Going through a divorce can be one of the most difficult and emotional experiences of your life. Carolyn Collins has been assisting her clients with this process with her expert knowledge and calming influence for almost four decades. Whether your divorce is amicable or it is a high-conflict divorce, Carolyn will guide you through the process, always keeping your ultimate goals in mind.
Carolyn Collins is comfortable in the courtroom but also understands the value of reasonable compromise. She never loses sight of the possible collateral damage inherent in divorce cases. Carolyn protects both children and adults throughout the divorce process. Carolyn understands that all people are created equal and are entitled to the protection and power of the law. She represents clients in traditional marriages and same-sex marriages. Her cases include collaborative divorces, high-conflict divorces, and everything in between. Carolyn also represents clients in high net-worth divorces.
Texas is one of only nine community property states in the U.S. During a divorce, it is presumed that all property owned by a couple is community property or in other words, jointly owned property. Any property owned by a spouse before marriage, property acquired by gift or inheritance during the marriage and certain funds recovered for personal injuries are separate property and must be awarded by the court to the spouse to whom the property belongs; provided however, the other spouse claiming the property to be separate property proves the property is their separate property by clear and convincing evidence.
Texas is not a 50/50 community property state. Texas courts are directed by the Texas Family Code to order a division of the community property in a manner that the court deems just and right, having due regard for the rights of each party and any children of the marriage. This means that the court can divide the community property 50/50, 55/45, 60/40 or in whatever way seems appropriate under the circumstances of the case.
Since the 1970’s it has been typical for most divorces to be granted on the no-fault grounds of insupportability due to “discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship” however, in some cases a divorce may still be granted on fault grounds, typically cruel treatment or infidelity. A finding of fault in the breakup of a marriage may cause the court to order a disproportionate division of property in favor of the spouse against whom the fault has been committed.
Since the advent of the internet, more people have opted to represent themselves in their divorce cases. This trend is fraught with danger, especially in cases where there are children and/or property, especially real estate and retirement accounts. Mistakes are regularly made by self-represented individuals, and many of the mistakes cost more to “fix” than it would have cost to retain an attorney for representation at the beginning of the divorce process. Some of the mistakes, especially those related to property issues, cannot be fixed at all.