your case to trial.

Our range of Texas family law services include:

  • Premarital agreements or prenuptial agreements
  • Cohabitation agreements often called nonmarital conjugal cohabitation
  • Postmarital agreements including partition, exchange and conversion agreements
  • Separation agreements
  • Divorce
  • Child custody (possession) disputes and access rights
  • Division of marital property
  • Spousal support, maintenance, alimony
  • Enforcement and post-divorce modifications
  • Adoption
  • Same-sex marital issues, agreements and dissolution

Premarital Planning

If a party has created a substantial estate, before marriage, such as real property, investments or the like, consideration should be given to the drafting of detailed documents to provide for the preservation of those separate estates. While no one plans on a divorce, careful planning is always a key to the future. These agreements are known as prenuptial or premarital agreements and require careful drafting by skilled lawyers to protect your rights.

Nonmarital Cohabitation Agreements

People sometimes agree to reside and develop their lives together. To protect your rights in these situations so that in the unlikely event the cohabitation does not succeed, careful planning and drafting of nonmarital or cohabitation agreements is required. These agreements stipulate in general that the parties, while cohabitating and perhaps having some joint interest, are preserving and maintaining their separate property estates. These agreements later serve to defend any challenges of an informal or common law marriage claim.

Separation Agreements

Texas does not recognize a legal separation, but spouses can enter into agreements to stipulate their rights and duties while living apart but not divorced. Spouses living apart are still married but can stipulate by agreement to divide property and provide for custody and support of children. The agreement can also partition, exchange or convert marital property. These are manifestly complex agreements and require the skilled drafting by lawyers to protect your rights.

D ivorce

No one gets married thinking about divorce. The parties commence the marriage with the plan of a lifelong unity. Alas, sometimes that is not meant to be. Divorce involves some distinct phases:

  • The emotional divorce: When one party decides the marriage has ended, and both the parties accept it. This will sometimes occur prior to the actual filing of the divorce, and sometimes not until the moment the decree is entered or even later. While the firm can assist you in the legal aspects of the decree, this is an emotional decision that only you can make. The firm does have access to competent mental health professionals to assist you in the preparation for the divorce, the adjustments required as a result of the divorce and the post-divorce emotional strengthening.
  • Physical separation: Simply put, the moment the parties separate and begin living separate lives. In some cases, it happens prior to the filing of the divorce, and in others, following the filing of the divorce. Often temporary orders are entered, which temporarily award certain property and define temporarily certain financial responsibilities. This is a decision that the parties will generally make themselves by agreement, or as a result of the entry of one or more orders of the court.
  • The legal divorce: The legal aspects of the divorce include the filing of all the pleadings, the investigations, the negotiations, the mediation, the preparation of the final documents and the entry of the decree. This is the phase where the need for competent legal assistance is paramount. The divorce will legally divide the parties' property. It also will legally prescribe the relationship of the parties post-divorce. This affects the relationship of the parties concerning final marital taxes, child custody, visitation rights, child support and the like. This phase is where the Showalter Law Firm stands ready with the skills and expertise to assert and protect your rights, and the best interest of the children.

Post-Divorce Estate Planning

Following the entry of a final decree, the divorced party is confronted with additional issues. The wills or powers of attorney drafted during the marriage have likely appointed their now former spouse to various roles. The divorced spouse generally does not want to continue the involvement of their former spouse in their lives. Therefore, it is paramount to revise these documents immediately following the entry of the final decree.

To ensure proper planning for the future, Showalter Law Firm recommends their family law clients seek counsel with the wills, trust, estate and probate section of Showalter Law Firm. This recommendation is made to encourage the divorced spouse to look into the future, plan now for the future, and not wait for the occurrence of other events before reviewing and revising any prior documents.

Contact Information

Call our offices in Richmond, Texas, to learn more. We can be reached at 888-627-4042 or by email.