Texas Divorce Laws

Divorce in Texas 2024

Divorces in Texas must first meet the residency requirements before eligibility is assessed. Residency requirements in Texas state that at least one individual in the marriage must reside within the state borders of Texas for a minimum of six months.

Texas divorceDivorce petitions are filed at the county clerk’s office of the county of residence. If both individuals reside within the state but within different counties, either may petition for divorce in either county. If an individual resides outside of Texas’ state lines, he or she may lawfully file for divorce in his or her spouse’s Texas county.

Upon filing an individual must reside in the county of filing for a minimum of ninety days prior to filing. Individuals serving in the United States armed forces and stationed in Texas are considered state residents after six months and must also submit to the ninety-day county requirement.

All divorce cases are to be handled by the district clerk’s office in the county of residency. Files will be held here until the court hearing date.

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Legal Divorce

In order for a divorce to be legal, it must be based on legal divorcing grounds. Divorce grounds are the reason why the individual or individuals request a divorce. An individual filing for divorce will need to state his or her reason for the divorce and then prove these grounds before the court.

Individuals may also petition for divorce together and file on decided grounds. Each state has its own set of divorce grounds that may not be legal in any other state. Texas divides its divorce grounds into seven categories.

Legal Requirements for a Divorce

To start the divorce process in Texas, one party must petition for the divorce. This is done through the District Court located in the county where one, or both parties, reside. However, it should be noted that at least one party must be a legal resident for at least six months. One party must also reside within the county limits for at least 90 days before the petition is filed.

Filing with the Court in Texas

You must file your Texas divorce papers in the court located in the County where you presently reside. We will provide the court information in the documents that we send to you, but some of the courts in Texas are listed below:

  • Dallas County 101st District Court:
    600 Commerce, Room 480, Dallas, 75202-4606 Phone: (214)653-7256
  • Tarrant County 141st District Court:
    401 W Belknap, Fort Worth, 76196-0224 Phone: (817) 884-1997
  • Collin County 199th District Court:
    210 S McDonald, Ste 534, McKinney, 75069-7602 Phone: (972) 424-1460
  • Travis County 126th District Court:
    1000 Guadalupe, Ste 436, Austin, 78701 Phone: (512) 854-9313
  • McLennan County 170th District Court:
    501 Washington Ave, Ste 303, Waco, 76701-1380 Phone: (254) 757-5045
  • Houston County 349th District Court:
    500 N Church St, Palestine, 75801 Phone: (903) 723-7415
  • Jefferson County 136th District Court:
    1001 Pearl St, Beaumont, 77701-3707 Phone: (409) 835-8481
  • Bexar County 131st District Court:
    100 Dolorosa St, #202, San Antonio, 78205-3028 Phone: (210) 335-2521
  • Nueces County 105th District Court:
    901 Leopard, Ste 802, Corpus Christi, 78401 Phone: (361) 888-0510
  • Cameron County 103rd District Court:
    974 E Harrison, Brownsville, 78520-7123 Phone: (956) 544-0844
  • Webb County 111th District Court:
    1110 Victoria, Ste 301, Laredo, 78042-1598 Phone: (956) 523-4223
  • El Paso 120th District Court:
    500 E San Antonio, #605, El Paso, 79901-2457 Phone: (915) 546-2103
  • Lubbock County 137th District Court:
    904 Broadway, 3rd Fl, Lubbock, 79408 Phone: (806) 775-1019
  • Taylor County 104th District Court:
    300 Oak St, Abilene, 79602-1521 Phone: (325) 674-1313
  • Potter County 108th District Court:
    501 S Fillmore St, Ste 4-A, Amarillo, 79101-2449 Phone: (806) 379-2355
  • Wichita County 30th District Court:
    900 7th St, Rm 360, Wichita Falls, 76301 Phone: (940) 766-8180
  • Galveston County 10th District Court:
    600 59th St, Rm 3204, Galveston, 77551 Phone: (409) 766-2230
  • Midland County 142nd District Court:
    200 W Wall, Ste 300, Midland, 79701-4557 Phone: (432) 688-4375

If your County court is not listed, the information for your court will be included in the divorce papers we send you.

Divorcing Grounds

A divorce may be granted without fault if either party petitions for the divorce stating there are irreconcilable differences. There are situations in which a divorce may be granted on a fault basis. These situations include cruelty, adultery, the conviction of a felony, and abandonment. A divorce petition may also be filed when there is confinement in a mental facility. Additionally, couples who have been living apart for at least three years may also file for divorce.

As of 2024, Texas recognizes both fault and no-fault grounds for divorce. Here are the grounds for divorce in Texas:

Is Texas a no-fault state in a divorce?

