Divorce in Texas: 10 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are you preparing for a marital separation in Texas? If so, you are certainly not alone. The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) reports that approximately 75,000 divorces are finalized in the state each year. Although divorce is relatively common, that does not make going through one any easier. There are many complicated legal and logistical concerns.
It is normal to have a lot of questions about the divorce process. At Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC, we want to help ensure that everyone has the tools, knowledge, and resources to navigate the legal system and protect their best interests. Our Houston divorce lawyer answers 10 of the most frequently asked questions about divorce in Texas below.
- Who Can Get a Divorce in Texas?
- Can You Can Get a No-Fault Divorce in Texas?
- What is the Average Length of Time It Takes to Get Divorced?
- What is the Difference Between a Contested Divorce and an Uncontested Divorce?
- How is Property Divided in a Divorce in Texas?
- Are Prenuptial Agreements Enforceable?
- How is Child Custody Determined in a Divorce in Texas?
- Will Child Support be Awarded After a Divorce?
- Am I Required to Hire a Lawyer to Get Divorced in Texas?
- How Do You Choose the Right Houston, TX, Divorce Attorney?
To be eligible to file for a divorce in Texas, you must satisfy the state’s residency requirement. Under Texas law, you can file for divorce in the state if:
- You or your spouse lived in Texas for at least six months; and
- You or your spouse lived in the county where you are filing for at least three months.
To be clear, this means that you can file for divorce in Texas even if you and your spouse got married in a different state.
Yes. In Texas, a married couple has the right to get divorce on no-fault grounds. In effect, this means that neither spouse is required to provide evidence demonstrating that their partner did anything “wrong” to justify a divorce. A no-fault divorce in Texas can be finalized on the grounds that the marriage has become “insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities.” (Texas Family Code § 6.001).
How long it will take to finalize your divorce depends on a wide range of different factors. As a general rule, it takes at least two months (60 days) to finalize a divorce in Texas. Though, the process has the potential to take significantly longer than that. If litigation is required, it could take more than a year to get through the divorce process.
Divorces in Texas can be split into two categories — Contested and Uncontested. A contested divorce is a disputed divorce. It means that the court must be brought in to resolve one or more outstanding family law issues, such as property division, alimony, child custody, or child support. An uncontested divorce is a fully settled divorce. The parties have reached a settlement on all key matters and simply need the court to sign off on their agreement.
Texas is one of the minority of U.S. states that uses the community property standard. As described by the Texas State Law Library, community property means that all assets obtained by the couple during the course of the marriage are owned jointly and equally. In other words, each spouse is entitled to a 50-50 share of the community property.
Yes—at least assuming the agreement is properly drafted. A court will uphold the terms of a prenuptial agreement and/or a postnuptial agreement if the contract in question meets all of the requirements of Texas law. Among other things, a prenup should be in writing, negotiated in good faith, and signed voluntarily by both parties.
In Texas, a parent with custody is known as a ‘conservator.’ Shared custody—a Joint Managing Conservatorship (JMC)—is favored by courts. Though, sole custody—a Sole Managing Conservatorship (SMC)—can be granted when deemed appropriate. Texas courts handle custody and visitation disputes under the state’s best interests of the child statute. If you have any specific questions or concerns about custody/visitation, please do not hesitate to reach out to a Houston child custody lawyer for immediate assistance.
A parent with primary physical custody of a child may be awarded child support after a divorce or separation in Texas. The state has pre-specified guidelines in place to determine how much child support should be paid in any given case. The key factors in calculating child support are the financial means (income) of the parents and the number of children being supported. Courts can deviate from the Texas child support guidelines if good cause is shown. For more information about your parental rights or parental responsibilities, please do not hesitate to contact our Houston, TX child support lawyer for help.
You are not required to hire an attorney for your divorce. That being said, divorce is notoriously complicated. There are a lot of risks involved with proceeding without speaking to a lawyer. If you are getting ready to file for a divorce in Southeastern Texas, it is best to consult with an experienced Houston divorce attorney.
You should look for a divorce lawyer who has the professional skills, legal expertise, and real world experience to help you navigate the divorce process. The right attorney is one who will protect your rights and help you find the solution that works best for your family. A divorce lawyer’s client reviews are often a good place to start.
At Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC, our Texas divorce lawyer is a compassionate, experienced advocate for clients. If you have any specific questions about the divorce process, we are available to help. Give us a call at (713) 401-3998 or contact us directly online for your strictly confidential initial consultation. With a main office in Houston and a secondary office in Sugar Land, we provide divorce and family law representation throughout Southeast Texas, including in Harris County, Montgomery County, Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, and Chambers County.