Family law matters can create a sensitive, stressful, and complex dynamic. When you need our help, our attorneys provide skilled counsel, valuable experience and a willing ear. We recognize that every situation is personal and unique. Our goal is to resolve your family law matter as quickly as possible, so that you can move on with your life. Our Houston law firm handles a full range of family law matters, including: divorce, custody, child support, modifications of Suits Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship, marital property agreements, and adoption. 

 

Divorce. We understand that dissolving a marital relationship is both emotionally and financially difficult, especially when there are children involved. With so much at stake, it is important to have an experienced, dedicated, and compassionate attorney working on your behalf. At Gary E. Patterson, P.C. you can be confident that you will receive sound advice and dedicated representation. Whether your divorce is involves significant and complicated financial assets or a heated custody dispute, we help you determine what options you have available and develop a strategy to meet your individual needs.


Child Custody and Visitation. Texas courts resolve child custody and visitation disputes by using the “best interest of the child” standard. This means that a parent’s history with their children and their future plans provide the stability and caring support their children need to thrive. At Gary E. Patterson, P.C., we encourage parents to always put the needs of children first when involved in a divorce, paternity proceeding, or other contested family law matter. Through communication, mediation, collaborative law and other creative means of dispute resolution, we have helped many clients protect their parental rights, while resolving divorce and family cases amicably. When disputes are not resolved by agreement, attorneys at Gary E. Patterson, P.C. have the trial experience necessary to act as powerful advocates in the courtroom.


Child Support. Both parents have an obligation to provide financial support for their children. In determining which parent must pay the other parent child support, the court nearly always orders child support to be paid to the parent who has primary custody of the child. Child support is calculated according to the Texas Family Code guidelines, which are based on the payer’s (obligor’s) income and the number of children to support. This guideline ranges from 20% - 50% of the payer’s net income. The court may consider other facts in determining whether to order child support and the exact amount, which will be ordered.

 

Modifications. Families change, as do family situations. The only lawful and enforceable way to change the terms of a divorce decree or original child custody/support order is through a court-approved, post-decree modification. Any deviation that is not court approved is not enforceable and may give right to an action for contempt. In Texas, the threshold requirement for changing the terms of a final decree is showing that there has been a substantial and material change. Examples of such changes include: a change in residence of either party, a change in the needs of the parent or child, a change in the standard of living of a parent or child, or a change in decision-making authority regarding a child. If its time to change the terms of your final decree, contact the attorneys at Gary E. Patterson, P.S. to discuss your particular case.

Premarital Agreement. A prenuptial agreement is an agreement between two prospective spouses that sets out the manner in which financial matters will be resolved in the event of a marital dissolution. It is a legally binding contract that outlines the agreement between a couple before entering marriage and secures or segregates separate and community property such as rights to certain real property, accounts and other assets, as well as liabilities. Premarital agreements are most popular with people who enter a marriage with large assets. Often these assets are not easily divisible, such as an interest in a family owned business or a large tract of real estate. Though most premarital agreements are mainly concerned with complex property issues, they can set boundaries on many other issues in a marriage. Premarital agreements can involve: wills and trusts, rights to control property during the marriage, dividing retirement and employee benefits, and homestead rights.

 

Divorces, Child Custody and Support, and Premarital Agreements

FAMILY LAW

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