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TEXAS DIVORCE BASICS AND OVERVIEW
This is a divorce reference guide to understanding divorce in Texas. Each state has its own requirements, laws, and documentation, so we decided to gather it all in one location to make it easy and quick for you to find the information you need before, during and after your divorce.
Divorce in Texas Made Easy (See Texas Divorce Help Center)
- Time Frame: The clerk sets a date for a hearing that cannot take place until a 60-day "cooling off" period transpires. Couples use this 60-day waiting period to finalize the settlement agreement and prepare the final divorce decree.
- Where to File: District Court. "In the District Court of _______________ County, Texas, ___________ Judicial District." (See Texas Court Addresses)
- Statute Statutes: Texas Family Code, Chapter 6.
- Name of Action: Decree of Divorce.
- Name of Parties: The petitioner, who files, and the other party if the respondent.
- No-Fault or Fault and No-Fault Only: No-fault and other grounds.
- Primary Documents Filed: Petition for Divorce and Decree of Divorce. (See TX Divorce Forms List With Explanations)
- Physical Separation Required: No.
- Separation Time to File: None.
- Legal Separation Permitted: Yes.
- Grounds: No-fault, which means that "the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation; and fault grounds of cruelty, adultery, conviction of a felony, abandonment, living separate and apart for three years, or confinement in a mental Hospital. (See Texas Laws for Divorce)
- Residency Requirement: One of the spouses must be a resident for six months in the state of Texas and 90 days in the county of filing.
- Mediation Required: Mediation is one of the most frequently used methods of negotiating a divorce in Texas. Many counties strongly recommend mediation. Travis County, for example, requires mediation when the court believes that a hearing before a judge on a family law dispute will take three hours or more.
- Counseling Required: As part of the mediation regime, the court may order both spouses to consult a marriage counselor. If his or her report indicates that there is a reasonable chance of reconciliation, the judge may order additional counseling for up to 60 days.
- Parenting Classes Required: The court may order spouses to attend a parenting class. The goal of the classes is to educate the parents on best practices for co-parenting during and after divorce.
- Filing Fee: $250-$350. (Form for Waiving Filing Fees for Texas)
- Where to File for Child Support: The custodial parent can seek enforcement of child support in the court. In Texas, methods of enforcement include wage garnishment, seizure of lottery winnings and tax refunds and suspension of drivers', business, and hunting licenses. If the support continues to go unpaid, the noncustodial parent can be held in contempt and be sentenced to six months in jail.
- Child Support Guidelines Model: Support is a flat percentage of the noncustodial parent's income (less allowable deductions) for each child. Support ranges from 20 percent of net resources for one child to 40 percent for five children.
- Property Division: Texas is a community property state, using the dual classification routine.
- Appreciation of Separate Property: The appreciation of separate property is separate.
- Attendance at Hearing: Yes. The judge reviews the paperwork and asks questions to make sure one or both spouses agree on all aspects of the divorce. At the end of the hearing, the judge signs the final decree.
- Fault Considered in Property Division: Yes, fault is considered in the property division.
- Waiting period after Divorce for Remarriage: Yes. 30 days.
- Ways to Serve Spouse: Generally for an uncontested no-fault divorce, the respondent waives service by signing a waiver.
- Learn More About Texas Divorce.
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