The divorce process is more straightforward than it appears on the surface, though every state has its own laws regarding the procedure. If you haven't been divorced before, it's normal to have questions about how the process works and how to navigate the details. The guide below will answer your questions, make it easier to consult with your attorney, and help you get the new start you deserve.
A Brief Guide To Divorce in Texas
How do I start the divorce process?
To file for divorce in Texas, either spouse must have lived in the state for at least six months and in the county where you filed for 90 days. This rule also applies to military families. Once filed, the other spouse will be given legal notice about the petition.
How is child custody determined?
The court will lean toward joint legal custody unless a parent proves that the agreement should be different. Other factors, like the relationship between the parents and their children and the parents' health and financial status, are also taken into account.
How does property get divided?
Items and earnings obtained during the marriage like real estate, vehicles, furniture, money, and retirement accounts are considered community property. By Texas law, they're owned by both spouses regardless of whose earnings were used or whose name is on the title.
The community property is divided equitably. The judge will consider how much money both spouses make and how much they can earn in the future. They also consider the type of properties involved, the associated debts, the amount of separate property the spouses have, and the level of fault each spouse has for the marriage's dissolution.
Items are considered separate property when they were claimed or purchased before the marriage. During the marriage, a spouse may receive an inheritance or gifts that are usually not eligible for division.
However, if you and your spouse come to a division agreement on your own, the court will respect the decision.
What if I don't know where my spouse is?
To divorce an absent spouse, you must prove to the judge that you've exhausted all possible means of finding them through an affidavit. The court will then attempt to locate the spouse themselves. Usually, a court clerk contacts a local newspaper to print a notice of the petition. The publishing provides the spouse an opportunity to learn of the filing and will allow the court to move the process forward without them.
To hasten divorce proceedings and ensure a fair division of custody and assets, reach out to Ronald D. Zipp Attorney at Law. With over 40 years of experience, he has enhanced knowledge of the process, allowing for a streamlined resolution with reduced stress. Providing both empathy and an eye for details, he has helped his clients in New Braunfels and throughout the state of Texas start a new life. For more information on his practice areas, visit his website. To schedule a free case consultation, call (830) 629-5600.