Family Law

Family law covers a broad range of legal problems that may arise in domestic relationships. From divorce and child custody suits to paternity actions, protective orders, and name changes, family law is more than just “divorce.” Every case is different. We take the time to listen to the client’s problem and desired goal, and we chart a strategic path forward. Whether it’s divorce, modification of an outdated child custody order, or a suit to establish paternity, the Fort Worth family law attorneys at Gardner & Smith can help you understand your rights.

Divorce

Ending a marriage is difficult and emotional, but having trusted counsel helps you navigate both the legal and emotional elements of a divorce. If you are facing divorce, planning ahead can avoid or lessen the financial and legal problems before they even arise.

A Texas divorce can have unique and sometimes confusing issues, specifically regarding property. At Gardner & Smith, our Texas divorce attorneys have experience in:
– Complex asset valuation (including businesses, retirement accounts, and
non-traditional investments)
– High net worth divorces
– Child custody, child support, and other child-related issues
– Mediation and arbitration
– Spousal maintenance
– Enforcements
– Modifications

When divorce is imminent, we can help you understand your rights and options.

Child Custody

Child custody involves more than a schedule of when you have your child with you. It includes the right to determine your child’s primary residence, the right to attend school functions, the right to receive (or pay) child support, the right to make medical decisions, and many other significant parental rights and duties that, unless modified, remain in place until your children leave home.

Child custody can be the most contentious aspect of a divorce. Every parent wants the best for their children, but parents often disagree on what “the best” really is. When there’s disagreement about what is in the children’s best interest, it can be difficult to find middle ground and resolution. Having the right child custody attorney is critical because the court-ordered rights and duties remain long after the custody battle itself.

Modifications

Divorce decrees and custody orders set the rules that parents must live by as of the time of divorce or establishment of paternity. But things change. People move, get new jobs, get remarried, and otherwise face substantial changes in their lives. Those life changes could negatively impact you and your children, and you might need to modify the original custody and support orders.

If you believe there is a reason to modify your divorce decree or child custody order, call us at Gardner & Smith. We will take the time to meet with you personally and discuss the risks, benefits, and options of seeking modification of custody and support orders.

Prenuptial Agreements

Many clients find that planning ahead helps bring them piece of mind. Sometimes that forward-looking plan includes a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements do not necessarily indicate a lack of trust between future spouses, nor are those agreements solely for individuals of  substantial means.

In Texas, a prenuptial agreement (technically called a “premarital agreement”) can define each spouse’s rights to property acquired prior to and during a marriage. Entering into such an agreement with your future spouse may help reduce the expense and duration of litigation should your marriage end in divorce, and doing so may also help make the lives of your heirs easier. We can help you navigate the Texas community property laws and craft an agreement that suits your future family’s needs. Please call Gardner & Smith if you would like to explore whether a prenuptial agreement is right for you.