Texas Divorce Law
While you may be getting a divorce to get away from your spouse, the more you cooperate with them, the smoother your divorce may go. If you’re able to amicably negotiate property division, child custody and child support issues without needing much court intervention, you could potentially walk away faster, happier and with finances to spare.
Of course, not all divorces are friendly affairs. If you and your spouse don’t get along, you can expect more legal hurdles to overcome. This can result in a longer, expensive and stressful divorce.
LawInfo’s Texas Divorce Law articles can help relieve some of the stress of the process. You’ll learn about the state’s divorce prerequisites, how property is divided and many other divorce topics. Whether you need assistance in Houston, Austin or San Antonio, LawInfo can help connect you with a Texas divorce attorney.
Texas Community Property
When you get divorced, everything you both owned isn’t automatically split in half and divided between you two. Texas law allows each spouse to keep their separate property, which includes property owned individually prior to the marriage, gifts, inheritances, insurance benefits and damages recovered from personal injuries.
Property that was acquired during your marriage is considered community property. You and your spouse can try to decide how to distribute your community property between one another. If you are both satisfied and it is a relatively even division, a judge will typically allow the distribution. If you can’t agree on distribution, the court will decide upon a “just and equitable” division of your community property. This usually (but not always) results in an even, 50/50 split of community property.
Divorce vs. Annulment in Texas
Besides death, there are two ways to end a marriage in Texas: divorce or annulment. The main difference between the two methods is the validity of your marriage. A divorce ends a valid marriage whereas an annulment ends an invalid marriage.
To have a marriage annulled, you’d need to prove that the marriage was invalid based on one or more of the following grounds:
- One or both spouses are under 18 years of age at the time of their marriage. A petition for annulment will be barred if submitted after the underage spouse’s 18th birthday.
- The petitioning spouse was married under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- The other spouse was permanently impotent at the time of the marriage without the petitioning spouse’s knowledge.
- The petitioning spouse married the other under duress or force.
- The other spouse fraudulently deceived the petitioning spouse into marrying them.
- Either spouse did not possess the mental capacity to consent to marriage.
- The other spouse had concealed a divorce as recent as 30 days before their marriage to the petitioning spouse without their knowledge.
- The marriage ceremony occurred within the 72-hour waiting period after attaining the marriage license.
Texas Divorce Residency Requirements
Texas law requires either the petitioner or respondent of a divorce to meet specific residency qualifications for a valid divorce to occur. To qualify for a divorce, only one spouse needs to have been a Texas resident for six months and a resident of the county where the divorce lawsuit is filed for 90 days prior to its filing.