The New Year leads people to make life changes. Sometimes that includes filing for divorce. In Texas, many people file for divorce and talk to attorneys about ending their marriage right after the holidays, making January popular as a “divorce month.” If a divorce is part of your New Year’s Resolutions, here are some basics on Texas divorce laws you’ll need to know.
You can get a divorce in Texas regardless of where you were married. One party can file for divorce after living in the state of Texas for six months and the county where they plan to file for 90 days.
Military families or others living outside of the US for a time can also file for divorce in Texas, as long as Texas has been the home state of either party for at least six months, and the county where one party plans to file has been the home county of either spouse for 90 days.
Fault and No-Fault
Texas offers the option for both fault and no-fault divorces. In a no-fault divorce, the parties only need to show that they are no longer able to support the marriage because of conflict or differences. A fault divorce is filed on grounds of cruelty, adultery, or other reasons, and can impact spousal support, property division, and other variables.
Sixty-Day Waiting Period
From the time you file the divorce petition, there is a 60-day waiting period before a final judgment is rendered. The exception is when domestic violence is involved. However, most divorces will take longer.
Texas is a “community property state.” That is, all assets acquired or earned during the period of the marriage are the property of the marital community and will be divided accordingly. This includes:
• All income
• Banking and other financial accounts, such as retirement and brokerage accounts
• Debts, such as credit cards and loans
• Personal property, such as furniture and vehicles
• Businesses and partnership assets
• Lottery winnings
The exception is anything earned or acquired before the marriage by either party is considered separate property, and not part of the marital estate. This includes inheritances, gifts, and in some cases, personal injury settlements.
Child Custody and Support
If the couple had children, they must be included. If the parents cannot agree on custody, child support, and visitation, the court will make those decisions.
Child Support Without A Divorce
If you and your spouse have separated but have not yet filed for divorce, you can still apply for child support through the Office of the Attorney General, Child Support Division before filing for divorce.
Tarrant County’s Compassionate Divorce Attorney
Divorce comes with a wide variety of issues to resolve, especially where children are involved. This is just a basic overview of Texas divorce laws. A family law attorney can help you through the process. Since 2001, Wendy L. Hart has been helping people in the Fort Worth area with various family law issues, including divorce. She represents men and women in all family law matters. If divorce is in your future, we’re ready to help. Call us at (817) 842-2336 or use our online contact form to schedule your virtual consultation or appointment. We serve clients throughout the Fort Worth Area.