November 18, 2022  

Divorce in Texas: Important Things to Know

If you're considering filing for divorce in Texas, there are a few things you should know. In this blog post, we'll cover the basics of the divorce process in Texas, from how to file to what happens with your property and children. By the end of this article, you should have a good understanding of the divorce process in Texas and what to expect.
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The Basics of Divorce in Texas

Texas is a state that allows couples to get a divorce if either one or both have been a resident of the state for at least 6 months and a county resident for at least 90 days. Parents can also file for divorce if their children are under the age of 18 or if the child is over 18 but is incapacitated and under guardianship.

Divorce in Texas is either uncontested , contested or default. The processes are generally not easy to get. You will likely need to go through mediation or a court-ordered process after filing for divorce. If you are seeking an uncontested divorce, this may not be as difficult as it may be if your spouse objects to the dissolution of your marriage. However, regardless of the type of divorce you seek, it is important to speak with a divorce attorney about your situation prior to filing because there are many legal details that can affect your outcome.

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“Regardless of the type of divorce you seek, it is important to speak with a divorce attorney about your situation prior to filing."

How to File for Divorce in Texas

If you are considering divorcing in Texas, it is important to understand the required steps. First, you must meet the residency requirements. Second, you or your spouse must file a petition in the correct county court. Third, if it is contested, you will be required to attend mandatory mediations before trials. Fourth, you can get a divorce decree signed by the judge only after 60 days from filing of the petition.

To file for a divorce in Texas, you must meet the residency requirements. Normally, you must have been living in Texas for at least six months before filing. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. If one spouse is military personnel stationed outside of the state, that person can qualify for a quick divorce by meeting the residency requirement. Additionally, if one spouse cannot afford to live in Texas and files for an annulment instead of a divorce, that person also qualifies for a quick divorce.

When filing for a divorce in Texas, it is important to know which county court you should file your petition with. There are 24 counties in Texas, each with its own courthouse. To find out which county court your case will be filed in, you can use the online Court Finder tool or contact your local county clerk's office.

To complete and sign several forms, including the Final Decree of Divorce, you must bring certain paperwork to court when filing your petition. This includes your driver's license or state ID card; proof of marital status (such as a marriage certificate or birth certificate); financial documents relating to the dissolution of marriage (such as bank statements and bills); any children involved in the divorce (if they are minors or have legal custody); and property/debt settlement agreements if applicable.

Children and Divorce Laws in Texas

When a couple divorces in Texas, one of the most important decisions they will have to make is who will care for their children. This decision is based on a number of factors, including how much time the child spends with each parent and which parent has custody. In general, child custody in Texas is determined based on the best interests of the child.

In order to determine what is in a child's best interests, courts will often look at a variety of factors, such as the parent's abilities to provide for and care for the child. Additionally, courts may consider whether one or both parents have had prior involvement with the child(ren). Finally, courts may also take into account any domestic violence perpetrated by either party against the other party or against any children involved in the marriage or relationship.

In Texas, child support is generally calculated by using a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s net income. The percentage of income that must be paid in child support depends on the number of children that the couple has. If a couple has one child, then the non-custodial parent will have to pay 20% of his or her net monthly income in child support. This number increases to 25% for two children, and so on.

Community Property and Divorce in Texas

Divorcing couples in Texas must follow the state's community property laws. It provides a framework for dividing marital assets and debts during divorce. Generally, property acquired during the marriage is considered community property. This means that each spouse owns half of all community property, regardless of who contributed what to the acquisition. Each spouse also has an equal right to income generated from community property.

Debts incurred during the marriage are also considered community obligations. This means that either spouse may be required to pay any debt incurred by the other spouse without getting any credit for it on their own credit report. Certain exceptions apply, such as if one spouse signs a loan agreement in front of witnesses indicating that he or she will be responsible for the debt.

Dividing community property and debts can be a complex and sensitive matter. Understanding community property can help simplify the filing process for divorce and reduce stress levels associated with this important event. It is important to consult with a lawyer if you have questions about your rights and responsibilities as a result of a Texas divorce.

