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Family law issues can be incredibly stressful. Our award-winning team is here to stand by you and get the outcome you deserve.

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Family Law Attorneys in Austin, Texas

Divorce and other family law matters often stir up strong feelings and create challenges while you are negotiating terms. It can be financially and emotionally draining. You should not have to handle the legal aspects of your case alone.

Smith Family Law will be your advocate and aggressively pursue a favorable outcome. You can count on our award-winning team to work hard to meet your needs and goals. Call us at (512) 277-3166 today for a free consultation to learn more.

Christian Smith, Founding Owner and Trial Attorney
Christian Smith, Founding Owner and Trial Attorney

Family Law Cases We Take

At Smith Family Law, we represent Texas clients in a range of family law matters, including:

Premarital Agreement

A premarital agreement (prenup) is a contract two people sign before marriage. It outlines how to handle a number of items in a divorce, such as dividing assets, debt protection, marital duties, and more. Smith Family Law can guide you in drafting a legally enforceable agreement suited to your needs.

Post-Marital Agreement

A post-marital agreement is similar to a prenup but is a document you execute after marrying your spouse. It offers numerous protections if you divorce or your spouse dies unexpectedly.

Divorce

Going through a divorce is emotional and stressful. You might struggle to negotiate the terms with your ex. That’s where we can step in to protect your interests and fight for what you deserve.

Uncontested/Agreed Divorce

An uncontested divorce means both spouses agree to the legal issues involved in dissolving the marriage. Although it simplifies the process of dissolving a marriage, hiring a family law attorney can be beneficial.

Child Custody

In Texas, the legal term for child custody is conservatorship. The courts base their decision on the child’s best interests. At Smith Family Law, we help clients understand their rights and navigate child custody arrangements.

Child Support

Typically, the parent who doesn’t live with the child primarily is the one to pay child support. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean the other parent isn’t responsible for the costs of raising a child. A specific guideline determines the amount the supporting parent must pay to provide for their child.

Family Law Order Modification

You can modify court orders related to family law matters under specific circumstances. One of our family law attorneys can determine if you meet the requirements of order modification and provide the necessary guidance.

Family Law Order Enforcement

Sometimes, one party to a family law order doesn’t fulfill their obligations. When that happens, you might have to take the case to court for a judge to enforce the order. We can help you file a motion and represent you during legal proceedings.

Protective or Restraining Order

A temporary restraining order or protective order can keep you safe when you or your child is the victim of family violence. It initiates the legal process of prohibiting a specific person from contacting you for a predetermined period.

Estate Planning

Estate planning is essential to protect your interests and outline the proper distribution of your property when you die. We can review your estate and determine the elements to incorporate, such as end-of-life planning, guardian appointments for minor children, beneficiary designations, and trust creation.

Wills and Trust

A well-prepared will or trust protects your assets and ensures your loved ones’ financial futures. Let us draft these documents to prevent confusion or disagreements over the validity of your will.

Probate

When someone dies, surviving family members must enter the will into probate for a judge to validate it and authorize the transfer of assets. It can be an overwhelming responsibility. Smith Family Law can take over so you can focus on grieving your loss.

Adoption

Expanding your family is exciting. However, you must follow specific procedures to avoid unnecessary delays and roadblocks. A family law attorney can help you complete and file the paperwork, prepare for the home study, and navigate all other stages of the process.

LGBT Family Law

Members of the LGBT community have always had challenges receiving recognition in family law matters. Let a family law attorney help protect your rights.

Award-Winning Advocates Who Stand Behind You

With a high level of understanding, precision, and skill, our law team is ready to take on challenging cases with the goal of ensuring our clients get the outcomes they deserve. 

An Overview of the Divorce Process in Texas

You can file for a no-fault or fault-based divorce. A no-fault divorce means you don’t blame your spouse for the marriage ending. The process is much more straightforward and reduces legal expenses and disputes.
You must cite one of these grounds as the reason for getting a no-fault divorce:
Separation

A no-fault divorce is allowed if you can prove you and your spouse have lived apart for at least three years before filing.

