Though no marriage is completely perfect, when disagreements between spouses turn into deal-breaking situations, it can lead to the dissolution of a marriage more commonly called a divorce. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of 2018, the divorce rate in Texas was 6.1 per 1,000 people. Though divorce rates have declined in recent years, terminating a marriage is still incredibly common across the nation, with 782,038 people in the U.S. filing for divorce or annulment in 2018 alone.
No matter the reason for filing, choosing divorce can be an incredibly difficult decision to make, especially if children are involved. Divorce can be a complex process depending upon the situation at hand and will require the assistance of an experienced Texas divorce attorney.
To file for divorce in Texas, either spouse must have been a Texas resident for at least six months prior to filing and must have resided in the county where the petition is filed for the preceding 90 days. Texas requires a waiting period of at least 60 days after the petition is filed before the divorce can be finalized, although most divorces take six months to a year to be completed.
You cannot file for legal separation in Texas. Texas law does not recognize the concept of legal separation. In Texas, a family lawyer can use temporary orders, protective orders, suits affecting the parent-child relationship, or separation agreements to achieve many of the goals of legal separation. But a marriage is only legally ended in Texas through death, divorce, or annulment.
It’s worth mentioning that even when you are living apart from your spouse, any property you or they acquire remains community property and all debt incurred likewise remains community debt.
Grounds for Divorce in Texas
There are seven grounds or reasons for which a spouse can file for divorce in Texas. All but one require one spouse be to blame for the divorce. The grounds include:
- Insupportability: The marriage can no longer continue due to disagreements or differences that cannot be resolved, without assigning fault to either spouse.
- Cruelty: When a spouse treats the other spouse so cruelly it is no longer bearable to continue the marriage.
- Adultery: A fault-based ground for divorce wherein the alleging spouse must prove their spouse cheated.
- Conviction of a felony: During the marriage, when a spouse is convicted of a felony, imprisoned for at least one year in a state or federal facility, and has not been pardoned, their spouse can prove this basis for divorce.
- Abandonment: When a spouse has left the other with the intention of abandonment and has been apart from the other spouse for at least a year.
- Living apart: When both spouses have lived apart without cohabitation for at least three consecutive years.
- Confinement to a mental hospital: When during the time the divorce was filed, a spouse was confined to a mental institution (state or private) for at least three years and it is apparent that his or her mental disorder will not get better or relapse is probable.
Divorce Attorneys in Austin, Texas
Divorce can be quite an emotionally taxing process on those involved. When you make the decision to end your marriage, you should hire an experienced and compassionate divorce lawyer to navigate the process. At The Law Office of Ilana R. Tanner, we know the financial and legal challenges that come with divorcing your partner in Texas. Our attorneys can offer clear guidance of any long-term implications of your decisions and will advocate for your best interests throughout the process and beyond. Contact us today to discuss your needs.