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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Some divorces can be messy, emotional, and stressful ordeals while others proceed more smoothly. No matter what type of divorce you’re expecting, it’s important to understand Texas’ laws for handling these situations. Consider the following frequently asked questions about divorce in Texas, and contact Austin divorce attorney Abraham Kant at SSJM Family Law if you need legal representation for your impending divorce.

Q: What Are Acceptable Grounds for Divorce in Texas?

A: If a couple mutually decides to end their marriage, then the divorce proceeds through collaborative law so they may work together to reach a divorce agreement without involving the judicial system. The court will simply approve the settlement agreement and make the pronouncements and orders required by law. If the couple does not agree on the divorce, there are seven qualifying conditions in Texas which one spouse may use as grounds for serving divorce papers to the other spouse, including:

  • Adultery, or sexual conduct outside the marriage
  • Abuse or cruelty
  • A spouse committing a felony offense with a punishment of imprisonment for at least one year
  • Abandonment for one year or longer
  • Separate living arrangements for at least three years
  • Irreconcilable differences or conflicting personalities that make the marriage untenable
  • A spouse entering a mental hospital or private mental health treatment facility for three years or more for a condition that shows little possibility of future improvement, or a high probability of a dangerous relapse

Q: What Are the Residency Requirements for Divorce in Texas?

A: If you wish to file for divorce in Texas, you must have lived in the state for at least six months before filing. You must have also lived in the county in which you file for the past 90 days or more.

Q: What If My Spouse Doesn’t Want a Divorce?

A: If your spouse disagrees with your desire for a divorce, you will need to prove one of the aforementioned grounds for divorce.

Q: How Do I Start the Divorce Process?

A: One spouse will file an Original Petition for Divorce with the court and have divorce papers served to his or her spouse. The petitioner will have the option of filing for a standard Temporary Restraining Order that will prevent the other spouse from selling or destroying any shared property until divorce proceedings conclude. A temporary order may also pertain to temporary child custody and spousal support. The other spouse will have 20 days to supply an answer to the court.

Q: What Will My Ex Take in the Divorce?

A: Texas law considers all property that a couple earns or acquires during the course of a marriage as community property. The court generally divides community property equally. If either spouse has separate property he or she does not believe qualifies as community property, that spouse will need to provide clear and convincing evidence that said property is not subject to division. If one spouse earned much more income than the other, the lower-earning spouse may qualify for alimony or spousal support for a certain time. If the couple has children, any child support arrangements will take place during the custody negotiations.

Q: Do I Need an Austin Family Law Attorney?

A: Divorces can be complicated legal affairs. Having the right divorce attorney in your corner can make the process much easier and less stressful for everyone involved. If you and your spouse do not agree to terms during settlement negotiations, Texas law requires you to try mediation before proceeding to trial. A good Austin family law attorney can help you wrap up your divorce as quickly as possible and help ensure an equitable outcome for both parties.

SSJM Family Law has a strong record of successful cases in the Austin, TX area. We can help with your divorce. If you have questions about an impending divorce, your rights as a spouse, or any other aspect of your situation, contact Abraham Kant Esquire with SSJM Family Law today to schedule a free case evaluation.