What is a Woman’s Right in a Divorce in Texas?

Men and women are viewed equally under the law, including in family law matters such as divorce, property division, and child custody. However, you do have powerful constitutional rights when it comes to divorce, and when you have the representation of an experienced attorney, you should be able to walk away from your marriage with stability and confidence.

Many women stay in unhappy marriages because they are worried about their future or the future of their children. However, there are laws in place designed to protect both men and women so that they can separate without unfair hardship being placed on either spouse.

Women experience divorce differently from men, and it is important that you have representation from an attorney who understands and is adaptive to your needs. At The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC, we prioritize the needs of children in every divorce case whilst also ensuring that our client’s needs are considered. We will take the time to learn what is important to you and will support you every step of the way.

Regardless of the complexity of your divorce case, we can help. Speak with an experienced divorce attorney who is committed to women’s rights today at 832-471-6904.

Child Custody

For mothers going through a divorce, often their top concern is the wellbeing of their children. They might be worried about how the divorce will affect them, how parenting time will be shared, and how they will support their child as a single mother. Fortunately, you have rights as a parent, and your divorce attorney can help ensure that fair decisions are reached.

In Texas, family law decisions must be made based on the best interests of the child, which usually means keeping both parents involved in their child’s life. Custody is split into two categories, conservatorship and possession, and access.


Conservatorship refers to the rights and duties of the parents, such as the right to make important decisions on the child’s behalf, such as those involving school and medical care. One parent could be granted sole managing conservatorship, meaning they have the right to make all the decisions, or it could be shared, known as joint managing conservatorship.

Possession and Access

Possession and access refer to the time each parent spends with physical custody of their child or when they can visit their children. Parents can arrive at a parenting plan using mediation, or if they cannot reach an agreement, then the court will make a decision on their behalf.

Generally, parenting time is split unless one parent poses a risk to the child’s wellbeing. If you are concerned about a risk your ex-spouse poses to your child, then you will need to present strong evidence to the Judge.

Your divorce attorney will help ensure that child custody decisions are made which prioritize the needs of your children and fit in with your schedule as much as possible.

Understanding a Child’s Best Interests

If your divorce case involves children, then in accordance with the Texas Family Code, decisions must be made based on their best interests. It is common for parents to disagree about what this means and decisions can be subjective. However, some of the factors that the court may consider when determining the child’s best interests include:

  • The mental and physical health of both parents.
  • The ability of each parent to meet the child’s ongoing needs.
  • How involved each parent has been up until this point.
  • The child’s access to their community, such as school, and wider family members.
  • The child’s wishes may be considered, especially if over the age of 14. However, the final decision must be made based on their best interests and not the child’s preference.
  • A history of abuse, addiction, or reckless behavior from either parent.

Child Support

It is common for women to be concerned about supporting their children as single mothers, especially if they have given up career opportunities to care for their children. Fortunately, both parents have a duty to financially support their child’s upbringing.

Usually, one parent will have custody of their child for the majority of the time, while the other has visitation rights. If you spend the majority of the time as your child’s main caregiver, then it is likely you will be owed child support.

Child support is based on the obligated parent’s income and is enforceable by Texas law. If payments are missed, then you can take legal action, and they should be backdated. Child support will be paid until a child turns 18 or graduates school and can be used to pay for anything that supports their upbringing, including shelter, food, and toys.

Either parent may also be required to provide medical insurance for their child if it is available at a reasonable cost. Otherwise, they will need to find a way of paying for the child’s medical care in cash.

If your child has a physical or mental illness that means they require ongoing care, then child support payments could continue past the age of 18. In this situation, payments will only end when the court chooses to terminate the order.

Spousal Maintenance

Some women stay in unhappy marriages because they do not see how they could be financially independent on their own. For these women, spousal support could be a lifeline. However, Texas divorce laws do not always allow for spousal support, and it is only awarded in limited circumstances.

