Understanding the Divorce Process in Texas
If you're online, searching for "divorce lawyers near me," you’re likely facing a difficult, emotionally loaded, upside-down period of your life. Breaking up a marriage is always a tough decision, especially if you and your spouse disagree on vital issues like child custody or asset division. Not knowing what to expect may add to the stress of your distressing situation.
Understanding the divorce process in Texas can help you get your ducks in a row and look ahead to a new beginning. Here is an overview of essential points in Texas divorces from our legal team at Kimbrough Legal, a law firm with offices in Austin and San Antonio.
What’s Involved in Filing for Divorce
At least one of the spouses needs to reside in Texas for at least six months to file for divorce in the state. The divorce case will pass through a family law court in one of the spouses’ counties of residence. If necessary, the petitioner may request a temporary restraining order to prevent harassing or violent treatment and keep the other spouse from concealing joint assets.
The family law court may also issue other temporary orders, such as child custody or child support arrangements that will last until the final divorce decree.
Texas courts require divorcing spouses to attempt mediation before their case goes to trial. If mediation doesn’t work out, the judge will rule on any unresolved divorce-related issues. A divorce takes at least 60 days in Texas, but a contested divorce process may last a lot longer.
No-Fault Divorce in Texas
Texas is a no-fault divorce state, so either of the spouses can opt to dissolve the marriage without proving any fault on the other spouse's part. However, Texas courts will consider fault during property division and may grant a larger share of the couple’s community property to the non-offending spouse.
Legal grounds for a fault-based divorce in Texas are:
- Cruel, abusive treatment
- Incarceration for a year or more
- Abandonment that lasts a year or more
- Internment in a mental institution for three years or more
- Living apart for three years or more
Texas is a community property state. Generally, each spouse will receive half of all property the couple gained during the marriage, no matter whose name it is in or who was the primary wage-earner. However, courts may adjust community property division based on fault and considerations like unequal earning capacity.
The few exceptions to the community property rule in Texas include gifts, inheritance, and certain types of insurance settlements.
Under certain circumstances, one of the spouses may be entitled to alimony in Texas. Here are some examples of situations in which a Texas family law court might grant spousal maintenance:
- The marriage lasted at least a decade, and the spouse requesting alimony has a physical or mental incapacity preventing them from working.
- A court had convicted the paying spouse of domestic violence within 24 months of the divorce filing date
- The requesting spouse cannot work due to being the primary caregiver of the couple’s child.
It is always best to work out an amicable time-sharing agreement with your co-parent. If the parents cannot agree on child custody, the court will order custody sharing while considering the child’s best interests. Influencing factors may include the child’s physical and mental needs, parental capabilities, and preferences (if the child is 12 or older).
Usually, the parent with whom the child primarily lives will receive child support from the other parent.
How Family Lawyers Can Help With Divorce
Why are people searching for a “lawyer near me” before divorce? While hiring a divorce lawyer is not a legal requirement in Texas, a divorce and family law attorney can provide invaluable legal assistance throughout the divorce process.
Here is why clients in Austin and Travis County, TX, are choosing Kimbrough Legal as their family lawyers:
- Assertive representation. We are ready to take a stand for our clients and protect their rights.
- Client-centered solutions. We will work with you for strategic conflict resolution and an acceptable divorce agreement.
- Innovation. Our client portal makes communication easy and allows you 24/7 access to your files.
- Reliable legal support. We are on your side throughout the divorce process, no matter what happens.
Hiring a competent divorce attorney is especially important if you’re facing a contested divorce with a high-conflict, unreasonable spouse. Representation by a proficient legal team can help you negotiate a fair divorce agreement with less stress and hassle.
Kimbrough Legal, PLLC: “Divorce Lawyers Near Me” in Travis County
Have you been searching for “divorce lawyers near me”? Please give us a call. At Kimbrough Legal, we can help you protect yourself, your assets, your children, and your peace of mind throughout your divorce. Our dedicated, supportive legal team will guide you through every step of the divorce process, from settling property division to working out a parenting plan.
The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
Kimbrough Legal, PLLC
5920 W. William Cannon Dr., Bldg 3, Ste 400
Austin, TX 78749