Michael P. O'Reilly, P.C. 

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Divorce is the termination of a marriage relationship.  Since 1974, Texas has allowed for "no fault" divorce and the majority of divorces today are rendered on a finding of no fault of either party.


The question of custody concerns the possession of and access to minor children.  Currently, the prevailing view in Texas is that children should have the maximum amount of access to both parents (barring family violence, child abuse, or some other compelling reason to the contrary).  This result has been achieved by expanding the non-possessory parent's visitation schedule, and by legislatively mandated geographic restrictions on the child's residence.

Property, Characterization and Division

Texas is a community property state and there is a legal presumption that all property owned by the parties at the time of divorce is community property.  If one of the parties wishes to claim an asset as his or her separate property, they have the legal burden of proving that proposition.  All separate property (once proven) must be awarded to the owner and the Court cannot do otherwise.  All remaining property is community property and subject to be divided by the Court (if the parties cannot agree upon a division).  Although the starting point for most Judges is to divide property 50-50 between the parties, the Court is not compelled to do so.  The Judge has the right to consider equities such as a disparity in income between the parties or fault for the breakup of the marriage on one party with the result that the Judge may intentionally give one party more than 50% of the community assets.


Paternity (both voluntary and involuntary) is the determination of parentage between a parent (almost always a father) and a child.  In certain circumstances, this can be done by the imposition of legal presumptions (such as a child being born during the man's marriage to the mother) and can also be done by genetic testing.

Child Support

In the state of Texas, it is legally presumed that each parent will support their children commensurate with their ability.  Normally, ability means income.  There is a formula for the calculation of child support contained in the Texas Family Code and basically, it is fair to say that the more you make, the more you pay.

There are other relevant factors to be considered by the Court such as the number of
children before the Court and the number of other children for whom the obligor must also pay support.  The Court also has the right to take into consideration special circumstances and is not absolutely bound by the calculation set out in the Texas Family Code.


All questions occurring in the Suit Affecting Parent-Child Relationship including custody, visitation, and child support, are subject to being modified by the Court (upon proper Motion by either party) until the child reaches 18-years of age or graduates from high school (which ever is later).


Adoption covers a wide range of situations from a relatively simply consensual step-parent adoption to a rather complex contested interstate adoption.

Pre-Marital and Post-Marital Agreements

The Texas Legislature has now codified the right of married parties, parties intending to be married, and non-marital parties intending to cohabit to enter into contractually binding agreements concerning their property, debts and other rights and obligations.


Contact Information

Michael P. O’Reilly, PC
500 N. Shoreline Suite 604 N.
Corpus Christi, Texas 78471
Office: 361-887-7444
Fax:      361-882-7463
Email:  Mike@oreillyfamilylaw.com





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