In order to sue for divorce in Texas, either you or your spouse must have lived in the state continuously for the six months prior to filing. One of you must also have been a resident of the county where you are filing for at least 90 days beforehand. In Texas, there is a waiting period of at least 60 days after the petition is filed before the divorce is finalized, but most divorces take six months to a year to be completed, depending on how many issues are contested.

There are seven grounds for divorce allowed under Texas law:

  • Insupportability: Insupportability means “discord or conflict of personalities” that has prevented any “reasonable expectation of reconciliation.”
  • Living apart: This requires the “spouses have lived apart without cohabitation for at least three years.”
  • Confinement in a mental hospital: This requires one spouse be confined in a state or private mental hospital for at least three years and that “the mental disorder is of such a degree and nature that adjustment is unlikely or that, if adjustment occurs, relapse is probable.”
  • Cruelty: Cruelty in a marriage occurs when one spouse treats the other spouse cruelly and living together is insupportable.
  • Abandonment: Abandonment requires that one spouse has “left the complaining spouse with the intention of abandonment; and remained away for at least one year.”
  • Felony conviction: The conviction of a felony, while a ground for Texas divorce, must be proven by the alleging spouse.
  • Adultery: Adultery is a fault-based ground for divorce and must be proven by the alleging spouse.

Texas divorces can be uncontested or contested. In order to file an uncontested divorce, all parties must agree upon all terms of the decree, including the division of property, alimony, child custody (otherwise known as conservatorship), child visitation, and child support. When one of these topics (or another topic) proves to be a sticking point, which is very often the case, the divorce is considered contested.

Brazoria County Divorce Lawyers

Terry & Roberts’ Brazoria County divorce lawyers work with our clients to establish divorce goals and reach the best possible outcome. When choosing a Texas family law attorney, it is crucial to ensure you select a lawyer or law firm with extensive knowledge of Texas divorce law. Our Brazoria County divorce attorneys handle family law exclusively, giving our legal team the focus you need to move your divorce proceedings through the system efficiently and effectively. For clear, caring, and practical legal guidance to enable you to do what’s best for your family, contact us today.

Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce Law

Is no-fault divorce legal in Texas?

Yes. There is no need to prove that either party is at fault for a divorce in the state of Texas. A married couple can file for divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. However, it is important to note that in cases of domestic violence, infidelity, criminal activity, or other instances where one party is at fault, those details may play an important part in divorce proceedings and child custody arrangements.

Will I receive or be expected to pay spousal support/alimony?

In Texas, the concept of alimony is called spousal maintenance, and it refers to payments one spouse is required to make to the other under the terms of a divorce settlement. Whether or not you receive or have to pay spousal maintenance depends upon a number of factors, including individual income and length of the marriage, among other considerations.

Can I get a divorce without a lawyer?

You can file for divorce without the assistance of a lawyer; however, divorce law is complex. It would be in your best interest to have legal help. A divorce lawyer will be familiar with how the family court system works and so they can help you achieve more favorable terms in your divorce. If there are children involved and custody concerns, it is even more important to have an experienced family lawyer on your side.

If I got married in a different state, can my divorce take place in Texas?

As long as either you or your spouse have lived in Texas for at least 6 months and the county you’re filing in for 90 days, you can file for divorce in Texas regardless of the state in which you were married.

What’s the difference between a legal separation and a temporary order?

Some states require spouses to have a legal separation for a certain period of time (often a year) before they can file for divorce. During that time, there may be a legal separation agreement enforced by the court. In Texas, this is not required and there is no specific period of time that you must be separated before you can file for divorce. Since Texas doesn’t have legal separation, during the period between when one spouse files for divorce and the court grants it, the court may issue temporary orders, which are a legally binding on both parties until the divorce is final.

How long does a divorce take?

In Texas, there is a minimum waiting period of 60 days from the date that a petition for divorce is filed before a divorce can be finalized. One exception to this rule is instances of domestic violence, where a divorce may be granted sooner than the typical 60-day waiting period. After the initial waiting period, a divorce may take anywhere from 6 months to a year or more depending upon the complexities of the marital estate and whether or not minor children are involved.

How is custody of children determined in a divorce?

The court will decide what is best for the child(ren) in terms of custody in a divorce. The court may award sole custody to one parent or joint custody to both parents with a legal agreement in place to govern how the child(ren)’s time is spent with each parent and who has the right to make decisions on their behalf.

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