Yes, there are numerous laws regarding divorce in Texas, which are important to be familiar with if you’re contemplating divorce. Each state has its own divorce legislation and practices, each slightly different. Below we discuss five important legalities specific to Texas.
Texas Residency Requirements
Each state has its own residency requirements, ranging from six months to a year. In Texas, the requirement is six months. In order to file for divorce, you must be able to verify that you or your spouse have lived in Texas for at least six months, and that you have lived in the county in which you filed for at least 90 days.
You can prove Texas residency by:
- affidavit stating the date you moved to Texas;
- driver’s license; or
- leases or utility bills in your name.
Texas Allows for Both Fault and No-Fault Divorces
When you file for divorce in Texas, essentially you have two choices. One option is to file a no-fault divorce in which you tell the courts that there are unresolvable issues in the marriage, such as personality differences, and that there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation.
You can also file a fault-based divorce stating one of the following as your grounds:
- felony conviction;
- living apart for three years; or
- commitment to a mental institution.
Texas is a 50/50 State
Texas is a “communal property” state, which means that all the assets and debts accumulated by the spouses during marriage are “joint” property and subject to a 50/50 split, unless both parties agree or the judge decides differently. Splitting assets and debts, a process known as equitable distribution, is no easy task.
Unless there is little to no communal property, equitable distribution generally necessitates a:
Alimony is Not a Given in the State of Texas
In Texas, not every case involves alimony. Some spouses do not seek it, and some are disqualified for various reasons.
Alimony depends on a number of factors, including:
- each spouse’s contributions to the marriage;
- age, education, and earning capacity of each spouse;
- financial dependence;
- length of marriage;
- adultery (which could bar the recipient spouse from receiving alimony);
- criminal activity; or
- other marital misconduct.
If alimony is a factor in your divorce, speak with a lawyer as soon as possible to ensure any proposed payments are fair and accurately documented.
Texas Requires a Slew of Legal Documents for Divorce
Without exaggeration, in order to get a divorce in Texas, you may have to fill out a good 10-20 documents and then file them with the clerk of the court.
Some of the standard divorce forms include:
- verification forms;
- separation agreements;
- financial affidavits;
- child supportworksheets;
- parenting plans(custody arrangements);
- the actual petition for divorce; and
- the decree of divorce.
These are just a few of the forms required. To make sure you have all your paperwork in order and that all important matters are handled with care, seek legal representation.
Get Help from a Divorce Attorney in Dallas
If you need an attorney for your divorce, contact the Law Office of Julie Johnson, PLLC. We provide consultations and can help you navigate Texas divorce laws and handle your divorce expediently. Contact us today at 214-265-7630.