Texas Divorce Law: Things You Need To Know
If you're thinking about filing for divorce, it's important to know what you'll need to do before you take action. In Texas, there are things you need to do before you file for divorce:
- Get legal advice. If you don't understand how the law works, you could make mistakes that cost you money.
- Make sure you have enough evidence. Even if you think you have proof, you might find out later that you need something else.
- Find out whether you qualify for financial assistance.
- Decide where you want to live. This isn't just a matter of moving into someone else's home; you'll also need to consider property division.
- Figure out how much child support you owe.
- Make sure you've reviewed your prenuptial agreement. If you signed one, you need to review it now.
In Texas, there are three ways to obtain a divorce: (1) fault, (2) no-fault, and (3) annulment. A person must meet one of these requirements in order to file for divorce.
A no-fault divorce requires both parties to agree to it. If either party files for divorce without giving consent, the court cannot grant the divorce unless the other party agrees to the filing.
A fault divorce allows a person to obtain a divorce even though he or she might have committed adultery or committed certain acts of cruelty against his or her partner. This type of divorce is often referred to as a "divorce on the ground."
An annulment is a legal action taken by a couple to void their marriage because the union never took place. Annulments are usually granted by a judge based on fraud or duress.
If you're considering getting divorced, talk to us about your situation. We'll help you determine what option best fits your needs.How Is Our Living Situation Handled Once I File?
In most states, you are entitled to a court date within 30 days of filing for divorce. Your lawyer will help you determine whether it makes sense to go forward with the case immediately or wait to see if the opposing party agrees to settle out of court. If the case goes to trial, there is no guarantee that the judge will issue a final decree of divorce, even if both spouses agree to one. In some cases, the judge may decide to hold off issuing a final judgment while he considers the evidence presented during the trial. This process could take weeks or months.
You may want to consider waiting until you have reached an agreement on certain issues such as child custody, visitation schedules, alimony, property division, debt allocation, and attorney fees. However, if you are unable to reach an agreement, the court may set a date for a hearing to resolve those matters. You may still choose to proceed with the divorce action.
If you are considering getting divorced, it is important to understand how the state handles the distribution of assets and debts acquired prior to marriage. For example, under California law, each spouse owns separate bank accounts and retirement plans, regardless of whether either party contributed to them. Each spouse also retains his or her individual tax identification numbers. Therefore, if you have been married for less than three years, it is possible that you may not be able to access many of the joint accounts without the consent of your former spouse.Will I Be Forced to Split Community Property 50/50 With My Spouse?
Texas law states that if both parties agree to a divorce, each party receives half of the community property. If they don’t, however, judges must determine how much each person owns based on what was acquired during the marriage.
In some cases, though, it doesn’t matter how much either party earns — it could depend on whether they worked together or separately, or even if they had different jobs altogether.
The court also looks at the financial situation of the couple, including debts and assets. If one partner is responsible for paying off debt, he or she may end up receiving less of the marital estate.
Christine suggests that couples keep track of expenses, like rent, utilities, groceries, insurance premiums, cell phones, cable TV bills, car payments, and credit card balances, to help build a case for why certain items belong to one spouse over another.When Does the Judge Sign Off on My Divorce?
When it comes to divorce, there's often a lot of paperwork involved. And while some people might consider getting divorced easy, there's actually a ton of paperwork that needs to happen before you're officially free to go. But once the divorce is final, things move pretty quickly — especially now that we live in a digital world.
The most important thing you'll do in the next few days is probably figuring out how much money each of you will receive. You'll both likely need to file tax returns, and depending on what state you filed in, there could potentially be taxes owed. If you don't pay your ex within 90 days, you could owe penalties and interest. Depending on where you live, that could mean thousands of dollars.
After that, you'll want to divide up any property you owned together, like cars, furniture, electronics, etc. If you haven't already done so, you'll also need to decide on custody arrangements for your kids. Then you'll need to find somewhere to live, and you'll need to start making plans for life without each other.
You won't necessarily have to wait long to know whether or not you've been granted full legal separation. In fact, if you've gotten married recently, you'll almost certainly hear something soon. But even if you've been separated for a while, it's still possible to get divorced. There's no set timeline, but if you've been living apart for six months, you'll definitely need to take steps to finalize things.
But before you do anything else, you'll want to make sure you have a good lawyer. A good attorney will help you understand everything that's happening and ensure that you're protected throughout the process.
An experienced divorce attorney 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 provide guidance and offer advice throughout the entire process. Contact us today at www.thorntonesquirelawgroup.com for a free consultation.