Yes, individuals in Texas may petition for divorce on the grounds of a No-Fault. These grounds state that no one is responsible for the divorce and the marriage has failed due to conflict and irreconcilable differences. Marriage counseling often precedes divorce filing based on No-Fault grounds.

All other Texas divorce grounds state that one individual is solely responsible for the divorce.

Fault grounds

Texas also recognizes several fault-based grounds for divorce, which may be cited as the reason for the breakdown of the marriage. Some of the fault grounds include:

  • Adultery grounds state that one individual committed adultery while still married to another.
  • Abandonment grounds state that one individual intentionally abandoned another for a minimum of one year.
  • Cruelty grounds state that one individual is guilty of inflicting cruel treatment on his or her spouse that leaves coexistence impossible.
  • Felony conviction grounds state that an individual was convicted of a felony and sentenced to imprisonment for a minimum of one year in a state or federal facility without pardoning. However, no divorce is allowed if one spouse was convicted on the testimony of the other spouse.
  • Grounds based on confinement into a mental hospital are possible if an individual is confined under the reasons in Section 571.003 of the Health and Safety Code. In order for a divorce based on these grounds to be legal, the individual must be confined for a minimum of three years without the hope of a full recovery or improvement.
  • The final Texas divorcing grounds is that of living apart for a minimum of three years. Under this section, individuals may not cohabit in the same living space for a minimum of three years.

FAQs about Texas Divorce Law

Couples seeking a divorce in any state would be wise to learn the divorce laws in their state because each state has its own divorce laws. Although your lawyer will likely be able to walk you through the divorce process, educating yourself is still highly recommended. These questions will take a look at some of the compelling Texas divorce laws including the legal requirements for divorce the counseling requirements, the division of property laws, and the laws pertaining to alimony and child support.

What are the residency requirements for filing a divorce in Texas?

In order to file a divorce in Texas, you must have lived in the state for at least six months prior to filing. Additionally, at least one spouse must be a resident of the county where the divorce is being filed. These residency requirements must be met before the petition can be filed.

Can I get an uncontested divorce in Texas?

Yes, it is possible to obtain an uncontested divorce in Texas. In this type of divorce, both parties negotiate and agree on all matters related to property division, child custody, alimony, and other issues without involving a judge. To obtain an uncontested divorce, both parties must fill out the proper paperwork with the court and submit it together.

Are divorces in Texas public record?

Yes, divorces in Texas are public records and can be obtained through the state’s open records law. Generally, anyone may request to view a copy of a divorce decree through the office of the clerk that handled the original filing.

What not to do during a divorce in Texas?

It is important to remember that divorces can be emotionally charged and stressful. To make the process smoother, it is best not to engage in certain behaviors during a divorce, including excessively arguing or fighting with your spouse, making threats, attempting to hide assets, or bringing new partners into the home without the other partner’s knowledge.

What is a wife entitled to in a divorce in Texas?

Depending on the facts of the case, a wife may be entitled to the division of marital property, spousal support (also known as alimony), and/or attorney fees if applicable. Marital property includes all assets and debts acquired by either party during the marriage. Spousal support is determined based on factors such as length of marriage, income disparity, and health. Attorney fees are typically awarded if one party cannot afford to pay their own legal costs.

What is the 10-year rule in divorce in Texas?

Generally speaking, the 10-year rule refers to how long spousal support can be awarded when a couple has been married for longer than 10 years. In these instances, the court may order periodic payments for an unlimited amount of time if there is an “economic disadvantage” to the less financially stable spouse.

Is Texas a 50-50 divorce state?

No, Texas is not a 50-50 divorce state. The equitable division of marital property is the norm in Texas, which means that property is divided fairly rather than equally. The court will consider factors such as lifestyle, economic contributions, and any debts incurred during the marriage when making its determination.

What qualifies a spouse for alimony in Texas?

When considering whether or not to award spousal support, courts in Texas will look at factors such as the current financial situation of each spouse; their respective age and health; their ability to obtain employment; their professions and education level; and how much one spouse has contributed financially or otherwise to the marriage.

Who has to leave the house in a divorce in Texas?

Unless otherwise ordered by a court, either party can choose to remain in the marital residence until it is sold or shared ownership can be arranged. If both parties agree, they can also enter into an agreement that allows them to continue living together until all matters related to the divorce are settled.

What disqualifies you from spousal support in Texas?

Certain behaviors could disqualify you from receiving spousal support, such as adultery or criminal activity that led to marital strife. Additionally, if a spouse voluntarily quits their job or limits their work hours without good cause, this may also affect their eligibility for spousal support.

