Divorce in Texas
Either person in a marriage is entitled to file suit and be divorced in Texas if one of them meets the residency requirements. Texas has a “no-fault” divorce statute that simply requires one of the parties to claim that the marriage is “dead” and can’t be saved. In a divorce, the court will determine conservatorship, access and support of minor children of the marriage and will divide the community property and allocate the community debt. A court may also determine and confirm “separate property” of each party and restore a woman’s prior name if she requests the court to do so. The parties should not file for divorce unless they have made every effort to save the marriage, and a court can order counseling if the court believes it would be productive. The court cannot grant the divorce until at least 60 days has passed from the date of the filing of the divorce suit. Most couples can reach an agreement with the assistance of attorneys. Agreements save money and emotional energy for the participants. Look also at our collaborative law options for a divorce.
Residency Required for a Texas Divorce
You must be a resident of the State of Texas for a period of at least 6 months and a resident of the county you file in for at least 90 days immediately prior to filing the divorce.
Community Property in a Texas Divorce
The Texas Constitution says that all assets acquired during the marriage are community property with a few exceptions such as an inheritance or a gift. Retirement accounts, homes, vehicles, a family business, real estate, personal property, and money on hand or in a bank are examples of community property. Judges in a divorce suit will try to divide the assets and liabilities in a fair and just manner (often equally if both parties have substantially equal incomes). However, a court can order an unequal division of the community property. Adultery, fault in the marital break-up and unequal earning capacity or disability of a spouse can factor into the division.
Finalizing a Divorce
Your divorce is final on the day the Decree of Divorce is signed by the Judge. You may not remarry for 30 days after your Decree is signed without the approval of the Court.
An experienced divorce lawyer will help you get an equitable property settlement and maximum parental rights and visitation with your children.