In order to be successful, you will need to show why you need spousal support to be financially secure. You will need to show that you will not have enough property to meet your minimum reasonable needs without spousal support. You will also need to prove that one of the following conditions apply:

  • Your ex-spouse committed family violence.
  • The marriage lasted for at least ten years, and you have made diligent efforts to earn sufficient income or develop necessary skills while the divorce was pending to meet your reasonable needs.
  • You have a mental or physical incapacity that arose during the marriage.
  • You share a child who has a physical or mental disability that requires care that prevents you from earning sufficient income.

If spousal support is justified in your case, then your divorce attorney will help you present a compelling case to the Judge.

Contractual Alimony

Spousal support is only available in very limited circumstances. However, even if you are not entitled to spousal support, you may be able to come to an agreement with your ex-spouse for contractual alimony. It is voluntary, and how much and how long it will last must be agreed upon by both spouses.

Often contractual alimony is put in place to ensure that one spouse has a required monthly income stream to qualify for a mortgage or rent. It may also allow them to pay mortgage or taxes to keep a marital home with the couple’s children for a period of time.

Contractual alimony could give you the time and space you need to undergo education or find suitable employment so that you can become self-supporting. If you have given up education and work opportunities to care for children, then contractual alimony may empower you to move forward with your life with a new found independence.

Property Division

The outcome of property division is an important consideration for women faced with divorce. How your property is divided can have a big impact on your financial security, and an attorney can help ensure that a fair decision is reached which supports your future.

Texas is a community property state. To divide your marital assets, your attorney will first help you divide them into separate and community property.

Separate Property

Separate property is all property that either party owned prior to marriage. Other assets that may also be considered separate property include inheritance, compensation, and gifts. All separate property belongs to the individual that acquired it, and will continue to do so after the divorce has been finalized.

Community Property

Community property is the term used for all assets that either spouse acquired while they married. Community property could include bank accounts, retirement funds, vehicles, real estate, debt, stocks and bonds, and more.

In Texas, community property should be divided in a just and right way. It is presumed that a just and right division of property is an equal split. However, this can be questioned, and one spouse may be granted a greater percentage of marital property.

For example, if you are your children’s primary caregiver, then this could be a justification for you to keep the marital home. Or, if your ex-spouse was solely responsible for a debt, then this could be a justification for it not to be divided.

Property division is highly complex, and it is important to have the support of a dedicated divorce lawyer who is fighting for your rights and interests.

High Conflict Divorce

Although very few divorces proceed without any conflict, a high-conflict divorce is different. A high-conflict divorce is almost always the result of a marriage that involves toxic relationship dynamics. For example, if one spouse is abusive, manipulative, or narcissistic, then your divorce is likely to be high-conflict.

A high-conflict divorce usually involves a lot of court involvement, leading to a long and drawn-out process. Women stuck in abusive marriages may have avoided divorce in part because they were concerned about how their spouse would react, especially when there are children involved.

If you think you could be faced with a high-conflict divorce, then it is absolutely essential that you have experienced representation from an attorney who understands how to deal with a difficult spouse. An experienced attorney will understand how to put boundaries in place so that they are not able to control the situation.

Domestic Violence

If you have suffered domestic violence at the hands of your spouse, then we want to help. We know how challenging those first steps are, but we promise to act quickly and handle your case with the care and compassion it needs.

First, we will file a protection order to keep your spouse away from you and your children. This will give you time and space so that you can make decisions about your future from a place of clarity. We will also help you to evidence your experiences to the Judge so that they are considered in every important decision, such as child custody and property division.

Temporary Orders

While your divorce is being finalized, you might be concerned about how you and your ex-spouse will manage without clear guidance. Fortunately, your attorney can help you apply for temporary orders which can cover everything from child custody and child support to who will stay in the family home and who will be responsible for paying the mortgage. This will place legal obligations on you and your ex-spouse for a temporary period, usually until your divorce decree is finalized.

The Judge could also issue temporary orders without you requesting them if they deem it necessary.