How many years do you have to be married to get spousal support in Texas?

Unless otherwise specified in your agreement, spousal support can be requested when you have been married for ten years or more regardless of whether you were married in Texas or another state. However, couples who have been married for shorter periods of time may still qualify for alimony depending on their individual circumstances.

How many years is spousal support in Texas?

In Texas, the length of spousal support payments is generally determined by the length of the marriage. Generally speaking, spousal support will last up to three years for a marriage that lasted seven years or more, and two years for a marriage that lasted between five and seven years.

Does length of marriage affect divorce settlement in Texas?

Yes, the length of the marriage can affect the outcome of a divorce settlement in Texas. For instance, the longer the marriage, the more likely it is that courts will award alimony based on the need and duration of the marriage.

Do I have to support my wife after divorce Texas?

Depending on certain criteria, you may be required to provide financial support to your former spouse following a divorce in Texas. The court considers factors such as income disparity between spouses, earning capacity of each spouse, and length of the marriage when determining how much spousal support should be paid.

Can my wife get my retirement if we divorce in Texas?

Yes, it is possible for a spouse to receive a portion of the other spouse’s retirement benefits in a divorce in Texas. Courts typically consider factors such as the duration of the marriage, contributions made by each partner into the retirement account, and the age and health of both parties before determining who receives what.

How do I protect myself in a divorce in Texas?

Before filing for divorce in Texas, it’s important to take proactive measures to protect your rights and interests. This may include gathering all pertinent documents related to assets and debts; setting aside funds to cover legal fees; seeking counsel from an experienced family law attorney; and preparing for any potential custody battles.

What to do before divorce in Texas?

Prior to filing for divorce in Texas, it’s recommended that you create a realistic budget that accounts for changes in living expenses and sources of income, as well as consult with an experienced family law attorney who can advise you on how best to protect your rights during the process. It’s also wise to gather all important documents related to assets and debts so that your attorney can use them during settlement negotiations.

Is it illegal to date while going through a divorce in Texas?

Dating during a divorce in Texas is not illegal. However, courts may consider adultery when making decisions regarding property division or alimony awards, depending on the specific circumstances. Therefore, individuals are advised to seek legal advice before engaging in any type of dating activity during divorce proceedings.

Does infidelity matter in Texas divorce?

While infidelity does not necessarily have a direct impact on a divorce settlement per se, adultery can be used as evidence by either party when negotiating a settlement agreement or defending claims of one spouse over another. Thus, it is important to keep evidence of wrongdoing out of consideration during negotiations and mediation processes.

Does Texas require separation before divorce?

No, Texas does not require married couples to live separately before filing for divorce. However, some counties may require a period of separation prior to submitting an official petition for dissolution of marriage. It’s best to consult with an experienced family law attorney about which laws and regulations might apply to your particular situation.

What is considered cheating in Texas divorce?

In Texas, cheating is defined as extramarital sexual involvement with someone other than a spouse during the period of marriage. Any physical contact — whether it be kissing, caressing, intercourse, or another form of expressing intimacy — with someone other than your spouse can render you liable for charges of adultery if brought forward during a divorce proceeding.

How does adultery affect divorce in Texas?

Texas law allows a spouse to allege adultery as grounds for divorce; however, a finding of adultery really has no legal significance unless it is a reason to award more of the community estate to the victimized spouse.  Even if you do convince the court that your spouse committed adultery, the court is still not obligated to make its final ruling on the basis of fault.

Counseling Requirements

In some situations, the court may require counseling for the couple. However, before this occurs, the court will require the couple to see a counselor who will then report on whether he believes the couple will benefit from further counseling. In the event that the counselor states further counseling may be beneficial, the court may direct the couple to a counsel for a specific period to see if the marriage can be reconciled. This set time period will not exceed 60 days. If after this time period there has not been sufficient progress made, the court may proceed with the divorce process.

What is Community Property in Texas?

The State of Texas is considered to be a community property state. This means all marital property is subject to division in the divorce decree. This includes all property acquired jointly by the couple whether or not the property is in the state. The way in which the property is divided will be in a manner deemed to be just by the court system. This does not necessarily mean the distribution will be equal but it will be divided in a manner the court decides is fair. Property that is not considered to be marital property will not be divided and will remain in the possession of the partner who owns the property.

Alimony and Child Support Laws

There are certain situations in which the court may order alimony in the State of Texas. These situations include situations where:

  • There is a mental or physical disability that prevents the spouse from supporting himself.
  • It is not possible for the spouse to work outside of the home because he is caring for a child of the marriage who requires substantial care due to a physical or mental disability.
  • The spouse does not have any marketable skills which would enable him to support himself financially.

