Serving Harris County & Surrounding Area
Houston Family Law Attorneys & Divorce Lawyers
We are in this together!!
To our clients and friends,
Current events are affecting us all — our families and our businesses. We send our heartfelt support to any of you who are sick, caring for the sick, or whose businesses are suffering.
Our clients know that we are always here for them. If you have any questions, please call, email, text, or contact us via the portal and we will answer promptly.
If you are not one of our clients but you have legal questions, we offer free 15-minute consultation on the phone or via video chat every day between the hours of 4:00PM and 6:30PM.
Please call 832.301.3636. If that time is not convenient for you, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can schedule a specific time for you.
We are in this with you. Stay safe.
Papa M. Dieye
Your Trusted Attorney
Why You Should Hire the Dieye Firm
Because we are talented, respected, experienced, and compassionate. With us at your side, you can rest assured that we will do everything legally possible to protect your interests and those of your loved ones.
Cost alone should not be the deciding factor in your choice of an attorney to handle your divorce, custody, spousal support or any other family law case. Instead, select your legal team based on a combination of years of experience, domain expertise, attentiveness to details, billing, care for clients and your gut feel after your initial consultation.Experience matters in family law cases and, after 17 years, Dieye Firm certainly has the experience to help you. We have handled all kinds of cases including high asset divorces and highly contested custody cases. But more importantly, we understand that family law cases including divorces and custody are very emotional and the outcome of such cases can have life-changing consequences, not only for your children but for your career and financial future. That understanding and the ability to advise, guide, and forcefully advocate for our clients is what separates us from other law firms. Our team is dedicated to our clients and we make sure that all of your concerns and questions are answered. You will not be left in the dark wondering what is going on in your case. In fact, as a client, you will have your attorney’s personal cell phone number. Once you join our firm as a client, our mission is to resolve your case efficiently and favorably. In working towards that goal, we will not leave any stones unturned and will pursue every legal avenue available to help you. We will craft a unique and careful plan for your particular case. And we always encourage our client to be fully involved in their cases. We love our clients but sometimes tough love is needed to move a case along. Having lived in several countries, we have a keen understanding of cultures and the ability to deal and address cultural differences and sensitivities.
What Our Customers Think
How to Find a Family Law Attorney in Houston, TX
Anyone can get a divorce without hiring an attorney. We always tell potential clients to never go to family court without a lawyer. Although that may sound like a self-serving statement, it is the true. Judges will not and cannot give you advice. A good family lawyer will advocate for you and ensure that you understand all your rights and obligations. They will help you navigate very complex procedural rules. And oftentimes, your lawyer can be a firm voice of reason and give you immense peace of mind. Selecting a good family lawyer is a crucial phase in any family law matter. Here are some factors to keep in mind when selecting one.
When you meet with a lawyer, be prepared. Bring a list of questions that focus on all of these factors. Ask a lot of questions. After all, this is your case and your life. Good luck!
Common Questions and Answers
Frequently Asked Houston Divorce and Family Law Questions
It depends. In Texas, there is a mandatory 60-day ‘cool off’ period, meaning the case must be on file for 60 days before any final order can be signed. If you and your spouse have a simple estate and agree on everything, the divorce can be finalized on the 61st date. However, if you and your spouse have a complex, contested divorce, cases can take much longer. The average length of time a contested case will proceed is anywhere from 6 to 12 months, but some can take longer depending on the assets and custody issues.
It depends! It will cost you at least an initial filing fee, which varies by county. Most divorce filing fees are anywhere between $250 and $400. It is possible to get the divorce done without a lawyer, but there are serious risks to that. If you do hire a lawyer, then their hourly rate will be dependent on his or her experience, expertise and location. As always, the more you and your spouse can agree on things, the less expensive a divorce will be.
Contested cases mean that the spouses cannot agree on something (or sometimes, on anything). Depending on how contentious the case is, this might require a formal exchange of documents, multiple hearings, and attempts at mediation before the case can be finalized. An uncontested divorce means the couple has agreed on everything, from the division of their property to children’s issues. These divorce cases are usually disposed of quickly.
