Divorce Laws in Texas

Deciding to dissolve a marriage is never easy. A person who is unhappy in marriage and is contemplating a divorce can get his or her questions answered by a Texas divorce attorney.

Residency Requirements

In Texas, a person who petitions for a divorce must be a lawful resident in the state for at least six months prior to requesting a dissolution of marriage. The petitioner must also have resided in the county where the petition is filed for at least 90 days prior to doing so. It is irrelevant where the other spouse resides.

Valid Reasons for Divorce

In Texas, the petitioner must show proper grounds for divorce. Some of the valid reasons for divorce include:

  • Adultery or philandery
  • Living apart for more than three years
  • Confinement of one spouse in a mental institution for at least three years
  • Abandonment: This happens when one spouse completely leaves the other for more than one year and has no intention to return.
  • Cruelty: This occurs whenever one spouse is vicious or callous towards the other. Cruelty does not have to include actual acts of violence.
  • Conviction for a felony: If one spouse has been convicted of a felony that results in more than one year in confinement, it may be grounds for divorce.

No-Fault Divorce

The court may also grant a no-fault divorce to couples who have no other grounds. In order to qualify for a no-fault divorce, there must be an extreme disconnect between the spouses’ personalities that makes it impossible to reconcile or live together harmoniously.

Division of Property

One of the issues that will be addressed in a divorce decree is the division of marital property. Since Texas is a community property state, any property that is obtained by one spouse during the marriage equally belongs to the other. This does not always amount to an even 50/50 split, as the court will take other factors into consideration, such as:

  • Inherited property
  • Income and earnings of both spouses
  • The property was obtained while domiciled in another state
  • There was a written agreement between the spouses

Child Custody

Whenever the marriage involves underage children, child custody must also be settled in a final decree of dissolution. Parents are encouraged to settle this matter amicably among themselves whenever possible, but if this cannot be done, the court will intervene and determine custody matters. Even if parents are able to agree on custody, a judge may overturn the decision if he feels that the conditions of the agreement are not in the best interests of the children.

Those who are concerned about how divorce will affect the various aspects of their lives should schedule a consultation with attorney Mario Madrid at 713-877-9400.