Spouses considering divorce should understand the laws of their state. Recently on our divorce forum a user asked, “I am considering filing for a Texas divorce, but I need some general information about the process. For instance, how long do I have to live in Texas before I can file for a Texas divorce?”
Residency requirements for a Texas divorce
If you have just moved to the state of Texas within the last month, you cannot file for a Texas divorce. In fact, you will have to be a resident of Texas for at least 6 months and a resident of your County where you plan to file for at least ninety days. Talk to a divorce lawyer if you have more questions about how to establish Texas residency.
What if my spouse does not want to file for divorce?
Unlike our past ancestors who had to prove fault before the court would grant the divorce, Texas is a no-fault divorce state. Prior to Texas passing no-fault divorce laws if you were married and wanted to get a divorce you would have had to prove fault.
Although laws varied by each state, general reasons or grounds for divorce given could include homosexuality, adultery, cruelty, inability to engage in sexual intercourse, commission of a felony, abandonment, and mental incapacitation.
Now, under current Texas divorce laws, couples can leave marriages for the simple reason that they have “irreconcilable differences,” and they are unable to remain in the marriage.
What happens if your spouse does not want to participate in a Texas divorce? It will not matter. The court will eventually grant you divorce whether the spouse chooses to participate or not.
How will my property be divided in a Texas divorce?
Another important consideration in a Texas divorce is how your property will be divided. Unlike many other states, Texas is a community property state. Texas community property laws allow any property that was acquired during the marriage to be divided evenly in the divorce (with the exception of separate property).
Separate property can include any property owned before the marriage, property gifted to one spouse, and property inherited by one spouse. It can also include monies recovered through a personal injury claim or settlement that were the result of injuries sustained by the spouse, excluding compensation for lost wages.
Consider, however, the court will generally assume property is community property unless one spouse can provide a preponderance of evidence to the contrary.
Texas Divorce how long will it take?
Another important consideration is how long the Texas divorce will take. Assuming you and your spouse are residents of the state there is a minimum 60 day waiting period to finalize a Texas divorce.
Does this mean this meant that you and your spouse will complete your divorce within 60 days? Absolutely not; in fact, couples who have a contentious divorce and cannot agree on common divorce issues such as child support or child custody issues may find that their Texas divorce takes much longer to complete.
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