The first thing that most people think of when they hear the words “family law” is divorce and child custody. Yet, this area of law encompasses many more issues that affect the family. Child support, adoption, spousal support, prenuptial agreements, and property division are all covered under family law.
The Spring Branch, Texas, family law attorneys of Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. offer experienced and skilled representation. Our legal team works hard to protect your rights and understands that the legal aspects of your issue are only part of the challenge that you’re facing.
Most family law issues are intertwined with financial, emotional, and legal challenges. The results of your case may change nearly every aspect of your life. You need an experienced and compassionate team to help you untangle the issues and deliver the service you deserve.
Call our office today at (210) 349-9933 or contact us online to schedule a confidential meeting with a family law attorney who will review the details of your case and offer advice on your next best steps.
Our Practice Areas
Lawyers specialize in certain areas of the law so they can offer their clients the skill and experience needed to competently protect their rights and fight for what they deserve. This is why a family law attorney does not practice criminal defense and vice versa.
It is important to hire an attorney who understands and recognizes the nuances in case law that can affect your legal situation. The Spring Branch family law attorneys of Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. are dedicated to helping families resolve disputes as painlessly as possible.
We understand these are emotionally trying times that require the full attention of the legal team involved. Our compassionate and experienced team is prepared to help you with the following types of cases:
- Child Custody and Support
- Spousal Support
- Domestic Partnerships
- Pre- and Postnuptial Agreements
- Military Divorce
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Property Division
How Are Disputes Handled?
When you think about divorce, child custody, or property division, you may have an image in your mind of a courtroom filled with angry people in a battle against each other. Thankfully, in many cases, this is not what happens.
The Spring Branch family law attorneys are adept at using several methods to handle disputes. We’ll discuss these methods with you and offer you our best advice as we get to know the details of your case. It is more cost-effective to use these methods than to proceed to trial.
Negotiating the terms of a settlement is more desirable than litigation and can be more cost-effective. The process of negotiation focuses on persuasive arguments and evidence to achieve your goal. It is important to know your bottom line.
In other words, negotiation requires compromise, so it’s important to know what you want to achieve and what you’re willing to give up. You and your attorney will establish the evidence that you can use to help support your case during negotiations.
Mediation is the next step in negotiation. In this step, a neutral party will guide the communication. The hope is to promote a compromise that both parties can live with. The mediator does not offer advice or decisions but rather is the individual who structures the conversation.
Mediation is also confidential. This means the mediator cannot tell the other side about your discussion with them unless you allow it. Many types of family law cases can be successfully mediated, which can save time and money when both parties can reach an agreement.
When two parties are unable to resolve the dispute, arbitration may be the next option. This process involves an impartial arbitrator who will conduct a hearing on the issue. Each attorney presents their case, and the arbitrator makes a decision, much like a judge in a trial. In certain circumstances, the arbitrator’s decision is binding, while in others, it is not, depending upon what the parties agreed to prior to the arbitration taking place.
The arbitrator uses their professional judgment to come to a decision based on the facts in the case. In this way, arbitration is different from mediation. There are federal and state laws that govern arbitration. The advantage over court proceedings is that arbitration is private and promotes the de-escalation of conflict.
The Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code also allows people to use private judges when both parties agree. This offers a faster resolution and keeps the details of the case private. The process is fairly new in Texas, so it’s important to hire an attorney who understands how the hearings work and can help select the best judge for your case.
Types of Divorce and Grounds for Divorce in Texas
Texas law allows couples to file a fault or no-fault divorce. In a fault divorce, you must prove grounds for terminating the marriage. This inherently makes the proceedings more hostile since you are assigning blame to your partner. The primary reason fault divorces are used is to gain a greater share of the property or a higher level of alimony. You must be able to claim and prove that one of the following six factors led to ending your marriage:
- Adultery, otherwise known as cheating or an extramarital affair
- Cruelty in which one person inflicts physical or emotional pain on the other
- Felony conviction and imprisonment for one year or longer
- Abandonment and absence from the marriage for one year or longer
- Living apart for at least three years
- Admission to a mental hospital for three years or more
You may also file a no-fault divorce in Texas that indicates that none of these factors are at issue. It is common for individuals to cite irreconcilable differences, which are disagreements or conflicts that cannot be resolved between the couple.
Some no-fault divorces are potentially amicable, and so it is possible to use dispute resolution to finalize the divorce agreement. Our legal team at Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. has the experience to walk you through a mediation, which tends to be less expensive than the traditional court hearing.
Why Choose Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P.?
The legal team at Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. are committed to providing you with experienced and skilled representation that focuses on fighting to protect your rights. Issues of family law can be emotionally overwhelming. Our compassionate team recognizes this fact and works hard to reduce your stress.
The cost of dealing with your family law issue will depend on how it’s handled and how willing you and your opponent are to find a compromise that works for both of you. Our attorneys give you personalized and individualized attention to meet your legal needs.
Call the Spring Branch family law attorneys of Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. at (210) 349-9933 today to schedule your confidential consultation.