What You Should Know if You Are Considering Divorce in Texas
Unless you've already been through a divorce in Texas, you probably have questions about the process. Frequently, people's knowledge of divorce comes from watching movies and television. Many of these portrayals are less than accurate, which is why it's not unusual for people to enter the divorce process with an unrealistic viewpoint. Understanding more about divorce in Texas at the outset of the proceedings is the best way to ensure that you make informed decisions.
Like many other states, you do not need to file on any specific grounds for divorce in Texas. Most couples file for a no-fault divorce because this is the easier, more straightforward choice. The grounds are defined as "insupportability," which essentially means that the couple can't get along. Nonetheless, there may be situations in which one spouse wants to file for divorce based on specific grounds. These grounds are most often cruel treatment, such as domestic violence, or adultery. When a fault is alleged in a divorce, it may affect how the couple's property is divided in the settlement.
Texas is a community property state, but this does not mean that all property and assets will automatically be divided on a 50/50 basis. State law requires the "just and right" division of property, which may look more like 45/55 or 60/40. All income earned and property acquired during the marriage will be subject to property division. If one spouse can prove with "clear and convincing" evidence that a certain asset belongs solely to them, then this specific property may not be included in the division of property.
Divorces are not exactly a quick process in Texas since state law requires a 60 day waiting period. This waiting period provides both parties with time to cool off and reflect on the proceedings to ensure that they are making the right choice. Another timeline to be aware of is the residency requirement. No one can file for a divorce in the state unless they have been a resident for six continuous months.
Most divorce cases do not go to court as mediation frequently resolves major issues before a trial can begin. Nonetheless, it may be advisable to work with legal counsel to ensure that the law is being complied with and that the agreed-upon settlement is more likely to be acceptable to the judge. Text or call the America Family Law Center to learn more.
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