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What You Need to Know Before Getting a Divorce

If you want to end your marriage, you'll probably need to file for divorce. If you're living apart from each other, you'll likely need to establish residency in one state. This is because most states require both parties to live there for a certain amount of time before filing for divorce.

You might think that you just move across town and call it a day, but you'd better make sure that you meet the residency requirement. For example, you could still have to pay child support even though you've moved out of state.

The exact residency rule varies depending on where you live, but typically you must spend at least six months in one place before starting the process. Some states require a longer period — up to a year — while others allow couples to split residency over multiple periods.

In addition, some states require both spouses to reside in the state for at least three months prior to filing for divorce. Other states allow either party to do so. And some states don't require anyone to live in the state for a specific length of time. Instead, they look at whether the couple lived there during the entire marriage.

Divorce forms vary by jurisdiction, but they generally ask for information such as your names, birth dates, addresses, marital status, income, assets, debts, pets' names, health insurance coverage, and any other relevant information.

Once you've filed for divorce, you'll need to provide proof of residence in the state. Many people use utility bills or bank statements. Others keep receipts showing where they spent money during the required period. Still, others submit letters from employers confirming employment during the required period.

When filing for divorce, you'll usually need to complete the forms within 90 days of moving into the new residence. After submitting the forms, you'll wait anywhere from 30 days to a few weeks for the courts to review the papers. During this time, you won't receive any legal assistance.

So if you need help figuring out where to file for divorce, talk to a lawyer 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. Contact us today at www.thorntonesquirelawgroup.com for a free consultation.

Divorce Requirements

Before you begin the divorce process, it's important to understand what your legal options are. You'll want to know whether you can actually get divorced in the state where you live because certain states require couples to meet some basic criteria before they can dissolve their marriage. If one spouse wants to end his or her marriage, he or she must prove that there is no chance of reconciliation. In addition, both spouses must agree to the dissolution of the relationship.

Residency Rules for Divorce

Marriage licenses are usually valid for anywhere from three days to five years. But once you've tied the knot, the law requires that both parties still reside within the same state. This typically applies to couples living together, but it doesn't necessarily apply to those who got hitched while traveling abroad.

The residency requirement varies widely among the 50 states. Some require that either party live in the state for a specified amount of time before filing for divorce; others require both parties to have lived in the state for a specific length of time. Even within states, the residency rule can vary based on whether the couple lives together or gets married in another jurisdiction.

In most cases, the residency requirement is triggered when either spouse files for divorce. However, in some situations, such as when one partner moves out without telling the other, the residency rule may kick in earlier.

There are exceptions to the residency requirement. For instance, if you're divorcing because of domestic violence, you can file for divorce regardless of where you live. Also, if you're already legally separated, you may be able to file for divorce in any state.

How Long Will It Take to Get Divorced?

The average length of time it takes to complete a divorce varies widely depending on where you live and what type of divorce you're filing.

While the national average includes both uncontested divorces and contested ones, the median wait time doesn't necessarily represent the typical experience. In fact, many couples who file for divorce don't actually go to court. Instead, they negotiate a settlement outside of court. This process often leads to less contentious divorces.

Do You Need To Be Separated Before Getting a Divorce?

In most states, you don't have to be separated from your spouse before you can get a divorce. If you want to end your marriage, you just need to sign a legal document saying that you are ending it. However, some states require that couples have been living "separate and apart" for a specific amount of time, either before the couple files for divorce or before the court finalizes the divorce.

The minimum separation time is usually one year, but it might be shorter depending on the circumstances. For example, in Virginia, a couple must be separated for one full year before they may file for a no-fault divorce. This could mean that if you and your husband had been separated for less than a year, he still needed to move out of your home.

Do You Need a Lawyer to Get a Divorce?

Most people think it makes sense to represent yourself in court. After all, you know what you want. And if you're willing to fight for it, why wouldn't you do everything possible to make sure you win?

But there are some situations where it doesn't make sense to go pro se. For example, if both parties cannot come to terms with child support payments, or if one party wants to keep certain assets separate from the marriage, they'll likely need legal representation.

And while many people think they can handle the paperwork involved in getting divorced without hiring a lawyer, the truth is that they could end up spending hours trying to figure out how to fill out the necessary forms.

So, if you've been thinking about filing for divorce, you might consider hiring an attorney.

Client Reviews
Selecting an attorney can be one of the most difficult decisions a person has to make. In what seems like an overwhelming sea of attorneys who do you choose? Are they qualified, compassionate, and are they willing to fight for you without compromising their integrity? When faced with this decision in 2016 I received this and more when I retained Rahlita Thornton as my attorney. Since 2016 she has represented me on several court cases and I've never been disappointed. She is well versed and very knowledgeable on many aspects of the law. Attorney Thornton and her staff work diligently to ensure no stone is left unturned and justice is served. When I was crippled with fear, bullied, and felt like giving up she was my voice. She is highly recommend and I'm truly blessed to have her in my life. TTW
It was a divine power that drove me to call. There are ton of lawyers online but I knew this attorney was the one for me. C.B., Divorce Client
Attention & communication is very good when working with this professional legal team. They are here to help you whenever questions arise and explain details as they go. Thank you for taking the time to accept my case & working with me. P.L.