Frequently Asked Questions
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Frequently Asked Questions
Many people aren't prepared for divorce, child custody cases, or family law issues. It is important to be advised on your specific case by a trusted attorney. To help you gather the right questions and learn more about the process of divorce, family law, child custody and support, and others, we have compiled some general questions and answers here.
My child is 5 years old, and my ex just filed for child support. Will I have to pay back child support payments?
Great question. The answer depends on how involved you have been to this point. If you have been paying child care expenses for the last 5 years (diapers, daycare, rent, etc.), your attorney can use that information to reduce your retroactive child support. The important thing is to work with your attorney to produce any and all records you can to prove your support over the years.
Is child support negotiable?
At the core, child support is really a contract between 2 families. In theory, 2 parents can agree to any arrangement, as long as it doesn’t violate the law. However, any agreement struck must be approved by the presiding judge for your case.
Can I agree with my ex to pay more child support than the court requires? Do we need to have the court approve our new agreement?
Absolutely, you can pay more child support than you are court-obligated to pay. Many times this presents itself with education expenses, extra-curricular activities and additional opportunities you want to provide for your child. In most cases, it is not necessary to amend the support agreement. If you modify the child support agreement through the courts, it will now mandate that you continue the additional payments. A better option is to keep accurate and detailed records in case you need them in the future.
On the flip side, if your ex has agreed to pay child support and an additional amount above the mandated child support for a specific purpose (such as private school, for example), it may be wise to amend the court documents to reflect the new payment amount in order to secure this payment legally as long as you need it.
Will you represent me or assign me to an associate?
One of the reasons Sam and I left Cordell and Cordell with our dream of starting our own firm, was to have more focus on the individual client. Using a smaller firm such as ours means more individual attention. We will know your case inside and out and advise you accordingly. At Abercrombie and Sanchez Law, we are your attorneys. While we have a vital support staff, the attorney you are assigned to (either Bryan Abercrombie or Sam Sanchez) will be your attorney throughout your case.
What other areas of law do you practice?
One of the things that makes Abercrombie and Sanchez Law unique is the extensive experience in multiple areas of law. We are cross trained in many aspects of law and litigation with business backgrounds that set us apart from the average lawyer. Collectively, Sam and Bryan have mitigated areas of Divorce, Child Custody, Division of Property, Business Law, Estate Planning, Domestic Litigation, Family Law, Civil Court, Probate Court, trial, Jury trial, mediation, appellate and collaborative cases.
How much is my divorce going to cost?
When you are staring down the barrel of losing half or more of your net worth, divorce attorney expenses are a definite concern. At Abercrombie and Sanchez Law, we know how to litigate a case extremely well, which means we know what matters and what doesn’t and how best to focus resources to get the best possible outcome for a client in either settlement or litigation.
How can I have a fair and quick divorce?
In many cases, the two parties will come to a settlement agreement before ever going to court. With the help of your divorce attorneys, you and your soon-to-be ex will go through mediation to iron out the details of division of property, custody and child support (if there are children involved), and matters of community and individual property. You then file your agreement with the courts and have a court appearance to finalize the settlement (when the judge approves the agreement set forth). If you and your spouse are on good terms and in agreement, you can move through Houston divorce proceedings fairly quickly.
Do I need a lawyer if the divorce is uncontested?
Uncontested divorce in Texas means that both parties have come to a settlement agreement before going to court. Even if you and your soon-to-be ex are on the best of terms, you cannot be adequately represented by your spouse’s attorney, or vice versa. Your spouse’s attorney cannot offer you legal advice. Retain your own lawyer to go through the mediation and settlement process. No lawyer can adequately look out for both parties' best interests at the same time. And while you may agree today, rarely do divorce proceedings transpire without any conflict or points of disagreement.
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