Before filing for divorce it is important to understand the laws of your state and whether or not you have the legal right to file a divorce petition. Recently on our divorce forum a user asked, “If I am considering a Texas divorce what do I need to know before I file?”
All states have very specific laws regarding residency laws, spousal support, and child custody. Below we will discuss some of the most common requirements for a Texas divorce and what you need to know before your file.
Texas residency requirements
Texas, like all other states, has laws regarding who is eligible to file for a Texas divorce. For example, if you are considering a Texas divorce, you must meet the residency requirements or your case will be dismissed or not accepted. Specifically, you will have to file in the county where the filing spouse lives.
According to Texas divorce laws, divorce will not be granted unless “either the petitioner or the respondent has been: (1) a domiciliary of this state for the preceding six-month period; and (2) a resident of the county in which the suit is filed for the preceding 90-day period. If one spouse has been a domiciliary of this state for at least the last six months, a spouse domiciled in another state or nation may file a suit for divorce in the county in which the domiciliary spouse resides at the time the petition is filed.”
Will I get spousal support in a Texas Divorce?
Some spouses in a Texas divorce will be eligible for spousal support. In a Texas divorce, the court will decide whether they are eligible, the amount, the duration, and how the spousal support payments will be made.
Before the decision is made, however, the court will review a variety of factors: the spouse’s financial resources, education and employment opportunities of each spouse, the duration of the marriage, the age, employment history, earning ability, and physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance, the ability of the paying spouse to make payments, whether either spouse made abnormal expenditures, destroyed property, or has concealed assets, the amount of marital property, the contribution of one spouse to another’s education or employment, marital misconduct, and whether there has been a pattern of spousal violence.
Child custody arrangements in a Texas divorce
According to the Texas Statutes, Family Code, Chapter 153, the court prefers for joint managing conservators, but the court is willing to consider a variety of other arrangements for a Texas divorce.
For instance, the court will consider the interests of the child above all other considerations and may decide that sole custody, joint physical and legal custody, joint legal custody, shared custody, or split custody may be better for the child.
Filing a Texas divorce can be complicated. It is generally best to seek legal help from a divorce lawyer especially if you are asking for spousal support, you have assets to divide, or you need to create a child custody arrangement for your child.
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