When navigating a divorce in Fort Worth, be aware of Texas’s unique laws and regulations and understand their implications. Here are eight you should know about.
1. Residency Requirement
To file for a divorce in Texas, at least one spouse must be a Texas resident for six months and have been resident of the county where they file for divorce for 90 days. This law ensures that Texas courts have jurisdiction over the divorce. If you’re new to the state, you might have to wait to file.
2. Community Property State
Texas is a community property state. Most assets and debts acquired during the marriage are jointly owned by both spouses. All parties divide assets and debts equally in the settlement. However, property owned before the marriage or acquired as a gift or inheritance usually remains separate.
3. Grounds for Divorce
Texas recognizes both fault and no-fault divorce. A no-fault divorce can be sought if the marriage has become “insupportable” due to discord or conflict. If proven, fault grounds such as adultery or cruelty can impact alimony or property division.
4. Waiting Period
After filing for divorce in Texas, there’s a mandatory 60-day waiting period before the divorce can be finalized. This period provides couples with a chance to reconcile or prepare for the upcoming changes.
5. Spousal Maintenance (Alimony)
Texas divorce law allows for spousal maintenance under specific circumstances, such as when one spouse has been convicted of family violence or if the marriage lasted over ten years and one spouse lacks the means to provide for basic needs. The court will determine the amount and duration based on several factors.
6. Name Change
Upon divorce, the court can restore a spouse’s former or maiden name. Be sure to include the name change request in the divorce petition.
Before heading to trial, couples might be required to attend mediation to resolve disputes. Mediation can be a cost-effective way to address disagreements and find solutions outside of court.
8. Marital Debt
In Texas, debts acquired during the marriage are generally considered community debts and are split between the spouses. However, if one spouse took on debt without the other’s knowledge and for non-marital purposes, the court might assign that debt solely to the responsible party.
At Schneider Law Firm, P.C., our experienced family law attorneys can help you navigate complex divorce issues. We provide clear guidance that protects your interests and your assets during a tough settlement. Schedule a free consultation at our Fort Worth location today by calling us at (817) 755-1852 or send us a message.