Married couples in Texas who choose to divorce must understand some basic information about the divorce process and what is required for a divorce to be granted. At times, the divorce process can become confusing, so many people choose to work with divorce lawyers to help them. The outcome of a divorce is dependent upon many different factors. Therefore, in order to obtain the most favorable outcome, anyone considering a divorce should seek the counsel of experienced divorce attorneys.
State Residency Requirement
In order to obtain a divorce in Texas, at least one spouse must have been a resident of the state for a minimum of six months prior to filing for the divorce. They must also have been a resident within their county for at least three months. A request for divorce is filed in the county where the requesting spouse resides. It cannot be granted any sooner than 60 days from the date of filing.
Grounds for Divorce
Texas is a “mixed grounds” state concerning divorce. This means the State recognizes the grounds of both No Fault and Fault when a person files for divorce. No Fault divorce is granted in cases of irreconcilable differences or living apart without recognizing the marriage for three or more years. Grounds for a Fault divorce include adultery, abandonment, cruelty, and confinement in a mental institution, among others.
Division of Property
Because Texas is a community property state, divorce lawyers advise that the courts will divide any marital property equally between the two spouses, unless there is reason not to do so. Marital property is considered to be any income that was generated while married, property purchased with that income, any investments or retirement plans, compensation funds, and many other things. Marital property does not include any property that was brought into the marriage by each individual spouse, gifts, inheritances, and other individually owned property. Joint property can be divided by agreement of the spouses through their divorce attorneys; if the parties disagree, it will be divided by the court.
Child Custody and Support
Texas courts and divorce lawyers are very much in favor of co-parenting. In this light, the courts will assign custody according to the best interest of the children. Parents are encouraged to continue parenting together and to nurture relationships with both the mother and the father. If there is some reason why this cannot or should not happen, divorce attorneys and the courts will help parents create a more suitable plan. Parents can also arrange their own custody agreements; however, the courts must approve them first. Co-parenting applies to child support as well, in which both parents are financially responsible for the care and raising of their children. The amount of support is set based on many different factors, including income and other financial issues.
Spousal Support or Alimony
In Texas, spousal support may be granted if certain conditions apply. The applying spouse must either be: 1) unable to support themselves due to a medical or mental condition; 2) the primary caregiver of a child requiring extensive care that does not allow the parent to be self-sufficient; or 3) any other reasons that prevent a spouse from becoming self-sufficient. As with child support, spousal support is based on income and other financial factors.
Although the procedures for divorce are similar in most states, some details such as residency, marital property, custody, and support differ from state to state. Some divorces may be relatively simple and quick to resolve. Others, including those where there are disputes over marital property or children, can be more complex. The best advice is to work with experienced divorce lawyers or divorce attorneys to ensure the most favorable outcome for all involved.
Peterson Law Group – Main Office
College Station TX 77840