Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce In Texas
The attorneys at the law firm of Lloyd & Associates, PLLC, have more than two decades of experience helping people from all walks of life successfully problem-solve and secure their futures after divorce. The hallmark of their legal advocacy is personal attention, smart strategies and fighting like dragons when necessary. Here are brief answers to several frequently asked questions.
Do I really need a lawyer to help me with my divorce?
Yes and no. If you and your spouse can agree to all issues, such as property division and how you will split parenting time duties or have very little marital property and no children, you may be able to proceed without a lawyer in your corner. But life is messy, and so is divorce. It is advisable to seek the assistance of an experienced divorce attorney to help you make sound decisions and take the necessary steps to protect your best interests now and in the future.
How long do I have to live in Texas before I can file for divorce?
If you have been a resident in the state for more than six months and have lived in the county where you wish to file for at least 90 days, you may file your divorce petition in that county’s court.
Do I need to have a reason such as adultery or abandonment to file for divorce in Texas?
While adultery, abandonment of at least a year, violence, cruelty, insanity and incarceration are other grounds for divorce in this state, most people file for a no-fault divorce in Texas based on “insupportability” that makes reconciliation impossible. You do not have to provide any evidence that your spouse is at fault for your divorce.
If my spouse and I cannot agree on terms in our divorce settlement, will the court make us participate in mediation?
Most likely, yes. While mediation is not a requirement by law across the state, many counties mandate mediation when couples are approaching the stage of a jury trial or a contested hearing involving the conservatorship of their children. Family court judges in Texas may order mediation at their discretion.
What about child custody in Texas?
In Texas, the decree relating to your parenting plan – that is, where your child will live and when the other parent will visit with them – is called “conservatorship.” If you cannot agree on where your child will reside, the court will step in to create conservatorship in the child’s best interests. If joint conservatorship is not ideal, child support figures are prescribed by Texas law. Your child’s circumstances may mean that you will need to seek an exception to the child support formula for determining which parent is paying for what and when.
I heard Texas is a ‘community property’ state. What does this mean?
Yes, Texas is a community property state. This means upon divorce, all of your property and debt you acquired after your date of marriage that is not subject to a premarital agreement, is subject to 50-50 split when you divorce. There are some exceptions, such as for gifts, heirlooms, inheritances and a portion of personal injury awards not used as community property. Hiring a knowledgeable divorce lawyer is key to protecting your interests in property division.
Do I have to split the inheritance I received from my late aunt with my spouse?
The short answer is no, an inheritance in your name alone is not considered community property in Texas and is not subject to your divorce settlement. However, the exception is that if you treated the inheritance as community property, such as depositing it into a joint account used for paying household bills, you may have a tougher time shielding the inheritance from the divorce property division.
When can I get married again?
You can remarry when the ink on your decree is dry. Usually, after the waiting period of 60 days from the date of filing has passed and all matters relating to property division and child-related issues are settled, the judge will sign the divorce decree. You may remarry after 31 days have passed since the judge’s signature. You can ask the court to waive this requirement.
What happens if I am facing charges for a criminal violation while I am going through a divorce?
Call us right away. Depending on the nature of the charge, your rights to see your children could be subject to compromise. Family violence charges may have significant repercussions. A conviction for certain drug violations could result in forfeiture of your home and other charges can come with hefty, long-term consequences.