If you were served divorce papers or are thinking about filing for divorce in Texas, there are many factors to consider. Divorce proceedings can be relatively quick and affordable, or they can drag on for months and become very costly. The mutuality of the divorce, shared assets, and ability of both parties to communicate and negotiate will all affect the length and cost of the divorce process.
Whether you and your spouse are agreeing to get divorced or the divorce is contested, it is important to be informed about the process and enlist the help of a legal professional so that you can protect yourself and make the best decisions for your future.
If you are a Texas resident, here are five things you should know about divorce in the Lone Star State.
- You don’t need fault grounds for divorce. Because Texas is a no-fault state, a spouse doesn’t have to prove that their partner did anything wrong to get divorced. The spouse who starts the divorce just has to file an Original Petition For Divorce with the court. However, the petitioner can sometimes allege fault, which can have an impact on the divorce outcome depending on how the judge rules
2. You have to be a resident. To file for divorce in Texas, one of the spouses involved has to have been a resident of the county in which the divorce is filed for a minimum of 90 days before filing. It is important to file in the correct location in order to avoid confusion and roadblocks.
3. There is a waiting period. In Texas, there is a mandatory waiting period of 60 days to finalize a divorce after all the paperwork has been completed and submitted. In some cases, such as instances of family violence, this waiting period can be waived.
4. Property will need to be divided. Texas is a community property state, which means any property that an individual acquires during their marriage, including real estate and vehicles, is automatically considered marital property to be split equally in a divorce. Joint debt is also considered the responsibility of both parties.
5. Legal separation is not recognized. As one of the states that does not recognize legal separation, Texas considers any property or debt you acquire while living apart from your spouse to be community property. In the Lone Star State, you are either married or divorced, and there is no legal designation for separation.
Divorce can be a complex and emotionally draining process. A family law attorney can be helpful if the divorce is contested, you and your spouse have shared property, you and your spouse have children, or you need alimony. To speak with the experts at Sandoval Family Law, please send us an email or call 512-580-2449. We serve Travis County and Austin, TX.