Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce in Texas
Are there any residency requirements for obtaining a divorce in Texas?
Yes, Texas requires that either you or your spouse must have been living in the state for a minimum of 6 months prior to the divorce. In addition to the state of Texas’ residency requirement, one spouse must have also resided in the county of filing for at least 3 months. Filing in the wrong county will result in the dismissal of your case.
Is there a required waiting period for getting a divorce in Texas?
Yes, from the time of your initial filing of the petition for divorce you will have to wait at least 60 days before you can present the final divorce decree to a judge.
How much does a divorce cost in Texas?
Everyone wants to be careful with attorney fees, us included. Potential clients always ask our lawyers how much their case will cost. Unfortunately, we can’t provide much insight into their final bill, because there are too many factors at play. The most critical factor impacting the overall cost of a case is the degree of conflict. A client’s ability to control the degree of conflict in a family law dispute is sometimes limited. The amount of conflict is often unknown or underestimated.
Many other factors may also impact the cost of a case. Those include poor strategic planning and selecting an attorney based on factors not related to your goal. Since there are so many things impacting the cost of a case, it’s impossible for a good attorney to quote you an overall cost. We can, however, use our experience to provide you insight into how certain factors impact the average cost, as determined by the American Bar Association.
What are grounds for divorce in Texas?
Texas allows for “no-fault” divorces, which means neither spouse has to blame the other for the breakdown of their marriage. The petitioner’s spouse would allege that there is insupportability in their marriage, which is defined as discord or conflict of personalities that destroys a legitimate end and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation. Alternatively, spouses can also allege they have lived apart for at least three years on grounds one cannot assign responsibility to either party.
However, if one spouse is found at fault by the court during divorce proceedings then this may be considered when dividing up the property between parties who might provide differing accounts of what happened during your relationship with each other so you might want to include fault grounds in your petition whether you are responsible or not just in case.
The statutory grounds for a fault divorce in Texas are:
- cruel treatment
- conviction of a felony or long-term incarceration of at least one year, or
- confinement to a mental hospital for at least three years.
(TX Family §§ 6.001-6.008).
How is property divided in a Texas divorce?
Texas is a community property state, meaning that courts start with the presumption that all the property earned or acquired by either spouse during the marriage is community property. In most cases, this means 50-50 splits of everything in divorce court. But factors such as unequal earning power and fault from within your relationship can affect who gets what in some cases.
Can I receive temporary spousal support in Texas while my divorce is pending?
In the event that a Texas divorce involves a financially dependent spouse, the dependent spouse may request a temporary support hearing at the time of the divorce filing. While the divorce is still pending and agreements are being worked out, temporary support can help ensure that both spouses’ credit remains in good standing while protecting their respective assets until an agreement is reached or settlements are made.
How do I obtain spousal maintenance in my Texas divorce?
A court may order maintenance for either spouse only if the spouse seeking maintenance will lack sufficient property, including the spouse’s separate property, on divorce to provide for the spouse’s minimum reasonable needs and:
(1) the spouse from whom maintenance is requested was convicted of or received deferred adjudication for a criminal offense that also constitutes an act of family violence, as defined by Section 71.004, committed during the marriage against the other spouse or the other spouse’s child and the offense occurred:
(A) within two years before the date on which a suit for dissolution of the marriage is filed; or
(B) while the suit is pending; or
(2) the spouse seeking maintenance:
(A) is unable to earn sufficient income to provide for the spouse’s minimum reasonable needs because of an incapacitating physical or mental disability;
(B) has been married to the other spouse for 10 years or longer and lacks the ability to earn sufficient income to provide for the spouse’s minimum reasonable needs; or
(C) is the custodian of a child of the marriage of any age who requires substantial care and personal supervision because of a physical or mental disability that prevents the spouse from earning sufficient income to provide for the spouse’s minimum reasonable needs.
Learn more about spousal maintenance in Texas.
How do I get spousal support in a Texas divorce?
To get Spousal Support, you and your spouse must agree to such provisions in your final divorce documents and from there, it becomes a contractual obligation. Provisions of Spousal Support may vary from provisions of Spousal Maintenance. If you are unclear about whether you have Spousal Maintenance or Spousal Support, reach out to a Modern Family Law Texas divorce attorney to discuss.
How long does spousal maintenance last in Texas?
The length of time Spousal Maintenance may last vary on the number of years married or other circumstances.
- For a marriage that lasts at least 10 years but less than 20 years, the maximum length of the award may be five years.
- For a marriage that lasts at least 20 years but less than 30 years, the maximum length of the award may be seven years.
- For a marriage that lasts 30 years or more, the maximum length of the award may be ten years.
If a spouse is awarded spousal maintenance due to family violence within two years of filing the divorce or while the divorce was pending, the maximum length of the award may be five years.
If the spouse seeking maintenance is unable to earn sufficient income to provide for their reasonable minimum needs is diminished due to a physical or mental disability of the spouse seeking maintenance, duties of the custodian of an infant or young child of the marriage, or another compelling impediment to earning sufficient income, the court may consider a longer period of time for the maintenance to continue.
Can I date other people while my Texas divorce is pending?
In Texas, parties are considered to be legally married until the divorce is granted. Dating after filing for divorce in Texas can therefore be considered a form of adultery; furthermore, the party’s conduct during the process may also come into play when reaching a decision by the judge.
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