In this post we discuss the sometimes complex terrain of ending a marriage in the Lone Star State. No matter whether this is your first encounter with Texas divorce laws or not, it is vital that you are informed about your rights as part of any proceedings that may occur.
Contested vs. uncontested divorces
Divorce in Texas can be categorized into two main types: contested and uncontested. Here’s an explanation of each:
Contested divorce occurs when two parties cannot come to an agreement regarding all aspects of their dissolution of marriage, leading them to court and having the judge rule on those issues in their dissolution of marriage. It’s usually more expensive, contentious, and time-consuming than any other type of process available; this type of litigation typically lasts years rather than days or weeks.
An uncontested divorce occurs when neither party is engaged in contentious conflict over the terms or process of their separation agreement or divorce itself. An uncontested divorce can arise through written agreement between both parties or by default.
An attorney acting as your advocate provides an impartial perspective, sound legal advice, and reliable representation that protects your interests in a divorce case.
Emotions often run high during divorce, making it challenging to see the bigger picture objectively. Competent attorneys help avoid emotional decisions by offering sound guidance based on legal principles.
Grounds for Divorce in Texas
The most frequently used ground for divorce in Texas is “insupportability,” signifying that the marriage has reached a breaking point due to irreconcilable discord or conflict. In essence, it acknowledges that the marital relationship is no longer sustainable.
Additionally, Texas law recognizes fault-based grounds for divorce, which include cruelty, adultery, felony conviction, abandonment, living apart, and confinement in a mental hospital.
These fault-based grounds offer alternatives for individuals facing situations where the marriage’s breakdown is attributed to specific actions or conditions.
As with every state, Texas requires certain criteria before you can file for divorce. One or both partners must have resided in Texas for at least six months and in the county where filing occurs for 90 days before beginning separation and/or divorce proceedings.
In many states, partners must live apart for some period (typically six or 12 months) before beginning divorce proceedings, but in Texas, a couple could remain together throughout this process.
Be wary of any spouse who wants to move or visit another state. If considering making such a move yourself, fully research divorce laws beforehand and enter with clear eyes.
Property Division in Texas
Texas is one of nine states which recognize community property laws, meaning any property acquired during marriage (with certain exceptions) belongs equally to both spouses. This can have significant ramifications when dissolving property during divorce proceedings.
Child Custody and Support
Texas child custody decisions are determined based on what’s best for their children, whether that means creating a parenting plan themselves or going through court to determine custody arrangements. Child support payments may be determined based on parents’ incomes and additional factors.
Spousal Support (Alimony)
Under certain circumstances, Texas allows for spousal support, also known as alimony. Alimony awards should consider factors like length of marriage, the ability of one spouse to provide for their needs independently, and the capability of the other partner to pay. Knowing the types of alimony available and the factors considered can be vital during divorce negotiations.
The Divorce Process in Texas
The divorce process in Texas typically involves several steps:
- Filing a petition for divorce
- Serving notice to your spouse
- Property division and child custody negotiations
- Attending mediation, if necessary.
- Going to court for a final divorce decree
Alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation are encouraged to help couples reach agreements outside of court, reducing litigation’s emotional and financial toll.
The Cost of Divorce in Texas
Being aware of the financial implications of divorce in Texas is important. On average, the cost of divorce in the state can be significant.
According to a recent report, the average cost of divorce without children in Texas is approximately $11,000 – $13,000. Texas divorce attorneys typically charge an hourly minimum fee of $260 and an hourly maximum fee of around $320.
These statistics highlight the significance of meticulous planning and seeking legal advice to safeguard your interests during a divorce.
Even after your divorce is finalized, there are post-divorce considerations to remember. These may include modifying court orders for child custody or support if circumstances change and addressing estate planning matters to update wills and beneficiaries.
In conclusion, divorce in Texas involves specific legal considerations that can significantly impact your future. These are the grounds for divorce in Texas:
- Understanding residency requirements
- Grasping property division rules
- Navigating child custody and support matters
- Comprehending spousal support (alimony)
- Mastering the divorce process
For additional assistance and advice, please contact us to set up a consultation where we will discuss your individual needs.
Contact Us Today
Are you in Texas seeking experienced legal advice and representation from a divorce attorney? Look no further than the attorneys at The Texas Divorce Lawyer. We possess extensive expertise in family and divorce law matters and can utilize our resources to achieve optimal results in every instance.
Contact us now to schedule a consultation.