You married the love of your life and thought it would last forever. But what if it doesn’t turn out that way? Before you start thinking about divorce, make sure that you have put in the hard work of saving your marriage before declaring it over. Talk to a marriage counselor or the pastor at your church about your concerns and the issues at hand, preferably with your spouse. Be careful where you get your information from and who you share the intimate details of your life with. You want someone who can actually give you good advice, not just their opinion. If either of you are uncertain or if there is any chance you and your spouse can rekindle what you had, give it some time to work through the relationship problems. If things don’t get better and your marriage is indeed beyond saving, you will be able to end it knowing that you have given it everything you had.
Divorce can be a stressful time, yet in spite of the challenges, divorce can also be a first step on the road to a better future. If you have made the decision to leave an unhappy situation and are unsure of how to proceed, researching divorce laws is a good place to start. Here are a few facts about Divorce in Texas that you should know.
- Residency Requirements to Obtain a Divorce in Texas
You can get a divorce in Texas if you were married in another state, but you will need to meet residency requirements to get a divorce or “dissolution of marriage” in Texas. During the period just before you file your divorce papers, either you or your spouse must have been a resident of:
• the state for at least six months, and
• the county where you file for at least 90 days.
- “No-Fault” Divorce in Texas
Texas law allows for “no-fault” divorce, which means the spouse filing for divorce does not have to prove any fault, wrongdoing or marital misconduct on the part of the other spouse. The main reasons for granting a divorce in Texas include:
• Insupportability: Conflict between you and your spouse has made your marriage intolerable, and there’s no reasonable hope of getting back together. Most Texas couples file for divorce based on insupportability, because it doesn’t require a long pre-divorce separation and is less likely to result in lengthy, bitter court battles to prove misconduct.
• Three-year separation: You and your spouse have lived apart for at least three years, without marital relations.
- Texas is a Community Property State
When it comes to Divorce in Texas, virtually everything purchased during the marriage is community property and will belong to both of you, regardless of the way it is titled or who paid for it. This includes houses, cars, home furnishings, cash, stocks, retirement accounts, etc. Additionally, all debt acquired is community debt and will be distributed during the divorce.
The exception lies in what is called “Separate Property”, which is property either owned or acquired by a spouse before marriage or acquired by a spouse during marriage by either gift or inheritance. This can include jewelry, vehicles, clothing, houses, etc. Separate property is not subject to division in a divorce and will remain with the owner. It is the date you got the property and the source of the property that controls whether it is community or separate property.
When getting a divorce in Texas, community property is subject to a “just and right” division between spouses. That doesn’t mean that everything is an equal 50/50 split. Judges have a fairly wide range of discretion in deciding who gets what in a property division. It’s worth pointing out that in Texas, judges may consider a spouse’s misconduct when dividing the couple’s property or deciding whether to award spousal support. Along with any prenuptial agreements that may be in place, judges consider several factors when deciding how to divide community property and assets including:
• Financial conditions of both spouses
• Employment status
• Health and age
• Business opportunities
• Alleged faults
If you have put in the hard work to save your marriage but still feel a divorce is in your best interest, speak to a divorce lawyer at The Law Office of Cesar A. Montalvo to discuss the details and determine the best way forward for you and your family.