In Texas, joint managing conservatorship is the default position of the courts. Usually, it is in the best interest of the child to have both parents equally involved in their lives. Joint managing conservatorship means both parents will have joint rights and duties as it relates to the children although some rights may be given exclusively to one parent (education and medical for example). Sole custody means that only one parent will get the exclusive right to make most decisions for the children but the other parent will still have visitation rights. In order to get sole managing conservatorship, a party must demonstrate that it will not be in the best interest of the child to have joint custody. Usually, this involves showing the court that there has been some abuse or neglect by a parent.
The paramount consideration for the court is always the best interest of the child, but this can be a nebulous concept. Courts will look at a multitude of factors: the age of the child, the relationship the child has with each parent, the ability of the parents to cooperate, the existence of any abuse or neglect, and even the child’s preference. There is no limit as to what the court can consider when it comes to determining custody.
This is the default schedule that courts use when determining a visitation schedule. It’s a great place for couples to start if they’d like to customize their own schedule. The non-primary parent will get the children every first, third and fifth Friday of the month until the following Sunday. They will usually get a midweek period of possession, Thursday, and it can be overnight. The couples will swap holidays. The parent who gets Thanksgiving will not get Christmas, but this will alternate every year. Finally, the non-primary conservator usually gets the whole month of July, although there are some variations to this schedule.
Texas uses a specific formula to determine the amount of child support. It is based on a parent's gross income and the number of children that the parent has. The possession schedule has no bearing on child support, nor does the recipient spouse's income. That is because child support is the right of the child and not the other parent. It is important to remember that the formula is merely a guideline.
Texas require the obligor parent to use an income withholding order. Child support payments are taken out of the party's paycheck as and when they are paid. This is a hassle-free way to ensure child support is never forgotten and is an easy way to protect the obligor parent because there is a centralized payment record. In some cases, the parties might agree for one parent to pay the other parent directly. This does come with risks, in that the obligor parent might forget to pay. The recipient parent might become vengeful and claim the other parent has not paid child support at all, even if they have. It is crucial that the obligor spouse keeps good, clear records of their child support payments in the event of a dispute.
There is a long list of factors that judges use when deciding how to divide up community property: the age of the spouses; custody; needs of the children; tax consequences of the property awards; existence of separate property; debts of the estate; education and employability of the spouses; fault; fraud; waste of community assets; and essentially any other factor the court deems relevant or important.
Not necessarily. The property will be divided in a way that is fair and equitable, which does not necessarily mean a 50/50 split. All the factors mentioned above are considered to determine how the property will be divided. Usually, courts will divide property in a way that is close to the 50/50 mark, but often one spouse will receive slightly more. Splits of 45-55 are very common, while it would be highly unusual for a court to divide an estate in a more lopsided way, such as 30-70.
n Texas, courts are generally reluctant to award spousal support. A party will only receive court-ordered spousal support if the marriage has lasted ten years or longer and the spouse made diligent efforts to either earn sufficient income or to develop necessary skills while the divorce is pending to meet his or her minimum reasonable needs; or the other spouse has committed family violence; or the requesting spouse has an incapacitating disability that arose during marriage; or a child of the marriage (of any age) has a physical or mental disability that prevents the spouse who cares for and supervises the child from earning sufficient income.
While the amount and duration of spousal support will always depend on the facts of your case, there are certain limitations the court has when ordering spousal support. First, it cannot be over 20 percent of a paying party’s gross income, or $5,000.00 each month, whichever is lower. Next, the duration of support will depend on the length of the marriage. For marriages of 10-20 years, spousal support can be up to five years. Marriages between 20-30 years could have seven years of support, while marriages over 30 years could have spousal support ordered for up to ten years.
The overriding principle is the needs of the recipient party balanced with the ability of the other spouse's ability to pay. There is no exhaustive list for a judge to use, but they should consider the financial situation of both spouses, the contribution of each spouse to the marriage (including whether or not one party sacrificed their career to raise children), the age, employment history, education, health and earning capacity of the spouse requesting support, spousal violence, and any fault in the break-up of the marriage.