Although temporary orders are not permanent, the Judge will try to maintain stability in a child’s life. Therefore, the temporary decisions could have an impact on long-term orders.

How Are Family Law Decisions Made?

Family law is largely dictated by state law. In Texas, you can find most of these laws in the Texas Family Code.   

The Texas Family Code is a long and complex legal document that is constantly evolving to keep up with the growing issues families face. An experienced attorney will understand how these laws apply to your case and will help you navigate the legal system to protect your rights.

One of the biggest mistakes women can make is to accept an offer from a partner without a lawyer. Even if you would prefer to minimize court involvement, having a lawyer review your divorce decree and ensure that your rights are protected is essential. Once a divorce decree has been issued, it cannot be easily changed, and the outcome of key issues such as property division will have a massive impact on your future.

The Use of Mediation

Family law courts expect couples to try to come to decisions amicably, even if they are in conflict. At The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC, we will help you and your ex-spouse come to agreements that are in line with Texas family law and protect your interests. Any decisions you make will then need to be approved by the Judge overseeing your case.

However, if you cannot reach agreements on key issues, then you will require court hearings so that the Judge can be presented with the evidence and make final decisions. At The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC, our attorneys are skilled litigators, and if your case requires court involvement, we will be prepared to advocate fiercely on your behalf.

Recovery of Attorney Fees

One of the reasons that some women may avoid hiring an attorney is because they are concerned about the cost. If there is a significant wage disparity between you and your ex-spouse, then the court could order them to pay some or all of your fees.

What is a Woman’s Right in a Divorce in Texas FAQ

No. You cannot refuse visitation because of missed child support payments. Otherwise, you could also be in contempt of the court. However, if there is an order in place, then your ex-spouse must pay child support, and you should contact an attorney if you are missing payments so that they can help you to take appropriate action.

If divorcing spouses can reach agreements amicably, then a divorce could proceed in a matter of months. However, it is common for divorces with contested issues to take a year or more to finalize. If your case requires involvement from Texas courts, then this will slow down the process significantly because you will need to wait for them to be available to hear your case.

We understand that you want to move your divorce along quickly so that you can move forward with your life. We will help your case progress without compromising your rights.

In Texas, all property that either spouse acquired during the marriage is subject to a just and equitable division. This usually equates to an equal split, but the Judge retains the ability to split property as they see fit based on the available evidence.

No, spousal support is not mandatory in Texas. If you believe you should be owed spousal support, then you will need to present evidence to the Judge with the help of your attorney.

Yes, in Texas, you have the right to divorce without the help of a lawyer. However, you should make the decision to proceed without representation with great care as the outcome of family law issues such as property division, and child custody will have a big impact on your future. An attorney can make sure that your rights are protected and that a fair outcome is reached that considers your needs.

Some women would rather work with a female attorney, and we are always happy to accommodate them. We have experienced female divorce attorneys on our team who are passionate about representing other women so that they can move forward with their lives confidently after divorce.

The cost of divorce in Texas varies widely between cases depending on the number of contested issues, whether you have children, and the complexity of your case. It is important to consider that paying for representation now could help ensure that you are financially after your divorce is finalized.

Parents have parental rights and responsibilities towards their children, such as the right to spend time with them and the responsibility to contribute financially to their upbringing. Generally, grandparents do not have such rights toward their grandchildren. However, they could be granted custody if the child’s parents are unable to care for them.

Contact a Women’s Rights Attorney in Texas Today

Although men and women are viewed equally under Texas law, it is also important to take into account that women tend to experience divorce differently. It is important to have a lawyer who tailors their approach and understands how to meet your needs as a woman and as a mother if you have children.

At The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC, our divorce attorneys are committed to your needs. We are experienced attorneys who will strive for the best possible outcome in your case. Utilizing a holistic model that involves mediation where possible and fierce representation in court where necessary, we can handle even the most complex cases.

Contact us today at 832-471-6904 to speak to a family law attorney who is committed to women’s rights.