What are the residency requirements to get divorced in Texas?
◦ In order for Texas to have jurisdiction over your divorce, generally, you must have been a resident of Texas for 6 months, and a resident of your county for the 90 days preceding the filing the suit
◦ There may be ways to expedite jurisdiction or reasons why Texas may still not be the proper venue for the divorce. It is important to consult with an attorney to verify the proper jurisdiction
How long do I have to wait to get a divorce?
◦ The mandatory waiting period is 60 days from the date your divorce petition is filed. This means that absent certain circumstances where a court can waive the mandatory waiting period, you must wait at least 60 days to finalize your divorce
What is the difference between community property and separate property?
◦ Community property generally means all assets and property acquired during the marriage.
◦ Separate property is assets or property acquired before the marriage, or certain property acquired during the marriage through gift, inheritance or through certain personal injury claims. In order to prove separate property, the requesting party must prove the property was his or hers by “clear and convincing evidence.”
What are the grounds for divorce in Texas?
◦ Texas allows for “no-fault” divorces in the form of insupportability. However, you may wish to receive a disproportionate share of the community estate if one party is more at fault for the divorce. The court can consider the following grounds in order to consider a disproportionate division of the community estate:
▪ Cruel treatment
▪ Abandonment (for at least one year with the intent to abandon)
▪ Long term incarceration (for at least one year)
▪ Confinement to a psychiatric institution for at least 3 years or
▪ Living apart for at least 3 years
Can I get temporary orders during the pendency of the divorce?
◦ Yes! You can go to court to order a party to leave the residence, pay temporary child support, pay temporary spousal support, establish visitation schedules for the parents, or order the parties to abide by certain parameters during the pendency of the divorce.
Can I get spousal support in Texas?
◦ Yes. The party requesting alimony must show one of the following:
▪ The paying spouse was convicted of family violence within two years of the date of the filing of divorce;
▪ The marriage was 10 years or longer, and the requesting spouse lacks sufficient property to provide for minimal needs (including property awarded in the divorce) and cannot support himself or herself through appropriate employment because of an incapacitating physical or mental disability;
▪ The marriage was 10 years or longer, and the requesting spouse lacks sufficient property to provide for minimal needs (including property awarded in the divorce) and is the custodian of a child who requires substantial care and personal supervision, making it necessary for that spouse to remain at home with that child; or
▪ The marriage was 10 years or longer, and the requesting spouse lacks sufficient property to provide for minimal needs (including property awarded in the divorce) and lacks earning ability in the labor market adequate to provide for minimal needs.
Does divorce always have to go to trial?
◦ No. If both parties agree to all of the issues such as the property division and who will be the primary conservator of the children and child support, then you can submit an agreed final order to the judge for their signature. One party must still do a “prove up” of the final order in front of a judge, however.
◦ Mediation is another option if the parties do not agree on all of the issues. At mediation, both parties attend with their attorneys and try to settle all of the contested issues through a third, unbiased party.