Insupportability
You can also get a no-fault divorce if a conflict of personalities or discord has made your marriage insupportable, and there isn’t a reasonable expectation of reconciling.
Confinement to mental hospital

You can use your spouse’s confinement to a psychiatric hospital for at least three years with little to no chance of recovering as grounds in a divorce.

A fault-based divorce involves one spouse blaming the other for misconduct such as:

Cruelty
Adultery
Conviction of a felony
Abandonment

An experienced Texas family law attorney can help you determine the grounds on which you should file for divorce.

Dividing Assets During a Divorce

Texas is a community property state. That means each spouse owns community property equally. Family Code § 7.001 imposes a rule that the courts must divide property among divorcing couples in a manner that is right and just.

Community property is property either spouse acquires while married, such as:

  • Jewelry
  • Real estate
  • Clothing
  • Bank accounts

Separate property is the property that either spouse earns or receives before the marriage or while married as a gift, inheritance, or personal injury award. Each spouse is the sole owner of separate property. It is not subject to division during a divorce.

While determining what is right and just during property division, a judge might consider factors such as:

  • Each spouse’s health
  • Whether either spouse is at fault for the marriage ending
  • Tax issues
  • Differences in the spouses’ earning power
  • Where either spouse acquired the property
  • Future employability of each spouse
  • Which spouse has custody of shared children
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Understanding Child Custody and Support

The state’s public policy regarding child custody includes:

  • Guaranteeing the child will have continuing and frequent contact with parents who show an ability to act in the child’s best interest
  • Providing a nonviolent, safe, and stable environment for the child
  • Encouraging each parent to share in the duties and rights of raising their child after dissolving the marriage or separating

In Texas, child custody is called conservatorship. You can petition for managing conservatorship, possessory conservatorship, or both during a divorce.

A managing conservatorship gives a parent authority to make essential decisions about their child’s education, medical needs, religious upbringing, and other aspects of their life. Possessory conservatorship refers to a parent’s right to have their child reside with them.

Typically, the parent who doesn’t primarily live with the child (noncustodial parent) is the one who provides the other parent with child support. However, that doesn’t mean the other parent (custodial parent) isn’t financially responsible for expenses. The law assumes the custodial parent pays for the daily cost of raising their child.

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Frequently Asked Questions

At Smith Family Law, we understand the complications you might face in a divorce. We have answered the most common questions clients ask to help you prepare.

According to Texas Family Code § 6.301, a married couple must meet two residency requirements to file for a divorce:

  • Either spouse lives in the state for six months before filing the divorce petition
  • Either spouse is a resident of the county where they file the divorce suit for 90 days before filing

Yes. In Texas, alimony is called spousal maintenance. According to Texas Family Code § 8.051, the court might order maintenance to the spouse seeking maintenance if they won’t have sufficient property after the divorce to meet their reasonable needs and:

  • The spouse who would provide maintenance received deferred adjudication for or a conviction of a criminal offense involving family violence during the pending divorce case or within two years before filing the petition for divorce; or
  • The spouse seeking maintenance was married to the other for at least ten years and is:
    • Unable to earn sufficient income to provide for their reasonable needs,
    • Can’t earn a sufficient income to provide for their reasonable needs due to an incapacitating mental or physical disability, or
    • Is the custodial parent of a child requiring personal supervision and substantial care due to a mental or physical disability preventing the spouse from earning sufficient income to meet their reasonable need

The courts multiply the paying parent’s net monthly income by a percentage according to the number of children included in the child support to determine the payment amount.

The Right Services to Meet Your Family's Needs

Whether it’s litigation, settlement, or something in the middle, we are dedicated to ensuring that your family receives the right services and performance for your unique goals. 

Let us focus on your case so you can invest your energy back where it belongs – into yourself and your family.

man and woman with a divorce contract in between them along with a pen and wedding rings

Contact a Trusted Lawyer for Help

Seeking advice and support from an experienced family law attorney is crucial. Smith Family Law can assist you with your divorce and resolve the disputes you face. Call us at (512) 277-3166 for a free consultation if you have a family law issue to discuss.