Family Law

The dissolution of a marriage can be a frustrating and lengthy process, with many unforeseen issues that can arise. Hiring an experienced Texas family lawyer is the first step toward understanding the process and getting a fresh start. Michael Knight, of counsel for The Montano Law Firm PLLC, handles all detailed aspects of divorce and other matters relevant to the parent-child relationship, including:

— Contested divorce

Complex divorces are those in which couples may not agree on one or more issues. Uncontested divorces can become contested if the parties disagree on even a small number of items. Complex divorces can include high-asset couples and business owners.

— Uncontested divorce

Even in the case of an uncontested divorce, it is wise to seek the counsel of an experienced divorce attorney to advise you. Legal representation will ensure that you and your spouse have considered every option and that your rights are protected.

— Custody and support

The Montano Law Firm PLLC handles cases involving child custody and visitation, child and spousal support, children with special needs, and third-party and grandparent’s rights.

— Mediation

In Texas, the courts may require a couple to attend mediation before going to trial over an issue. We work with licensed mediators who can help you resolve your issues, avoid trial and keep your costs down.

— Divorce planning and separation

If you or your spouse is contemplating divorce, our firm can help you with steps you can take to prepare for that decision.

— Property and asset valuation and division

Our firm works with financial experts who help evaluate and divide assets and net worth, advise on tax implications and divide marital debt.

— Temporary orders

Clients often worry about their financial and living situation while their divorce is pending. It is possible to secure temporary orders to determine living arrangements, spending habits and custody arrangements for the interim until your divorce is finalized.

— Third-party and grandparent’s rights

Texas grants few explicit rights to grandparents or other close relatives of a child when it comes to custody and visitation unless it is deemed to be in the best interest of the child. This often means proving that the parents or parent is unfit to care for the child or that the third-party has been a long-term primary caretaker of the child. Speaking with an experienced family law attorney can help you determine if it is possible to seek visitation rights or if custody is an option.

— Maternity/Paternity and support

No matter your previous partnership status, every parent has a right to be involved in his or her child’s life. Determining custody and visitation in these situations is often intricately related to paternity, residence, recognition of parental duties and status of adoption. Situations involving unmarried parents can be particularly complex and it is of the utmost importance to secure the legal counsel of an attorney specializing in family law.

— Modifications

Sometimes the circumstances surrounding the parent-child relationship change during the years after a family order or decree is rendered. A parent can petition to modify an existing custody or child support order to reflect such changes in circumstances, such as an increase or decrease in financial support for the non-custodial parent or the need for custody changes that best fit a child’s interest.

— Special-needs children

Although Texas has strict legal guidelines regarding child and spousal support, not all aspects of financial planning are covered by statute. If you have a child with special needs, he or she may need child support well beyond turning 18. In these situations, a petition needs to be filed before the child reaches that age to ensure that both parents provide for the child’s needs in the future.