What are the grounds for a divorce, also called a "dissolution of marriage?"
Although there are grounds to get a divorce in Texas, they are not usually needed since Texas is a no fault divorce state. That means that people do not have to have a reason to get a divorce, they can just not want to be married to each other any longer. However, the grounds in addition to ‘insupportablibilty’, i.e. “no fault” are:
Confinement to a mental hospital
Who can get divorced in Texas?
Anyone who is married in Texas is eligible to get divorce.
Is my divorce finalized in 6 months?
The Texas Family Code says that no divorce can be finalized until AT LEAST 60 days after the date that it is filed. There are few cases in which the divorce is granted, and all of the paperwork is completed in 60 days. The length of each case is heavily influenced by how contested the case is, how much property the parties own, if there are children involved, and quite honestly how much the parties want to fight about all of these issues.
Are there any residency requirements in order to obtain a dissolution of marriage, a.k.a. Divorce?
In order to file in any county in the state of Texas, one must be a resident of the state for the preceding six (6) months before filing. You must live in the county that you want to file in for the preceding ninety (90) days. You do not have to file for divorce in the state, county or parrish that you were married in, unless you meet those residency requirements at the time that you are ready to file for divorce.
What if one spouse does not want to get divorced?
Since Texas is a no fault divorce state, neither spouse is able to stop a divorce so long as one of the parties to the marriage wants the divorce. Certainly, the spouse that does not want the divorce can make it more difficult by not cooperating, but ultimately a judge will grant a divorce.
Can I change my name in my divorce?
Yes, any person who has changed their name after getting married can revert back to any previous legal name that they have had. This could be their maiden name or a previous married name. Neither party to a marriage is required to take the name of a spouse, nor are they required to “give it back” if they get divorced. If you elect to restore your name to a previous legal name, you can do so essentially free of charge as it is a part of the Final Decree of Divorce. If you elect not to, and later change your name, you can still change your name, it will just be a new law suit with new filing fees, etc.
• What Is A Legal Separation?
There is no such thing as a legal separation in Texas. In order to protect yourself and the marital estate, you must file for divorce. Since it can often take some time to get all of the paperwork completed, it is often that it can take months to completethe process. As such, if someone is contemplating divorce, it is usually best to file and should they choose not to move forward later, the case can be dismissed.
What are my options for handling my divorce case? Do I need a lawyer?
Litigants are eligible in Texas to act as their own lawyer, it is called Pro Se. There are many successful pro se litigants in Texas courts. However, when you represent yourself the Court is going to hold you the same standard as they would a licensed practicing attorney. If you have a somewhat complicated case involving children and property, if the paper work is not completed correctly, there can be some serious problems that can arise later on down the road. I often tell potential clients, that it is more expensive for me to try to fix problems after the fact than it is to just ensure that it is done right the first time.
How long must I have lived in Texas prior to filing for divorce in a Texas court?
Are there any waiting periods associated with a divorce action?
One of the most important questions people have is how much is this going to cost?
This is a very hard question to answer if you do not know the specifics of the case. As a general rule, if you have kids involved in your divorce, it is going to take more time to handle issues involving conservatorship (custody), possession and access, when things take more time, they tend to cost more money. If you have a very large estate including real property, businesses, retirements, etc., that tends to take more time to sort out, thus leading to an increase in cost over all. So until you sit down with an attorney and talk about all of those issues, it is near impossible to give a potential client an honest answer. That is why we offer a low cost consultation so that you will have that one-on-one time with an attorney to talk about the details of your case, including the retainer amount.
What is annulment and how can I get one?
Annulments are very specific and pretty rare. In order to qualify for an annulment a party must meet one of the following criteria:
Person under the age of 18, not having parental consent
Fraud, Duress or Force
Under the influence of alcohol or narcotics
Marriage less than 72 hours after licenses issued.
How old does a child have to be to decide where they want to live?
There is not an age where a child has an absolute right to make a choice about which parent that they want to live with or choosing to visit or not visit a parent. In Texas, children at the age of 12 have the ability to express to a Judge what their preference is regarding which parent they would like to live with. This is not binding on the Judge but is one of many factors that the Court can take into consideration. A child does not have the right to decide not to visit a parent who has court ordered visitation.
What kind of visitation will I get/my ex get?
There are several versions of visitation schedules that are available to divorcing couples now. There is the Standard Visitation Schedule – this is what most of us remember from a long time ago, 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends from 6 p.m. on Friday until 6 p.m. on Sunday and Thursday from 6-8 p.m. There is now a more modern approach to that visitation schedule that is supposed to equalize the time between parents with their children and also create a schedule so that high conflict couples do not have to participate in exchanging the child very often. That visitation schedule is 1st, 3rd and 5th Fridays beginning when the child is released from school and ending when the child returns to school on Monday and every Thursday during the school year starting at the time school is released and ending on Friday when school begins. There is also a 50/50 option which is only going to apply in certain situations and should be further discussed with an attorney.