Navigating Divorce in Texas: 12 Essential Facts You Should Know
Are you considering calling it quits on your marriage? If you are living in the Lone Star State, here are the top 12 things you need to know about getting a divorce in Texas. From residency requirements to property division, and child custody to spousal maintenance, understanding these key aspects will help you navigate the divorce process more smoothly.
- Residency Requirements: To file for divorce in Texas, either you or your spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least six months. Additionally, you must have lived in the county where you plan to file for at least 90 days.
- No-Fault Divorce: Texas allows for both fault-based and no-fault divorces. With a no-fault divorce, you simply state that the marriage has become insupportable due to discord or conflict, making reconciliation impossible.
- Grounds for Divorce: If you prefer a fault-based divorce, Texas recognizes several grounds such as cruel treatment, adultery, abandonment, living apart, or confinement in a mental hospital.
- Uncontested Divorce: An uncontested divorce occurs when both spouses can agree on all terms, including child custody, child support, property division, and spousal maintenance. This option tends to be quicker and less costly.
- Contested Divorce: In a contested divorce, spouses are unable to reach an agreement on one or more issues. This typically leads to litigation, with a judge making the final decisions.
- Child Custody: In Texas, the term used for child custody is "conservatorship." The court can assign joint managing conservatorship or sole managing conservatorship, depending on what is deemed to be in the best interest of the child.
- Child Support: Both parents have the responsibility to financially support their children. Texas has guidelines for calculating child support payments based on the income of the noncustodial parent.
- Division of Property: Texas follows the community property system, meaning that most property acquired during the marriage is considered jointly owned. Separate property, such as assets acquired before marriage or through inheritance, may be exempt.
- Marital vs. Separate Property: Properly identifying and categorizing marital and separate property is crucial in the division process. To ensure a fair distribution, it is essential to gather documentation and evidence.
- Spousal Maintenance: In some cases, a spouse may be entitled to receive temporary or long-term spousal maintenance. Factors considered include income disparities, duration of the marriage, and the requesting spouse's ability to be self-supporting.
- Divorce Process: The divorce process generally involves filing a petition for divorce, serving the other spouse, gathering and exchanging information (discovery), negotiating a settlement, and attending court hearings if necessary.
- Waiting Period: Texas imposes a mandatory 60-day waiting period from the date the divorce petition is filed until the divorce can be finalized. This allows for a cooling-off period to reconsider the decision and potentially seek counseling.
Divorce can be emotionally challenging, but having a good understanding of the process can ease the burden. Consulting with an experienced divorce attorney in Texas can provide you with the guidance and support needed to protect your rights and successfully navigate divorce proceedings. Remember, seeking help during this difficult time is essential for a smoother transition and a brighter future.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 consultation.