The Ultimate Guide to Divorce Laws in Texas: What You Need to Know
Divorce is never easy, especially when it comes to sorting out the legalities and financial details. If you’re living in Texas and considering a marital split, there are certain laws that you should be aware of. Although each state has its regulations regarding divorce proceedings, some considerations are universal across the board. Before you move forward with the divorce process, it’s important to understand things like the division of assets, alimony payments, and custody agreements.
When getting divorced in Texas, one of the initial steps is to determine which spouse will be considered at fault. Texas recognizes both fault and no-fault divorces — in either case, data shows that it takes an average of 246 days before things are finalized. When the division of assets comes into play, it’s vital to go over ownership agreements of personal property such as stocks and real estate investments as well as the debt accrued throughout the marriage. Alimony payments may also factor into the equation for certain couples; if both spouses decide to seek support regardless of fault, a judge will assess earnings from both parties before determining the amount to award.Guidelines for Initiating Divorce Proceedings in the State of Texas.
The first step to filing for divorce in Texas is determining your eligibility. You or your spouse must have been a continuous resident of the state for at least six months before filing, and of the specific county where you’ll file for at least 90 days. This eligibility requirement helps ensure that a change of residence between two different states doesn’t automatically apply to complicated divorce proceedings.
It is important to confirm your eligibility for filing a divorce in Texas before proceeding, ensuring that this jurisdiction is the appropriate one and not another state. It requires residency periods before granting divorces, so keep this in mind before making any decisions as far as venues go—and take all other necessary legal precautions into account as well. These kinds of considerations will better ensure fairness during what is typically an emotionally charged proceeding and can provide some welcomed tranquility throughout the whole ordeal.Grounds for Divorce in Texas
Divorce is an emotional and trying experience for all involved. In Texas, couples can seek a no-fault divorce. This means that they don’t have to provide evidence of wrongdoing by either party in order to be granted a legal dissolution of their marriage. The court eschews assigning blame or making judgments based on fault when determining property division. However, if one spouse cites the other’s fault as the reason for the divorce, then the judge may consider it when deciding how to divide property and assets among the couple.
Examples of fault grounds do exist that can be used to file a divorce petition in Texas, including adultery, cruel treatment, abandonment for at least one year or longer, incarceration for more than one year, confinement in a mental facility for three years or longer or living separate lives apart from each other for at least three years without any cohabitation. It is important for anyone filing for divorce in Texas to consider these fault grounds if feasible because doing so may prove beneficial when it comes time to settle matters related to real estate and other assets through negotiations or litigation in court.Process for a Divorce
Divorce is a complex and often difficult process that requires careful consideration of both parties' rights and interests. The process for divorce in Texas is relatively straightforward, beginning with one spouse filing for divorce in the county court, after which the other spouse is served with court papers. The petitioning spouse becomes “the petitioner,” while the respondent is the party being served with court documents. A temporary restraining order may be requested by either party at this stage that prevents either from disappearing any assets before they can be divided or otherwise acting with hostility towards each other. This restraining order also helps to ensure that all relevant information pertaining to assets and liabilities is provided in a timely manner between both parties.Guide for Dividing Assets During a Divorce in Texas
During a divorce in Texas, the courts presume that all assets and income obtained during the marriage are community property owned by both spouses. This means that any debts or assets acquired over the course of the marriage must be split between the two parties in accordance with equity and fairness. The judge will determine which property is separate, meaning it can only be claimed by one party — such as property granted before the marriage took place.
There may also be instances where one spouse argues certain assets gained during the marriage should remain their own property. However, providing proof of this may be difficult. In any case, each party’s financial information will need to be disclosed accurately for the equitable division to take place according to Texas law.
Ultimately, a judge will review all of the financial data available to determine an equal division of debt and assets in a fair manner. The court will take into account various factors including the needs of each party and the length of time they have been married while weighing any proof presented that certain items should not be divided equally between both spouses. Keeping meticulous records during separation is important in order to ensure a smooth transition into divorced life, even when it comes to dividing up finances and other assets.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 at www.thorntonesquirelawgroup.com for a free consultation.