Sometimes, a marriage does not last happily forever, and divorce becomes the only option. When it comes time to call it quits, a couple must meet a few requirements and criteria before a divorce can be filed in Texas. Working with an attorney can ensure that your needs are looked after.

Texas Grounds for Divorce

Texas allows for both no-fault and at-fault divorces. No-fault means that the person who wants the divorce does not need a reason to do so. No evidence is required to prove the other person in the marriage has done anything wrong that would normally lead to divorce. However, the court will consider faults when determining property splits, conservatorship, and maintenance. So, if there is a fault, it is best to include it during the filing process.

Viable at-fault grounds for divorce include:

  • Cruel treatment that makes living together insupportable
  • Adultery
  • Abandonment for at least one year
  • Conviction of a felony or imprisonment for a year so long as they were not convicted on a spouse’s testimony
  • Confinement in a mental hospital for at least three years
  • Living apart for at least three years

Eligibility For a Divorce

Before you can file for divorce in the state of Texas, you must first figure out if it is even legally possible. Texas requires that at least one spouse must have been living in the state for at least six consecutive months. To take matters further, at least one spouse must have lived within the county you wish to file for divorce in for at least 90 consecutive days. Failure to meet this criteria will prevent you or your spouse from filing for divorce in the state of Texas. Instead, you or your spouse may need to file for divorce in the state or county of your last known residency.

The Divorce Process

Once the above criteria are in order, the process for a divorce is rather simple. One spouse must file for a divorce and serve the papers to both the court and the other spouse. In this case, the petitioner is the person who filed the papers, and the respondent is the other spouse. Texas has a 60-day waiting period to ensure couples still feel the marriage is irreparable. In cases where violence or expected violence is a concern, the petitioner can obtain a restraining order against the respondent, and a judge can choose to waive the 60-day period.

The respondent has the constitutional right to be notified of a divorce as well as respond to the petition for divorce if they wish to contest the allegations for an at-fault divorce or the restraining order. Failure to file a response can provide the petitioner the option for a default divorce, where they can create the terms of the divorce without the respondent being present. However, once a response is filed, the respondent will have the legal right to attend all court hearings concerning the divorce.

Next, the court will set a court hearing for temporary orders. These orders outline specific issues that will be addressed during divorce proceedings. These issues include:

The Final Steps

Most Texas divorces will settle before they ever go to trial. Texas courts will order mediation in almost all cases for divorcing couples to attempt to come to terms on their own. However, couples who cannot reach an agreement will require a trial date to be set and attended to to issue final orders.

The issues temporarily addressed in the previous hearing will now be issued final decrees. Evidence that backs up the claims of both parties can be submitted to the court, and a judge will look over them before making a final decision. Once a judge approves and signs the divorce, you and your ex-spouse can begin your post-divorce existence.

Contact a Fort Worth, TX Divorce Attorney

In some cases, divorce is inevitable. When you require a divorce, the first call you should make is to an experienced Dallas, TX divorce lawyer from the Clark Law Group. Steven has the experience and bravado to advocate on your behalf during settlement negotiations. Contact our firm at 469-765-3910 to receive a further understanding of the divorce process and its requirements.