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Family Law Attorney Serving Austin and Surrounding Communities

Family law matters can be stressful even under the best of circumstances. They can change people's lives permanently, affecting their deepest relationships. At the Lyttle Law Firm, PLLC, Austin family law lawyer Daniella Lyttle handles these matters with sensitivity and careful attention to detail. She represents people who are faced with issues related to divorce, common law marriage, domestic partnership agreements, child custody and relocation, modifications of final judgments, paternity and father's rights, annulments, mediation, property division, spousal maintenance, and prenuptial agreements.

Protecting Your Rights During Divorce

In order to file for divorce in Texas, your spouse or you must have lived in the state for at least six months before you file the petition. Divorce cases may include considerations of child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, and property division. In some cases, an annulment rather than a divorce is appropriate. In contrast to a divorce, an annulment renders a marriage null and void as if you were never married at all. There are several grounds for getting an annulment, including an inability to obtain a legal divorce, fraud that induced one spouse to marry the other, the use of force, the influence of drugs or alcohol, getting married within 72 hours of receiving a marriage license, and an inability to understand the obligations and responsibilities of marriage because of mental illness.

Texas is a community property state, in which all of the income and assets acquired by either spouse while married are considered community property that belongs equally to both spouses. In a divorce, this shared community property, as well as debts incurred during the marriage, must be split equally, unless what is just and right dictates a different split.

Our firm also helps couples contemplating marriage draft a prenuptial agreement, which may dictate the disposition of property should the marriage end. Texas couples entering into a prenuptial agreement must sign it in the presence of witnesses, declare their property fully, have legal representation for each party, and freely consent to the prenuptial agreement.

Child custody can pose especially complicated issues. If it is left up to the courts, they are required to look at the best interests of the children. In Texas, as in many other states, there are two forms of custody. One is legal custody, which is called conservatorship. This involves a parent's rights and obligations to make important decisions for a child. The parent with conservatorship may make decisions about a child's education, medical care, and religion, among other things. This right may be joint or sole. The other type of custody is physical custody, which is known as possession and access.

Usually, child support is paid to whichever parent lives with the child more than 50% of the time. In Texas, parents can be ordered to support their children until they turn 18, graduate from high school, marry, die, or are emancipated by court order. If a child is disabled, a parent may be obliged to financially support the child for his or her lifetime.

Parental obligations may be substantial. In order to have rights or obligations to a child in Texas, biological fathers must acknowledge paternity by signing an acknowledgement form or the child's birth certificate upon the child's birth. Otherwise, it may be necessary to file a paternity action. In some cases, a parent refuses to acknowledge paternity, and the other parent wishes to collect support or enforce some other obligation. Our attorneys can represent you in a lawsuit to adjudicate parentage. This lawsuit is used to prove that a particular man is the father of a child.

Consult an Experienced Austin Lawyer for a Family Law Matter

Family law cases can permanently change your relationship with your children, take away property, and alter your financial situation for the rest of your life. This makes it critical to enlist legal representation early in the process. Austin family law attorney Daniella Lyttle can handle your case from start to finish. She represents clients throughout Travis, Hays, Williamson, Caldwell, and Bastrop Counties. Call us at (512) 215-5225 or use our online form to set up an appointment with a knowledgeable divorce attorney.