How To Understand Texas Divorce Laws

Couple fighting

Deciding to get a divorce is probably one of the biggest and toughest decisions a couple would be making. And like all decisions, you have to enter into this not just with your eyes, ears and heart open, but you also need to open your mind and learn about divorce laws. Each state, county or country has varying divorce laws in place. If you are from Texas or thinking of filing your divorce papers in Texas, here are some of the provisions you need to know:

1.    Residency and filing requirements.  For one to be able to file a divorce in Texas, one has to meet the residency requirements so that the court will accept the petition. In case the court establishes that they have no jurisdictional rights to hear the case, it will not be accepted. So what are the residency requirements?

  • Petitioner/Respondent should be a resident or domiciliary of Texas for the preceding six-months.
  • A person who is not previously a resident of Texas who is serving in the armed forces of the United States and has been stationed at one or more military installations in Texas for at least six months would be considered to be a Texas domiciliary and a resident.

2.    Grounds for filing. The petition for divorce must declare the appropriate grounds. The appropriate lawful grounds will be something that the parties agree upon or that which the filing spouse would like to prove in court.

  • No Fault – is a divorce in which the court would grant without regard to fault if the marriage has become insupportable due to conflict and discord between the couple.
  • Adultery – if one spouse is found guilty or has committed adultery, the court may grant the divorce.
  • Cruelty – if one spouse is found guilty of cruel treatment toward the complaining spouse, which makes further living together insupportable, the court may grant the divorce.
  • Living apart – if the spouses have lived apart for three years without cohabitation, the court may grant the divorce.
  • There are other reasons or grounds one can file for divorce like conviction of felony, abandonment or confinement of one spouse to a mental hospital, etc.

3.    Primary Documents. These are essential documents needed to start and finalize divorce according to Texas laws:

  • Verification
  • Marital settlement agreement
  • Financial affidavit
  • Child support

These are some of the things you need to know about the divorce laws in Texas, although this could also be the same in other states or counties such as Maryland or Los Angeles.

Some might choose to file for legal separation or annulment instead of divorce. What’s the difference between legal separation and divorce? a legal separation is a legal process by which a married couple live seperately whilst remaining legally married. Others choose this as an alternative to divorce for moral or religious objections to divorce. And others file their divorce papers and opt for an online divorce. Before pushing through with a divorce, legal separation or annulment, try your best to resolve marital disputes amicably. 


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