Separate Property and Divorce in Texas

In Texas, divorcing couples are typically required to divide their property according to a set of guidelines known as "separate property." This includes any assets, money, or debts that were acquired before the marriage, as well as any income generated from these assets during the marriage.

Normally, separate property is divided equally between the spouses. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if one spouse has significantly more wealth than the other spouse, then that spouse may be able to receive a larger portion of their marital assets in total or in specific categories. Additionally, courts have also allowed for certain types of spousal support payments to be considered separate property.

Divorcing couples should consult with an attorney prior to filing in order to ensure that they fully understand their rights and responsibilities regarding the separate property. If one spouse fails to comply with court orders related to the division of separate property, this can lead to significant consequences such as increased financial obligations for that party and/or legal penalties.

Spousal Maintenance During and After Divorce in Texas

In a Texas divorce, spousal maintenance (called alimony by some) is typically determined based on the couple's marital status, income, and needs. In most cases, spousal support is paid to help one spouse financially while they are unable to earn an adequate income. The amount of spousal support that will be paid will usually depend on a number of factors, including the spouses' ages and the duration of their marriage.

The determination of whether spousal support is necessary can often be quite complex. To help determine if this type of support is appropriate, it is important to understand all of the facts involved in your case. If you believe that your spouse may need financial assistance during this difficult time, it may be helpful to speak with an attorney about your options.

Spousal maintenance payments can last for a period of at least three years after the divorce is finalized in Texas.

If you are seeking spousal maintenance, it is important to understand the different types of support that are available to you. These include temporary or permanent financial assistance, as well as help with bills and other expenses.

In order to qualify for spousal maintenance, your spouse must meet certain income requirements. Generally, this means that your spouse must earn less than what you were earning at the time of your marriage. If your spouse does not meet these income requirements, spousal maintenance may still be awarded if there are special circumstances involved.

If you believe that your spouse may need financial assistance during this difficult time, it may be helpful to speak with an attorney about your options. An attorney can provide you with information about the various types of support that are available in Texas divorces, as well as advice on how to pursue them.

Filing for an Uncontested Divorce in Texas

If you are looking to file for an uncontested divorce in Texas, there are a few things you must do first. First, you must be a resident of Texas for at least 6 months. Additionally, you or your spouse must have lived in the county where you file for at least 90 days before the court can grant the divorce. If either of these conditions is not met, your divorce will be granted on a contested basis.

Once you have filed for divorce, there is a 60-day waiting period before the divorce will be final. This means that if everything goes according to plan and both parties agree to all terms of the divorce, it could take up to 60 days for your divorce to become final. However, if there are any disputes or disagreements between you and your spouse during this waiting period, they can be brought before a judge who may decide to extend or terminate the waiting period.

In order to speed up this process, it is often beneficial to work with an attorney who specializes in uncontested divorces. An attorney can help negotiate agreements between both parties and guide them through the entire filing process so that everything goes as smoothly as possible.

The Petition for Divorce Process in Texas

To file for a divorce in Texas, you will first have to gather the necessary documents. These documents can include copies of your marriage certificate, any court orders that pertain to your case, and any affidavits that support your case. Once you have gathered these documents, you will need to take them to your local county courthouse. There, you will need to fill out a Petition for Divorce form and submit it with the required paperwork. If your spouse is also filing for a divorce, they will need to do the same.

Once you have filed the petition and received confirmation from the county clerk that it has been processed, you will then be given an official date on which your divorce may become final. However, if either party does not want their divorce finalized by this date, they may choose to go through additional steps such as mediation or arbitration.


While divorce is never an easy process, it is important to understand the basics of divorce in Texas. This article has covered the basics of filing for divorce, property division, child custody, and spousal support. By understanding the process and knowing what to expect, you can make the best decisions for yourself and your family.
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AILEEN LIGOT DIZON

Aileen is an experienced Texas Divorce Attorney. She is a Houston-based divorce attorney who has been helping couples through the process. After seeing too many couples fighting and not knowing where to turn, she decided to create this Texas divorce blog site.
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