When you are considering filing for a divorce in Texas, it’s important that you understand some of the basics before you file. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions.
Do You Have to Be a Texas Resident? If So, For How Long?
The Texas courts do not have jurisdiction in a divorce proceeding unless one of the parties has been a legal resident of the state for at least 180 days, and a resident of the county where the divorce complaint is filed for at least three months.
Do You Have to Give a Reason for Wanting a Divorce?
No. Texas allows no-fault divorce, so you can ask for a divorce with or without stating the grounds. In a no-fault proceeding, the only requirement is a statement that you and your spouse have “irreconcilable differences.” You can, however, allege grounds for divorce, such as adultery, cruelty, abandonment, felony conviction or confinement in a mental institution, and may be able to get a greater share of marital property if the court agrees.
How Long Will It Take for Your Divorce to Be Finalized?
The length of a divorce proceeding can vary, based on a number of factors, such as the ability of the parties find mutually acceptable solutions on matters such as custody, visitation, support and property distribution. Under Texas law, though, a divorce cannot be finalized for at least 60 days after the filing of the complaint.
Can a Party Get an Alimony Award in Texas?
Texas law allows alimony, but only in limited situations. As a general rule, the recipient must show that he or she lacks the ability to be self-supporting, has a physical or mental disability, or cannot take care of his or her own basic needs.
How Will Property Be Divided?
Texas is a community property state. Accordingly, any property obtained during the marriage must be divided equally, with a few exceptions. For more information, see our blog on Texas Community Property laws.
How Is Child Custody Determined?
The parties may agree to a specific arrangement, but the court has the power to overrule that agreement if there is evidence of duress or coercion, or the court determines the arrangement is not in the child’s best interests.
How Does the Court Calculate Child Support?
Like all other states, Texas applies a formula that takes into consideration the income of both parties, the needs of the child, and any other special factors.