Thinking about filing for divorce in Texas? Here are some things you’ll want to know.
Qualifications to File in Texas
Texas law requires that one of the parties reside in the state for at least six months immediately preceding the filing of a divorce complaint. This applies to military personnel as well. As an active duty service-member, you need not have been a resident of Texas before your assignment there, but you must have served at one of the state’s military bases for a minimum of six months before a divorce complaint can be filed.
Furthermore, at least one spouse must have lived in the county where the divorce is filed for a minimum of 90 days immediately prior to the filing of the divorce complaint.
No-Fault and At-Fault Divorce Proceedings
There’s no requirement that you state grounds for filing divorce in Texas. Like all other state, Texas has a process for no-fault divorce. However, successfully alleging fault can provide advantage in property distribution and alimony determinations. Here are the factors that a person can allege as grounds in an at-fault proceeding:
- The other spouse committed adultery
- The other spouse has abandoned the marriage or the marital partner
- The other spouse was convicted of a felony, has served at least one year in the penitentiary in Texas or another state, and has not been pardoned.
- The other spouse engaged in physical or mental
- The other spouse is confined to a mental hospital for at least three years
Alimony or Spousal Support
Alimony or spousal support may be granted in Texas on a limited basis. Alimony awards may be temporary or permanent, based on an assortment of factors, such as the length of the marriage, the age and health of the parties, the earning capacity of the parties, and any evidence of domestic violence or abuse.
Child Support, Managing Conservatorship and Access to Minor Children
Child support is determined according to a state formula, but the court may amend the amount to be paid, based on the needs of the child and the ability of the parents to provide. Courts are required to give priority to the best interests of the child when making determinations related to custody (conservatorship) and visitation (access). Judges generally encourage agreements that allow minor children to have regular and meaningful contact with both parents. The parties may agree to the terms of custody and visitation, but the court always retains the power to impose different conditions to protect the best interests of the child.