Pursuing a Divorce in Texas

Each state has its own set of laws related to divorce and other family matters. These laws and processes define everything from the waiting periods for divorce to child support payment formulas. In the state of Texas, many of these situations are formally defined in the Texas Family Code. If you are looking to pursue a divorce or another family law service, it important to review these Texas divorce laws, even if you have already obtained the services of a divorce attorney. The following pieces of information are intended to provide you with guidance during this process.

What is the difference between a no fault divorce and an at-fault divorce? In Texas, a no-fault divorce is granted in situations where the marriage ends due to conflict or simple incompatibility, which makes reconciliation impossible. These types of divorces may end more amicably than a fault-based divorce. They can also be less time-consuming and contested than a fault-based divorce.

Grounds for fault-based divorce may include when one party has suffered from adultery or cruelty. Additional grounds for a fault divorce may also include situations where the petitioner’s spouse has been convicted and imprisoned for a felony (minimum 1 year sentence), abandoned the petitioner (for at least 1 year), the petitioner and their spouse are living apart (for at least 3 years), or the petitioner’s spouse is confined in a mental hospital (for at least 3 years).

What is a contested divorce? Contested divorces often occur when there are specific issues in which both parties cannot find common ground. These issues typically include child custody, child visitation, spousal maintenance or division of assets. In conflicts regarding spousal maintenance, you should note that spousal maintenance can only last for a specified period of time, and the spouse must show severe need.

Can the courts order legal separation? While some states have specific procedures for legal separation, Texas does not. Court involvement may occur in child custody or child support disputes. Property division issues may also be resolved in court. Since Texas is a community property state, most property that you acquire while married (even when living apart) is not separate. This includes both salary and physical property. However, community property does not include items received during marriage as a gift, through bequest or from devise (this means through inheritance). The separation of property does not occur unless a 辦理離婚 divorce is finalized.

How can I qualify to have my marriage annulled? Annulment refers to the practice in which the courts declare the marriage invalid. There are certain restrictions for this process. In Texas, a marriage can only be annulled if it’s void or voidable. Void or voidable marriages in Texas include:

  • One or both of the parties was a minor at the time of marriage (without parental consent if 16 or 17).
  • One or both of the parties was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of marriage.
  • One or both of the parties concealed a divorce that took place within 30 days of the marriage.
  • The marriage occurred less than 72 hours after the license was issued.
  • Death of a spouse in a voidable marriage.

Marriages may also be annulled in cases of impotence, fraud, duress, force, mental incapacity, bigamy, or consanguinity. Similar to a divorce, a petition must also be filed for annulment. If the marriage is voidable, then one of the parties may petition for an annulment, but is not required to do so. If a marriage is void, it is per se invalid.

Can I file for divorce in Texas if I am not a resident? Either you or your spouse must be a resident of Texas for at least six months and of the county that the divorce petition is being filed in for 90 days. Many couples who do not meet the terms of the divorce choose to separate until they can satisfy the requirements.

Armed Forces members who were previously residents of a Texas county receive a special exemption and are still considered residents, even if they served in another area. Nonresidents of Texas who are armed forces members are considered residents of a county if they served at a military installation of the state for at least 6 months and in the county for at least 90 days.

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