Most outside of the court system are unaware how the divorce process is different from state to state. Some states allow for a no-fault divorce, while others do not. Some states require having a divorce attorney, while others allow the couple to divorce with agreed upon documents. Each state is unique, and you need to make sure you understand what goes into a divorce before you seek one out. It is also highly recommended that you only seek a divorce with an experienced divorce attorney by your side. To go into court without one could cost you far more than you may realize.
How Does the Divorce Process Work in Texas?
The divorce process in Texas starts out with the two people involved most directly. The person that actually files the divorce papers petitioning the court for divorce is the petitioner. The other party, which gets served with the divorce papers, is known as the respondent. Both parties have to work together in whatever ways they can to work towards a peaceful resolution to the divorce proceedings.
At least one of the two parties must reside within the state of Texas for a minimum of six months prior to the divorce filing as the state can only preside over the divorces of residents.
Texas divorce proceedings can go under the “no fault” rules, meaning that neither side must prove any type of fault to get a divorce. Both sides can agree that there are issues within the marriage and agree to the divorce without many hiccups. However, there are a couple stipulations that go with the Texas divorce process.
First, there is what most call a cooling off phase. This means that one is not able to get a divorce within 60 days of the initial filing. You must wait at least 61 days, even if both sides agree. Second, neither the petitioner or the respondent can marry anyone for the first 30 days after the divorce is final. That is because Texas allows either side to file an appeal if they did not like the outcome of the divorce.
What Grounds Can You Base a Texas Divorce On?
Luckily for those seeking a divorce in Texas, there are many grounds on which you can file. First, there is adultery. This is one spouse is unfaithful to the other. While Texas is still a no-fault state, proving adultery can be easy grounds for a divorce is one wants to prove fault. Second, there is abandonment. If one spouse leaves the other and cannot or will not respond to attempts to reach them, this can be grounds for an abandonment divorce.
Third, there is incurable insanity, and one spouse being confined for this ailment for a minimum of three years. From there, the other spouse can reach out to the court for a divorce. Fourth, there is felony conviction along with imprisonment for at least one full year. If one spouse commits a felony and is convicted of this crime, imprisonment typically follows. Once that spouse has been incarcerated for more than one year, divorce proceedings can begin for the other spouse.
Fifth, you have cruel and/or inhumane treatment. If one spouse is abusive (emotionally, physically, mentally, etc.) and treats the other spouse poorly, this can be grounds for a divorce as well. Finally, you have the blanket reason for most divorces in Texas, insupportability. What this means is that the two personalities are preventing any type of attempt or expectation that reconciliation is possible.
Do You Need a Divorce Attorney in Texas?
While it is always best to appear in court with an experienced attorney by your side, the state of Texas does not require one for a divorce. The divorce process, especially if the divorce is uncontested, is quite simple. However, it can be easy to overlook specific details from your divorce if you do not consult an attorney first.
There are always three major areas that you need to figure out when it comes to a Texas divorce. First, you have property you two gained while married. This is known as community property. It must be split evenly, giving each party approximately half. Then you have separate property, which was not gained during the marriage. This can include property either of you came into the marriage with, or property gained while already separated. For most people going through the divorce process, you each keep your own separate property, along with your own separate debts, when your divorce is final.
Finally, if there were children as a result of the marriage, their custody also needs to be figured out. This is best left to an attorney in all cases, that way hard feelings are left out of the proceedings. You want someone to help figure out custody who is impartial to both sides, so that only the child(ren)’s best interests are considered. If the two parties cannot agree on a custody agreement, an attorney for the child(ren) can also be consulted.
Make sure you also find out about spousal support if you were married longer than ten years. It can help one side of the divorce transition to single life a bit easier.
Consulting an Attorney for a Texas Divorce
The best thing to do when you want to get a divorce in Texas is to find an attorney who understands how the specific court system works. The more experienced the attorney, the more likely you are to have a final result you feel comfortable with. If you are looking for an attorney to assist with your divorce, you should reach out to the professionals at Illaraza Law. They have years of experience working with the Texas court system and know the ins and outs of divorce thoroughly. Plus, they also know what your rights are and can help to make sure you keep your rights intact during your divorce.