Below are some common factors to consider when divorcing in the state of Texas. For further, more specific guidance, trust a Burleson family law attorney to guide you through this challenging process.
To file for divorce in Texas, one or both spouses must have lived in the state for a minimum of six months prior to filing. If one spouse lives outside of the state, they may file where they reside.
Often, the pregnancy of a woman seeking divorce delays divorce finalization until the baby is born. This is so that details involving the child can be fully included.
Filing should occur with the District Court in the county where either or both parties live, and the other party (Respondent) must be notified. If the Respondent does not file an answer within 21 days, it may be possible to complete the process without them.
There are seven situations that make divorce legal in Texas:
- Conflict and discord between the spouses with no expectation of reconciliation.
- One spouse has been cruel to the other
- One of the spouses has committed a felony and been imprisoned for a year
- One year of abandonment of one spouse by the other
- No cohabitation for three years or more
- One spouse has a mental disorder that has led to confinement for at least three years and shows no signs of lessening
Division of Property
As a community property state, Texas allows the courts to divide material property in a way that seems fair and with regard for both spouses and any children. The court may also divide insurance policies, claims for reimbursement, pensions, retirement plans, IRA’s and stock options.
In some cases, one spouse will be required to provide periodic payments, called maintenance, from their future income to their former spouse. If the court wants to order maintenance, they must have personal jurisdiction over each spouse.
Custody and Support of Children
In Texas, child custody can be either Joint Managing Conservatorship or Sole Managing Conservatorship, depending on whether both parents or just one will have responsibility for and privilege of minor children. The court always makes the best interest of the child the primary factor in deciding.
Legal separations are not recognized in Texas, though written agreements about property and money made during separation may hold up in court.
If you have any additional questions regarding a divorce or potential divorce, call Lovelace Law at 817-953-9656 for a free consultation. Professional guidance will help you achieve an ideal outcome.