Getting a Divorce
in Texas

A Brief Overview

Grounds for Divorce

In Texas, divorces can be granted based on either fault or no-fault grounds. The most common no-fault reason is "insupportability", which essentially means the marriage has become insupportable due to conflict and there’s no reasonable expectation of reconciliation. Fault-based grounds include cruelty, adultery, conviction of a felony, abandonment, living apart for at least three years, or confinement in a mental hospital.

Divorce Complications

Divorce complications arise not only from the legal intricacies associated with ending a marital union but also from the emotional, financial, and long-term ramifications it brings forth. At a legal level, divorces can become entangled in disputes over asset division, child custody, alimony, and other contentious matters.

Residency Requirements

Texas Divorce Laws Apply to Verified Residents

Before filing for divorce in Texas, one of the spouses must have been a Texas resident for at least six months and a resident of the county where the divorce is filed for at least 90 days. Failure to meet these requirements can result in the divorce petition being dismissed.

Property Division

Dividing Up Shared Assets

Texas is a community property state. This means that most property acquired during the marriage, excluding personal gifts and inheritances, is owned jointly by both spouses and must be divided upon divorce. The courts aim for an "equitable" distribution, which may not necessarily be a 50-50 split, especially in cases where one party is at fault.

Supporting Children

Child Custody and Support

Decisions related to child custody are based on the best interests of the child. Texas courts typically encourage joint custody arrangements, allowing both parents to play an active role in their child's life. Child support, on the other hand, is calculated based on the non-custodial parent's income and the number of children they're supporting.

Spousal Fairness

Alimony and Spousal Support

Alimony, or spousal support, isn't automatically granted in Texas divorces. It’s generally awarded if one spouse cannot meet their basic needs without the other's financial assistance. Factors like the duration of the marriage, age, earning capacity, and the spouse's contribution to the other's education or earning potential are considered.

Waiting Period

A Chance for Reconciliation

Once a divorce petition is filed, Texas law mandates a 60-day waiting period before a divorce can be finalized. This provides a window for couples to reconcile if they choose. However, in cases involving domestic violence, this waiting period may be waived.

Legal Assistance

DIY Divorce vs. Hiring an Attorney

While it's possible to file for a divorce without an attorney in Texas, it's usually advisable to hire one, especially if the divorce involves complex issues like significant assets or child custody disputes. A divorce attorney can provide valuable legal advice and ensure that your rights and interests are protected.

Post-divorce Modifications

Life circumstances can change after a divorce is finalized. Texas law allows for post-divorce modifications in areas like child support, child custody, or alimony if there’s a significant change in circumstances. Such modifications typically require legal proceedings and proof that the changes are in the best interest of the parties involved.