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How Do I Know If I am Eligible for Divorce in Texas

family law

Every state is different and every state has its varying requirements and qualifications when filing for divorce. Texas is no different. The state of Texas has its own rules about when people can file for divorce and how child custody, property distribution, and other issues work within the state’s jurisdiction.

Residency Requirements

First, there are residency requirements to consider. In order for the Texas courts to presume jurisdiction over a martial case with one non-resident respondent, the couple’s last marital address needs to have been in Texas. Also, each of the spouse’s must have been a resident of the state for at least six months prior to filing. The petitioner must have also been a resident of the county which he is petitioning from for the prior 90 days.

If one of the spouses is pregnant before the divorce, most Texas courts will not decide the case until after the baby is born. This means that the married couple must wait until the birth of the child before the divorce is finalized, even if the baby does not belong to the spouse. This allows the court to include orders regarding the child in the final decree. Texas residents that are serving in the armed forces and are stationed outside of Texas or overseas, can still be considered residents of the state.

The Grounds for Divorce

In Texas, there are seven grounds for divorce that are recognized by the court. The main and most commonly used grounds for divorce include:

  1. If the marriage has irreconcilable differences because of discord or conflict of personalities and any reasonable possibility for reconciliation is gone.
  2. Cruelty by one spouse
  3. Adultery
  4. One spouse committed a felony and has been imprisoned for at least one year in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice
  5. Abandonment (at least one year)
  6. If the married couple has resided apart for at least three years or more
  7. If one of the spouses is confined in state mental hospital in Texas at the time the suit is filed and there is an indication that the mental disorder is of high degree that there is little possibilities of complete rehabilitation.

The Process of Filing

In any divorce, there will usually be a Petition for Divorce filed. This is done by one spouse, or the petitioner, which must give legal notice to the Respondent, or the other spouse. There must then be an answer filed within 21 days of the other spouse being officially served. If not, the case has defaulted and it may be possible to continue the process of divorce without the Respondent.

In most cases, there will be a 60 day period from the date the petition is filed before a judge will grant the final divorce decree. This waiting period is waived if the judge finds that there is domestic violence convictions involved or restraining orders that happened during the marriage.

The Collaborative Divorce

In some cases, both parties may amicably agree to the divorce and thus an agreement between both parties can be signed and dissolution of the marriage proceeding may be conducted under collaborative law procedures. These collaborative divorces happen when both parties and their attorneys agree to part ways and come to agreeable terms in good faith without resorting to judicial intervention, except to sign the settlement agreement and sign necessary pronouncements or orders.

Find a Compassionate and Knowledgeable Divorce Lawyer

Here at Huerta Law Firm, we understand that no matter what the circumstances are, divorce is likely not a good time in a person’s life. It usually creates a lot of personal stress, financial instability, and emotional turmoil. This is why having an attorney handle the difficulties of the legal system can really make the process easier to swallow. We are here for you. Give us a call if you have questions about your eligibility to file for divorce.