Unlike many other countries in the world, where getting a divorce is an easy job, Texas law pertaining to divorce is quite tough. After deciding you want a divorce from your partner, you have to follow a complex process and these include, getting valid residency of the state, showing a valid reason for divorce, preparing and filling forms, etc. Here is complete guidance.
- Make Sure that You are Eligible to Apply for Divorce in Texas
To apply for divorce in Texas, it is mandatory that you are living with your spouse in the state for the period of six-month. Even if you have got married outside Texas, but currently living in Texas for the said period of time, then also you can file a divorce in Texas. However, there are certain conditions present for this and these are: if one spouse is living out of Texas and one is in Texas, then the couple can file a divorce in Texas. If both partners do not live in Texas, then the couple does not become eligible to get the divorce in Texas, they have to file the divorce in some other state or meet the residency requirement.
- Present Valid Reason for Divorce
Texas family court has a clause that one cannot take divorce from spouse unless he or she has a valid reason for taking divorce. Texas law has seven grounds on which one can apply for divorce. The grounds are.
This is the condition where you and your spouse can file divorce placing no fault condition. When you claim this reason for divorce, you say that you and your spouse have a difference in marriage and it is not possible to overcome those differences.
This condition is present when the applicant has been treated cruelly by their partner. On this ground, the applicant has to show that the cruelty has reached the level that it is not feasible to live together. Some e.g. of cruelty in Texas are a physical attack on a partner, having another relationship within marriage and the person is flaunting that relationship in public, not staying in the house without giving any explanation for a long period of time.
The is the ground when your spouse cheats on you in a relationship.
- Conviction of Felony
When your partner has done felony and has been in prison for one year or more, then it makes a conviction and also gives a valid ground for divorce. However, there is a certain clause present in this ground.
When your partner is no more in contact with you, both of you are not living under the same roof for a long period of time and there is no possibility of his returning, then this becomes a ground for divorce.
- Living Apart
When both partners are not living under one roof with no cohabitation and it has been going on for the period of three years or more, then this becomes a ground for divorce.
- Confinement in Mental Hospital
If one partner is suffering from some mental illness and has been confined in a mental hospital for minimum three years, then the other partner can apply for divorce taking this reason as a ground.
So, for filing a divorce in Texas, you have to consider all these factors and take either one of the reasons as a ground to file divorce. Thus, after meeting the first requirement that is having residency of Texas state for the period of 90 days and then finding a valid ground to take divorce, you can apply for divorce family court of Texas. The other important factor that you have to consider after this is how the property will be distributed. If you have not discussed this matter with your spouse before filing divorce, then it is a huge mistake. The next step is
- Property Distribution
Texas is the State that has called as community property state. This means when you get divorced from your partner finally, your property will be split between two of you equally. You have to be very careful when it comes dealing with property related matter. If you are filing a divorce without any attorney and if you find any complication in filing divorce this way, then this is best to hire a lawyer for this job. The attorney will help you to get a fair distribution in the property after divorce. The same is true with child custody and child support as well. Generally, people face a complication in these two areas while filing divorce. Therefore, read all papers detailed to divorce carefully. In addition to that check spouse maintenance term as well. In Texas, a spouse can ask for maintenance from a partner, if she does not earn enough to take care of her and her children if got the custody or if she is not financially strong. When a person has filed divorce on the ground cruelty or insupportability, then also she can claim for the maintenance.
- Decide Whether to Hire an Attorney or Not
Hiring an attorney to process the divorce is the choice of an individual. Texas gives rights to a person to file a divorce in family court both self or taking the help of an attorney. After clearing all doubts, it is the time to decide. Nevertheless, it is good to take the help of an attorney in filing divorce when there is any dispute between you and your partner related to the property. Whether you decide to take the help of any attorney for filing divorce or want to do on your own, the next step is to file a divorce petition.
- Draft Your Petition
Filing petition is the first step to begin the divorce process. It is the document of court. There are many clauses present in the petition. If you have hired an attorney, then you will get complete guidance about the same. After filling the form with correct information, the next step to present documents in the Court. After presenting documents in court, it is important that you notify your spouse about your decision. You can notice your spouse about divorce by sending her a copy of the same petition. Now, give time to your partner to send a reply on the petition you had sent.
- See if Your Divorce is Contested or Uncontested
It is important to check if your divorce is contested or uncontested. If your spouse has no issues from information you have filled in petition that means your divorce is uncontested and after the period of 60 days, you will get an order for divorce, but if your spouse disagrees with the information you have filed in petition that means your divorce is contested and then you have to fight a legal battle with your spouse to settle down dispute in the Court.
- Write a Divorce Decree
This the final document you have to present in front of the Court. This document verifies all final decisions that both partners have taken. After submitting decree, it is the time to attend all hearings of divorce and then wait to get the final divorce order from the court. In Texas, the waiting period is a minimum of 60 days.