The family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Arthur K. Smith, A Professional Corporation, help individuals and families throughout Collin County, providing sound advice and effective representation in divorce and related matters such as child custody and support. Obtaining a dissolution of your marriage is usually not difficult. But making sure that your rights are protected and that your best interests are represented in the process requires the assistance of skilled and experienced legal counsel. In every aspect of divorce, the family law judge has significant discretion in how to rule, with long-lasting repercussions for the people involved.
Community property belongs to both spouses together, but it is within the court's discretion to divide marital property in the way it decides is "just and right," taking into consideration the rights of the spouses and whether there are any children. The proper characterization of each asset as community property or separate property, and a proper valuation of each asset, is essential to a fair and equitable distribution. It is imperative to be represented by a skilled and knowledgeable attorney to make sure all marital property is properly accounted for.
When the marriage has produced children, issues of child custody and child support are often the most important - as well as contentious and emotional - issues in the divorce. The court decides both legal custody (managing conservatorship) and physical custody, determining not only the child's primary residence and scheduled visitation with the non-custodial parent, but also establishing who has the right and responsibility to make decisions regarding the child's upbringing, such as educational, religious, and medical decisions.
Child Support and Spousal Maintenance
The court has significant discretion in deciding whether or not to make an award of spousal support, which can be ordered for up to three years. And even though child support is calculated according to a statutory formula, the judge has discretion to deviate from the guideline amount depending upon the circumstances. Effective advocacy from your attorney is important to making sure you and your children are well-represented and not unfairly taken advantage of.
Modification and Enforcement
We assist our clients even after the divorce has been obtained when a need for post-decree modifications or enforcement orders arises. Changed circumstances may cause one party to seek a modification of custody or support orders. For instance, one spouse may wish to relocate further away or out-of-state, or the income or expenses or needs of the children may change. A modification of a court order can only be done in court, and the other spouse may oppose the change. Also, if one party is not obeying court-ordered support, visitation, or other domestic relations obligations, it may be necessary to invoke the aid of the legal system to force enforcement.
Effective Representation in a Divorce
At the Law Offices of Arthur K. Smith, we are sensitive to the difficulties and challenges you are facing in a divorce. Our attorneys are always prepared to resolve the issues in a civil and amicable framework, with a minimum of additional stress. We are also experienced litigators, and above all will work to make sure that your interests are fully represented in the divorce. In Allen, Plano, Frisco, McKinney, and throughout Collin County, contact the Law Offices of Arthur K. Smith, A Professional Corporation, for effective assistance with your divorce or family law matter.