5 Texas Divorce Basics
If you are facing a divorce in Texas, you likely have questions. You are going through a difficult transition, and it undoubtedly all feels very new. Understanding the following five divorce basics can help you move through the divorce process with increased intention and confidence.
One: You Need an Experienced Divorce Attorney
While you are not required to hire a divorce attorney, you owe it to yourself to do so. The results of your divorce will determine all of the following:
Your child custody arrangements
The division of your marital property
Alimony (whether it will play a role and if so, the amount and duration)
These are so consequential that working with a dedicated divorce attorney amounts to an investment in your future.
Two: There Is NO Quickie Divorce in Texas
In the State of Texas, there is a statutory waiting period of at least 60 days before you can obtain a divorce. Further, at least one of you must have been a resident of the state for at least six continuous months prior to filing, and at least one of you must have been a resident of the county you are filing in for at least 90 days.
Three: Most Texas Divorces Are No-Fault
The vast majority of Texas divorces are predicated on insupportability, which is similar to the irreconcilable differences you are probably more familiar with. Some Texas divorces are based on fault, which must be proven and can include adultery, cruelty, abandonment, or felony criminal conviction. Fault-based divorces tend to be costlier, lengthier, and more acrimonious (in addition to making the divorcing couple’s private business public).
Four: The Court Will Order Initial Guidelines When You File
Upon a divorce filing, the court will generally put standing orders into immediate effect that prevent both parties from engaging in any of the following:
Closing or altering joint financial accounts
Cutting up joint credit cards
Altering life insurance policies
Taking your children out of state or changing their school or daycare
Five: You Will Likely Settle out of Court
Once you have filed, you, your divorcing spouse, and your respective divorce attorney will go about the difficult task of hammering out divorce terms that you can both live with and will both sign off on. This process can be complicated, and factors such as high assets, business ownership, or complex financials tend to make it more so. The vast majority of Texas divorces are settled outside of court, but if you do come up against one or more divorce terms for which you cannot find a middle ground (even with the aid of mediation), you will need to take the matter before the court.