Texas Divorce Laws
Divorce, or the dissolution of marriage, is handled at the state level. In Texas, legal requirements for divorce include the establishment of a domicile (permanent home) in the state for at least six months, among other regulations.
Texas Divorce Laws: Legal Grounds
In Texas, divorce law allows for no-fault divorce, which means neither party needs to provide evidence that the other party is at fault. But technically speaking, the divorce petition for a no-fault divorce will list "insupportability" as the cause (or fault). This is defined by statute as a marriage that cannot be supported because of "discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation."
Other grounds include cruelty, adultery, conviction of a felony, abandonment, living apart (the parties are legally separated), or confinement in a mental hospital. Defenses to divorce in Texas are exceedingly rare, limited to situations where the court finds a "reasonable expectation of reconciliation."
Texas Marital Property Division
Texas is one of the states that was under Spanish rule. As a result, it's a community property state. This means that all property acquired during the marriage is equally owned by both spouses and therefore it is equally divided in the event of a divorce. While the community property law is generally followed, Texas courts will order the division of property with regards to the rights of each party and any children of the marriage. There can be separate property in the marriage if it:
- Was acquired before the marriage;
- Was a gift or inheritance to only one spouse; or
- Was received as recovery for personal injuries
Texas Divorce Laws: Overview of the Law
|Code Section||Texas Family Code, Section 6.001, et seq.|
|Residency Requirements||One party domiciliary for preceding 6 months and resident of county for preceding 90 days.|
|Waiting Period||60 days from when suit was filed. Neither party may remarry before 31st day after decree signed (may be waived by court).|
|'No Fault' Grounds for Divorce||Separation (3 yrs.); marriage is insupportable due to discord.|
|Defenses to a Divorce Filing||Defense of recrimination abolished; condonation is defense only when reasonable expectation of reconciliation; defense of adultery abolished.|
|Other Grounds for Divorce||Adultery; cruelty or violence; abandonment/desertion (1 yr.); insanity (confined for at least 3 yrs.); conviction of felony and imprisonment at least 1 yr. (unless spouse testifies against convicted spouse).|
|Division of Property||
Texas Family Code:
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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Texas Divorce Laws: Related Resources
Get Professional Legal Help With Your Texas Divorce Case
Divorce is rarely an easy undertaking and is usually quite stressful for both parties. The best way to get peace of mind in a divorce proceeding is to work with an experienced attorney licensed in your state, who can manage the process and fight your interests. Get started now by contacting a Texas divorce attorney near you.
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