The Divorce Procedure
The Divorce Procedure
Whether a divorce is simple, straightforward or complicated depends on a number of factors. Most of the time a contested divorce takes longer and costs more to finalize more than a non-contested one.
However, the jurisdictions and the laws and procedures may differ in different states. This should not worry you because an experienced divorce lawyer will help you understand the divorce laws in the area you live.
Can You To File For Divorce In Texas?
You can only file for a divorce in Texas if you have lived in the state for a continuous six months. The legal term used is “domiciled” in Texas for six months.
You can only file for divorce in your county in Texas if you have been a resident in that county for a continuous 90 days. Only one of the parties needs to file for divorce and pay the requisite court fee. The party that filed the divorce can then hire a process server to hand deliver a copy of the petition to the other party.
See also…Alternative Dispute Resolution in Texas
Grounds For Divorce
You can file for divorce for a number of reasons, but you do not need a concrete reason to file for divorce. People file for divorce for reasons such as:
- When people live apart for more than 3 years
- when a spouse is a convicted felon
- domestic violence
- confinement in a mental hospital
People choose to file a divorce on specific fault grounds because they know the judge will consider those grounds when the judge is dividing the community estate.
You may receive a disproportionate share of the community estate if the judge feels that your ex-spouse treated you poorly. But since seeking divorce on specific fault grounds can make the process longer and more costly to both spouses, some spouses prefer filing for divorce on no-fault grounds.
In a no-fault divorce the grounds for the divorce is “insupportability”, which simply means that the spouses are seeking divorce because they have disagreements that cannot be resolved.
One of the most important things done during a divorce is property division. Since Texas is a community property state, your marital property will be classified as either separate or community property. Generally, property means the assets, property, and debts associated with you and your spouse. Community property means all the property that the spouses accumulated during the marriage.
This type of property has to be divided in a manner that is “just and right” but that does not necessarily mean a 50/50 division. One party may get more than the other because of fault in the breakup of the marriage, differences in monthly income and so on. However, not all property that the spouses accumulated during the marriage is community property.
Some of that property is separate property. Separate property includes:
- Property only one spouse inherited
- Recoveries from personal injury cases
- Property that a spouse owned prior to the marriage
- Property given to a spouse as a gift
Separate property stays in the hands of the spouse that owns them because it cannot be divided like community property.
See also…Who gets the house in Texas divorce?