Each state has its own laws regarding divorce. In Texas, the divorce laws in the state are pretty similar to those in other states, though there are some differences here and there. Make sure you understand what the state laws say regarding residency, fault, grounds for filing, and other requirements.
Divorce and Residency Requirements
There are residency requirements that petitioners must meet in order to file for divorce in Texas. One of the parties must have been a resident of the state in the preceding six-month period and a resident of the county in which he or she is filing for the preceding 90 days.
Fault and Grounds for Filing for Divorce
Texas allows no-fault divorce based on insupportability, which means that the parties do not expect to be able to reconcile the marriage. In this case, neither party is deemed to be at fault for the marriage’s failure.
Other cases petition for divorce based on one of the grounds for divorce allowed in the state. This includes living apart if the spouses haven’t cohabitated for at least three years. Slightly different is abandonment. This occurs when a spouse has intentionally left the other spouse and has been gone for at least a year.
Cruelty of one spouse towards the other is another grounds for divorce. The court may also grant a divorce on the grounds of adultery.
Other grounds for divorce include if one spouse has been confined to a mental hospital for at least three years and likelihood of relapse is significant, or if a spouse is convicted of a felony and imprisoned for at least year. However, it doesn’t apply when a spouse was convicted based on the other spouse’s testimony.
Division of Property
Texas is a community property state, meaning assets or debts obtained during the marriage are deemed the property of both spouses. The court divides the property in a fair and just manner, taking into consideration the rights of both spouses and any children in the marriage.
Counseling Ordered by the Court
While rare, in some cases the court may order marriage counseling. The counselor can then provide his or her opinion as to the chance of reconciling the relationship. If counseling is recommended, the court may mandate it, along with specific conditions. If the parents have minor children, counseling must address issues of parent-child relationships.
Spousal maintenance/support could be available, depending on whether the spouse meets the requirements. There are several factors considered like each spouse’s ability to support him/herself because of a disability. The court may consider lack of earning ability, education/employment skills and more. These are decided on a case-by-case basis.
Child Custody and Support
Like other states, Texas acts in the best interests of the children with regard to child custody and support. Parents are given the opportunity to resolve the matter and develop a parenting plan that works for them. When they cannot, then the courts may have to intervene.