Texas Divorce & Separation
UPDATED: June 19, 2018
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Every state has its own laws and rules pertaining to separations and divorces. What are the minimum requirements for getting a divorce in Texas? Is mediation required before you can get a Texas divorce? What is a Texas annulment? Find the answers to your Texas divorce questions here.
Texas Legal Separation:
Texas law has no provision for a legal separation. If you file for a divorce, you can ask the court for orders that deal with things like use of property—e.g. who gets to live in the house—and temporary child custody and support. Texas is a community property state, and living apart does not make property you acquire separate property. For example, your salary becomes your separate property when you are no longer officially married (i.e., when your divorce is final). For more information about property division in a divorce, see Dividing Up Property in a Divorce: Community Property vs. Equitable Distribution. For more information about the differences between divorce, separation and annulment, see Ending a Marriage or Taking a Break.
Grounds for Divorce/Fault – No Fault:
Texas has both no-fault and fault divorce. For more information about what that means, see The Divorce Process: From Separation to Final Judgment. Your grounds (or reasons) for wanting a divorce are set out in a document called a Petition for Divorce that you file with your District court in your county. Once the Decree of Divorce is granted (i.e. the judge approves your divorce), you will become an unmarried person again. Appropriate grounds for divorce in Texas are: 1) cruelty; 2) adultery; 3) conviction of a felony (imprisoned for at least 1 year without a pardon); 4) abandonment (for at least 1 year); 5) living apart (without cohabitation for 3 years); and/or 6) confinement in a mental hospital (for at least 3 years).
Residency/Where to File for Divorce:
One of the parties to the marriage must have been a resident of the state for six months and a resident of the county in which the petition is filed for 90 days preceding the filing. You will file your paperwork with the District Court of Texas in the county in which you or your ex-spouse resides. The District Clerk and his or her assistants will be managing your paperwork with the court. See Texas Divorce Resources and Statutes for information on how to contact your local District Court.
Texas Online Divorce Services:
Texas Online Divorce powered by 3 Step Divorce.
LegalZoom.com - An online documentation service that helps users file for divorce.
CompleteCase.com - Offers an affordable way to file for uncontested divorces online.
Divorce Mediation in Texas:
Mediation is an option that many divorcing couples choose when working out the specific terms of their settlement agreement. It’s less expensive than hiring two lawyers, and perhaps more importantly for the long run, it can keep the parties from becoming adversaries. In Texas the court can refer a case to mediation and the mediation agreement may be legally binding.
An annulment is when a court declares your marriage legally invalid. In other words, rather than ending a marriage via divorce, an annulment is a declaration that the marriage was never valid to begin with. A marriage can be annulled if, at the time of the marriage, one party was underage, if the person asking for the annulment was under the influence of alcohol or narcotics, if one party concealed a divorce (within the last 30 days), if the marriage took place less than 72 hours after the license was issued, or due to permanent impotency; fraud, duress, or force; mental incapacity, consanguinity (too closely related); or bigamy. To seek an annulment from the District Court, you will need to file a petition for annulment.
Texas Divorce Laws: Click below to find the Texas Divorce laws you’re looking for: