SAN ANTONIO DIVORCE LAWYER

San Antonio Divorce Attorney Serving Your Interests

Since 1998, James M. Warner has represented Texas residents in a variety of family law proceedings and related matters, including divorce, child custody, and child support. For many people in Bexar County and the surrounding areas, getting divorced is an extremely stressful experience in which many conflicts arise. When couples cannot resolve their differences on their own, a judge must decide. This makes it critical to retain a skillful, compassionate divorce attorney in San Antonio who can negotiate for the outcome that you desire and take your case to trial if necessary.

James M. Warner has helped many families get through this challenging time with favorable outcomes that set up strong futures for their children and them. He believes in treating each client’s case as if it were his own, and he maintains a clear line of communication with them. Mr. Warner keeps his clients involved in all of the strategic decisions and planning processes that go into their cases, promptly responding to their questions.

Divorce and Marital Dissolution

In Texas, you may get a divorce based on fault or no-fault grounds. You may also get divorced based on being separated from your husband or wife for at least three years. If you try to get a divorce on the basis of fault, you may acquire an advantage with regard to how marital property is divided or how much alimony (maintenance) is awarded.

Texas is a community property state, which means that any money that you earn during the marriage and anything that you bought with that income is considered marital property. Each spouse owns that property equally, so when they divorce, it is supposed to be divided according to what is "just and right." However, this is not always an exact 50/50 split. San Antonio divorce lawyer James M. Warner can vigorously fight for your right to an appropriate division.

Many of our clients are active duty, retired, or reservist armed servicemembers and their spouses. Accordingly, we have particular experience handling military divorces. If one of the spouses is a military servicemember, some unique issues may come up. You will still need to follow the Texas rules, but there are also some federal laws that will need to be followed. For example, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act provides that a servicemember must be given extra time to respond to divorce papers if their military duty affects their ability to respond appropriately during the divorce litigation. This extra time may apply to the scheduling of hearings, among other situations.

Another federal law that may affect your case is the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act, which allows a servicemember's retirement pay to be divided according to state law. A military pension may be divided even if retirement pay is not yet being paid and even if you were only married for a short time. However, you need to be married for a minimum of 20 years, during which your spouse served for at least 20 years, to continue receiving certain military benefits after a divorce, such as health insurance.

Child Support

Both parents in Texas are expected to provide support to their children. An important aspect of the divorce is how much child support each parent will need to pay for the benefit of the child. How much is ordered depends partly on parental income and resources, as well as partly on how much time each parent has with the child. Some parents are voluntarily unemployed or underemployed. For example, a parent may be pursuing a hobby rather than earning money during a marriage, even though they are highly educated and have work experience. During a divorce, the court may impute income to a parent who is realistically capable of earning more than they actually earn.

A parent who does not have custody must pay a certain percentage of income toward supporting a child. The percentage required depends on how many children they support. For example, if a parent only supports one child, 20% of their income should be paid to support the child. It is possible to deviate from these percentages, but federal law prohibits withholding more than 60% of a parent's income to support a child.

Child Custody

In Texas, judges presume that it is best for children to have continuing contact with both of their parents after a divorce occurs. Therefore, in most cases, joint custody arrangements are ordered. The precise amount of time that a child will spend with each parent depends on what is in their best interests. Factors to be considered when determining child custody include the child's needs, the parents' abilities, issues of stability in each home, the willingness of each parent to support the child's relationship with the other parent, how the child adjusts to their community and school, a child's relationships with their siblings and other family members, and past abuse or future harms perpetrated by either parent. When a child is more than 12 years old, the court may also consider where the child would prefer to live via testimony from the child.

Adoption

In Texas, almost any adult (including a single adult) may adopt a child, although a child's consent is required if they are 12 years old or older. Often, adoption cases turn on the termination of a biological parent's parental rights. Once a biological parent's rights are terminated, they no longer need to financially support the child. For example, when a stepparent adopts their spouse's biological child, the parental rights of the other biological parent must be formally terminated.

Sometimes both biological parents give up their parental rights, either voluntarily or involuntarily, which allows a qualified adoptive parent to step in. The involuntary termination of parental rights may occur under several different circumstances, as set forth in the Texas Family Code. In another example, when the risk to a child of a continued relationship with a biological parent is so high that it outweighs the risk that the child will not be adequately supported by a single parent, the termination of a biological parent's rights may be appropriate.

Consult a Compassionate Divorce Lawyer in San Antonio or Surrounding Areas

James M. Warner is an experienced attorney who is responsive to the needs of his clients and understands how important the outcome is. Our firm provides dedicated attention to people going through all types of family law matters in Bexar County, as well as in Medina, Uvalde, Atascosa, Wilson, Guadalupe, Kendall, Comal, and Bandera Counties. Contact us online or at (210) 227-4182 for a free appointment with a San Antonio divorce attorney. Even after your divorce has been finalized, you can seek the guidance of James M. Warner if you need a child custody modification lawyer to protect your interests.

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(210) 227-4182