Texas does not discriminate on the basis on gender. During a divorce, women and men share the same rights, with neither sex getting priority over the other.
The same rules apply to both genders in matters of marital assets division and spousal support. But there are some cases in which a woman can get more out of a marriage settlement.
Whether you are a man or a woman, it is important to seek the advice of a good family lawyer. Your lawyer will be able to guide you better.
This article intends to educate you on Texan divorce laws.
Grounds For Divorce In Texas
In order to file for divorce in the state of Texas, there are seven grounds that your situation must meet.
- The problem of insupportability. This refers to a conflict resulting from contrasting natures or personalities. The spouses are too different from each other to reconcile properly.
- The problem of living separately. The couple should be living away from each other for at least three years.
- The problem of insanity. Either of the spouses should be confined to a mental asylum or hospital for at least 3 years. This could be a state or a private hospital.
- The person filing for divorce must prove that their spouse is incapable of making amends due to mental illness. Even if they manage to reconcile, chances of relapsing are huge.
- The problem of cruelty. Either of the spouses treats the other cruelly through mental, physical or emotional abuse, or a combination of the three.
- The problem of abandonment. One of the spouses should have abandoned the other with the intention of leaving the marriage.
- The spouse needs to be away for at least a year to qualify their absence as abandonment.
- The problem of adultery and felony. If one of the spouses is convicted of felony, the other spouse can file for divorce on grounds of protection.
- This applies to adultery as well. If one spouse cheats on the other, the other spouse has the right to file for divorce on grounds of disloyalty.
Who Gets The House In A Divorce In Texas
Division of property is a heated issue in Texan divorces. Conflicts arise surrounding the ownership of a house or any property.
One party claims to have purchased the property, while the other claims to have made contributions.
Texan laws have a simple solution for this. As a community property state, Texas recognizes all property (and income generated from them) bought after marriage as community property.
This means both the spouses must share the property equally. The Texan courts should respect this arrangement and divide the property equally among the spouses.
When a divorce trial begins, the court assumes that any property owned during the course of the marriage by either spouse is community property.
If a spouse does not want to share the property they own, they must prove it is separate (not community) property.
Separate property is defined as the property and assets owned by a spouse since before their marriage. This property should have been kept separate from the other spouse throughout the marriage.
The most common property assets divided during divorce are house, clothing, jewelry and income.
How Long Do You Have To Be Separated Before You Can File For Divorce In Texas?
First of all, there is no provision of legal separation in Texan laws.
However, if the couple has been living separately for at least three years, the Texan court recognizes this as legal grounds for divorce.
It is important to understand the difference between ‘separate’ and ‘apart’.
For instance, if one spouse sleeps on the couch or a different room then this arrangement would not qualify as separation.
The idea behind separation is to prove that the spouses are so incompatible that they cannot even stand to live under the same roof.
After filling a petition for divorce, the couple must wait at least 60 days before the court grants the divorce.
How Long Does A Divorce Take In Texas With Child
When a child is involved in a divorce settlement, things can be a little different.
For starters, any court in Texas can only pass custody and visitation rights regarding a child if –
- The child was born in the state of Texas. Or, the child has been living in Texas for at least 6 months.
- The child’s home state is Texas while the child has been out of state for less than 6 months.
On average a couple has to wait 60 days after filing for divorce. But this only applies if both the parties agree on the terms of divorce without any conflict.
When it comes to child support, there can be some prolonged disagreements which may also extend the process of divorce. This means you will hire a lawyer to contest the case in court.
The legal word for custody in Texas is ‘conservatorship’. To decide which spouse gets conservatorship, a court order is required. Without the order, no judge can intervene in the matter.
After receiving a court order, you and your spouse can contest three types of conservatorship –
- Joint Managing – Both spouses get equal access to their children. The court will decide the amount of time each spouse gets with the children.
- Sole Managing – If one spouse is proven unfit to look after the children, the court can grant sole conservatorship to the other spouse.
- The sole conservator has the right to make most important decisions for the children.
- Possessory – The spouse who does not get sole conservatorship is called a possessory conservator. They are still the children’s parent, but cannot make important decisions.
Types Of Divorce In Texas
Getting a divorce in Texas can get complicated if children and a lot of property are involved. But the state laws provide options for divorce settlements which could make things easier.
- The first type of divorce is uncontested. This is an ideal case scenario where neither couple has to contest for property, assets or children in court.
- There is a mutual agreement between the spouses in the matters of property distribution and child custody.
- Still, you should seek the advice of a lawyer as there are some hidden benefits you could receive even from an uncontested divorce.
- The second type of divorce is mediated. A neutral lawyer is involved in this settlement. Basically, the couple and the lawyer go through a lengthy negotiation process.
- The aim of this negotiation is to reach a friendly agreement on topics like children and asset division. Such sessions are normally held in the lawyer’s office.
- Many Texan courts require couples to undergo the mediation process before the final divorce hearing.
- The third type of divorce is collaborative. This arrangement is similar to mediated divorce, with some extra features.
- Now both parties have a lawyer of their own, along with neutral experts like psychologists, accountants etc. The idea of reaching an agreement peacefully still stands true.
- The last type of divorce is Litigated or Contested. Spouses reach this stage if there is no scope for negotiation or agreement.
- To initiate litigation, one party must file a petition. Then the other party will receive the lawsuit and the court hearings will commence.
- Both parties have their own lawyers who bring in witnesses and evidence to help their client win. How long litigated divorces take depends entirely on the scale of the case.
How To File For Divorce In Texas With No Money
But there are ways to file for divorce without paying any money. Both spouses must work together on this. They must file the paperwork on their own without hiring a lawyer.
The couple can make things simpler by asking the judge for waiver of filing fee. This way the couple will have to spend no money at all for divorce.
This will only work if both spouses agree on the terms of property distribution and child custody. In case of conflict, the case will be contested in court, which will cost money.
FAQ Related To What Is A Wife Entitled To In A Divorce In Texas:
What Am I Entitled To If I Divorce My Husband In Texas?
The same things your husband is entitled to. The court considers all marriage property community property.
How Long Do You Have To Be Married To Get Half Of Everything In Texas?
In order to qualify for alimony in Texas, a spouse must meet two requirements –
- First, they should have been married for at least ten years.
- Second, the spouse asking for alimony should prove they are incapable of earning money.
What Qualifies You For Spousal Support In Texas?
To claim spousal support, a spouse must prove that even after receiving half of the community property they will not be able to meet their basic needs.
What Does A Wife Get In A Divorce In Texas?
A wife is entitled to half of whatever property the couple bought during the course of their marriage.