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A Comprehensive Guide to Getting a Divorce in Texas: 10 Essential Things to Know

A Comprehensive Guide to Getting a Divorce in Texas: 10 Essential Things to KnowIf you're considering getting a divorce in Texas, there are several important things you should know before moving forward with the process. Hiring a knowledgeable and experienced divorce attorney can be instrumental in guiding you through the complexities of divorce proceedings in the Lone Star State. Here are 10 essential things to keep in mind when getting a divorce in Texas.

  1. Residency Requirements: In order to file for divorce in Texas, either you or your spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least six months and a resident of the county where you plan to file for at least 90 days.
  2. Grounds for Divorce: Texas allows for both no-fault and fault-based divorces. You can file for a no-fault divorce based on "insupportability" or for a fault-based divorce due to cruelty, adultery, conviction of a felony, abandonment, living apart for at least three years, or confinement in a mental hospital.
  3. Division of Property: Texas is a community property state, which means that all assets and debts acquired during the marriage are considered community property and will be divided equally in a divorce unless a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement states otherwise.
  4. Child Custody and Support: If children are involved, issues of custody, visitation, and child support will need to be addressed. Texas courts prioritize the best interests of the child when making decisions about custody and support.
  5. Spousal Support: Spousal maintenance, or alimony, may be awarded in cases where one spouse lacks the financial resources to meet their minimum reasonable needs.
  6. Mediation: Texas law encourages divorcing couples to consider mediation to resolve disputes in a less adversarial manner.
  7. Protective Orders: If domestic violence or abuse is a concern, a protective order can be obtained to ensure the safety of you and your children during the divorce process.
  8. Mandatory Waiting Period: Texas law requires a 60-day waiting period from the date of filing for divorce before a divorce can be finalized.
  9. Post-Divorce Modification: Circumstances may change after a divorce is finalized, and it may be necessary to modify child custody, visitation, or support arrangements.
  10. Legal Representation: It is highly advisable to seek the assistance of an experienced divorce attorney who can navigate the legal complexities and protect your rights throughout the divorce process.

Navigating a divorce in Texas can be a complex and emotionally challenging process, but with the right legal counsel, it is possible to achieve a fair and equitable resolution. 

What are the Grounds for Divorce in Texas?

In Texas, there are seven different grounds for getting a divorce. These grounds are the reasons that can be used to legally dissolve a marriage in the state. The most common ground for divorce in Texas is insupportability, which simply means that the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation. This ground is used in the majority of divorce cases in Texas.

Other grounds for divorce in Texas include adultery, cruelty, abandonment, living apart, confinement in a mental hospital, and separation due to a protective order. Adultery is a ground for divorce when one spouse has committed adultery and the other spouse can no longer live with them. Cruelty is another ground, and it refers to the physical or emotional abuse of one spouse by the other. Abandonment occurs when one spouse leaves the other for at least one year with the intention of abandoning the marriage.

Living apart is a ground for divorce if spouses have lived separately for at least three years. If one spouse has been confined in a mental hospital for at least three years and there is no substantial likelihood that they will recover, this is also grounds for divorce. Finally, if a protective order has been issued due to family violence, this can be a ground for divorce if the parties have been living apart for at least one year.

It's worth noting that in Texas, a no-fault divorce-- where neither party has to prove that the other is at fault for the marriage breakdown--is available. This is called insupportability, as mentioned before, and is often the easiest and most amicable way to get a divorce. However, if one party does want to use one of the other grounds for divorce, they will need to provide proof of their spouse's fault in order to proceed with the divorce on those grounds.

In conclusion, there are several grounds for divorce in Texas, including insupportability, adultery, cruelty, abandonment, living apart, confinement in a mental hospital, and separation due to a protective order. These grounds provide a legal basis for dissolving a marriage in Texas, and it's important to understand the legal requirements for each ground before proceeding with a divorce in the state.

Talk to a Lawyer

An experienced divorce lawyer in Harris County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Houston, Sugar Land, Missouri City, and Stafford, Texas at Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC, can help you with your divorce case. Contact us today for a free case evaluation consultation.

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