Child support may also be ordered by the court when the couple has children. However, there are some stipulations to be considered in regard to child support. These stipulations generally refer to when the child support agreement will expire. Some of the common situations include:

  • The parent paying child support will be obligated to pay child support until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school. The later date is chosen as the date when the child support expires.
  • Child support will also expire when a child is married or the court removes the disabilities of a minor order.
  • In the event of the child’s death, child support will cease.
  • In situations where the child is disabled, the child support may continue indefinitely.

Texas Divorce Law Resources

General Information – Divorce – Guides at Texas State Law Library
Texas law uses the term “dissolution” to include divorce or annulment. Petitioner The petitioner is the person who starts the divorce process. They are the ones who filed the petition for divorce with the court. Pro Se “Pro se” is a term used by the courts to refer to someone who has not hired an attorney and is representing themselves. Respondent

Filing for Divorce – Divorce – Guides at Texas State Law Library
This section of the law allows “nonresident” spouses to file for divorce in Texas as long as their spouse has lived in Texas for at least the last six months. Initial Divorce Forms There is only one “official” divorce form in Texas. In 2017, the Texas Supreme Court approved forms for an agreed divorce without real property or minor children.

Divorce Forms – Divorce – Guides at Texas State Law Library
Our librarian’s recommendations: Covers: conservatorship, guardianship, premarital agreements, divorce, custody, spousal support, temporary orders, termination of parental rights, adoption, and more. Includes drafting guides for legal forms. This six-volume set from the State Bar of Texas contains many commonly used family law forms.

Texas Divorce Laws | How to File for Divorce in Texas
Texas Divorce Laws were launched to provide a comprehensive one-stop shop for individuals learning how to start a marriage, file for divorce, plan their nuptial agreements, and navigate the asset protection elements of marriage and divorce in the state of Texas.

Divorce Laws in Texas (2022 Guide) | Survive Divorce
These laws will guide important decisions regarding the division of assets, child custody, child support and alimony, and other key elements of a divorce. Here are some of the most common legal questions and major issues you should know about that come up during a divorce in Texas: Property Issues Alimony Child Support Custody and Visitation

Property Division in Divorce – Guides at Texas State Law Library
Texas Family Code, Chapter 7 is State law that governs how property is to be divided if there is a divorce and contains provisions for certain separate and community property. Property Division Explained in “Plain English” During divorce proceedings, the court will determine how the community property will be divided.

Texas Divorce Laws & How To File (2022 Guide) – Forbes Advisor
A divorce in Texas is begun by the filing of a petition. The spouse who files is called the petitioner. The other spouse, called the respondent, has the opportunity to answer and respond in the…

Divorce | Texas Law Help
Divorce | Texas Law Help Divorce Divorce is how you legally end a marriage. In a divorce, the court formalizes who has custody of children, pays support, controls property, and is responsible for debts. The guides and articles in this section can answer questions about dissolving a marriage.

TxDivorce.org | Texas divorce process explained fully
So, one of the spouses must be a Texas resident for 6 months prior to the date the petition for divorce is filed in Texas. Venue: At least one spouse must reside in the county where the divorce is filed for at least 90 days prior to the filing of the divorce petition. No Fault: Texas is a No-Fault Divorce State.

Divorce Laws in Texas: Most Important Things to Know – SmartAsset
How to Manage Child Support and Alimony Under Texas Divorce Laws. Both child support and alimony could be part of a divorce settlement in Texas. The court can order the noncustodial parent to pay a percentage of their assets. The guidelines for the child support level is as follows: 20% of net resources for one child; 25% of net resources for …

Understanding Texas Divorce Laws – Texas Law Changes
Time until Texas legislative session: 82 Days 17 Hours 44 Minutes Time To Obtain A Divorce A married couple in Texas seeking a divorce cannot finalize the divorce until at least 60 days from when the documents are officially filed. However, as soon as a Judge reviews the divorce, approves the divorce now officially valid.

Texas Divorce Laws | StateRecords.org
Divorce Laws in Texas Divorce is the process of dissolving or terminating a marital union. In Texas, every marriage is considered valid unless dissolved according to state laws. After Texas became part of the United States, the 1845 Constitution of the State of Texas was enacted, and it prevented the legislature from granting divorce automatically.

What Are the Requirements for Getting Divorced in Texas?
There are seven grounds for divorce in Texas, which are: Insupportability Adultery Cruelty Abandonment A conviction for a felony (with at least one year served) Living apart for at least three years The commitment of one spouse to a mental institution (for three years without any or much promise of recovery)

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