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Divorce Laws in Texas - Most Important Things to Know

Divorce laws vary state to state, but most states follow similar guidelines.

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There's no reason why you should go into debt over something that you can easily resolve without any longterm effects.

Beginner's Guide to Texas Divorce Laws

In Texas, there are two ways to dissolve a marriage: Fault and NoFault.

Community Property States are states where everything earned during the marriage belongs to both partners.

There are many factors that go into deciding how much money each spouse gets after the divorce. These include things like income, age, health, debts, etc.

Child support payments are based on the number of children involved and the parents' incomes.

Alimony is usually awarded if there is a long term marriage or if the couple had been married for 10 years or less.

How to File for Divorce in Texas

Eligibility is all about residency.

There are different counties where you can file for divorce.

You will need to live in the same county for at least 90 consecutive days before you can file for divorce.

File a Divorce Petition in Texas

An original petition for divorce must be filed in a Texas district court.

The filing of a petition for divorce automatically starts the divorce process.

Once the petition is filed, the parties can move forward with the divorce process.

A divorce petition must be filed within six months of filing an original petition or after service of citation.

An original petition must include all of the following information:

  • Name of parties involved
  • Date of birth of each party
  • Address of residence
  • Names of children born to or adopted by either party
Grounds for Divorce in Texas

Grounds for divorce in Texas mean that there is no requirement to prove fault before granting a divorce.

Fault grounds for divorce include things like cruelty, abandonment, imprisonment, and separation for a certain amount of time.

A divorce based on fault grounds will likely impact how much money you receive after the split.

Divorce Modifications in Texas

A family law modification does not automatically mean that you will win.

There are two ways to seek a modification:

  1. You must file a motion requesting the Court to consider modifying the existing order.
  2. You may ask the Court to modify the order without filing a formal motion.

Be prepared to provide evidence showing why a modification would be appropriate.

Process for a Divorce

In Texas, the process for a divorce is relatively simple.

A person seeking a divorce in Texas has several options, including filing with the court and serving the opposing party.

Mediation is required before a trial starts.

An attorney prepares a final divorce decree after the trial is over.

A Final Decree of Divorces contains all of the rulings that have been made during the divorce process.

A divorce lawyer must prepare a Final Decree of Dissolution of Marriage before the divorce becomes official.

A bifurcation of marital status allows people who are divorced to live together again without having to go through a formal separation process.

In most states, a bifurcation cannot occur until all aspects of the divorce case are resolved.

There are different ways to bifurcating a marriage, including cohabitation agreements, prenuptial agreements, and postnuptial agreements.

How to Split Up Assets During a Divorce in Texas

In Texas, the presumption is that everything acquired during the marriage is shared equally between the husband and wife.

Separate property includes things like gifts, inheritances, and money earned outside of the marital relationship.

Community property includes anything earned through work or other efforts made while married.

In Texas, the court can divide assets between spouses based on what it deems fair or equitable.

There are many ways to split assets during divorce proceedings, including dividing them equally, equitably, or giving one person all the money and the other none.

A Texas family law attorney should help you decide how to divide your assets.

How to Divide Property in Texas After Divorce

In order to divide property after divorce, you must file an action for divorce and prove that there is a substantial disparity in income between the two parties.

The court looks at many different factors when deciding what type of property should be divided.

There are three main ways to divide property: equitable distribution, partitioning, and sale of assets.

When dividing property after divorce, the court looks at many different things.

In Texas, any property acquired during the marriage belongs to the community estate.

Any property inherited during the marriage is considered part of the community estate.

Community property is everything that's earned or purchased during the marriage.

A Texas judge divides property in a divorce case based on what each party owns separately and together.

Property that is inherited or gifted to one spouse is considered separate property.

How to Manage Child Support and Alimony Under Texas Divorce Laws

In Texas, if there is an agreement between the parties regarding child support and/or alimony, the court cannot modify the amount unless the party requesting modification shows a material change in circumstances.

For child support purposes, a child is considered emancipated if he or she reaches age 18, marries, becomes selfsupporting, or dies.

When calculating alimony payments, the court considers all relevant factors including the length of the marriage, whether either party had any fault in causing the breakup, the earning ability of each party, and other considerations.

How Do Texas Judges Decide Child Custody and Child Support in Divorce?

Custody refers to which parent gets rights over the child's physical care and control.

Child support refers to how much money one parent must pay another parent to provide for the child's needs.

The standard of proof required to establish grounds for modifying an existing custody or access order varies depending on whether the modification request comes from a party to the suit or from someone else.

Divorce in Texas Is Not a DIY Job.

Hiring an attorney is the smartest decision you could possibly make.

Divorce is a very stressful situation and hiring an attorney can help you avoid making mistakes.

An attorney in Harris County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Houston, Sugar Land, Missouri City, Stafford, Texas at Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC, understands the law and knows how to navigate through the legal system.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

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