Divorce FAQs

What are the grounds for divorce in Texas? 

Texas is a no-fault divorce state. This means you can file for divorce without assigning blame to your spouse. The most common grounds for divorce in Texas are insupportability (irreconcilable differences) and living separate and apart for at least one year. 

What is the residency requirement for divorce in Texas? 

One spouse must have lived in Texas for at least six months before filing for divorce. 

What is the difference between contested and uncontested divorce? 

An uncontested divorce occurs when both spouses agree on all terms of the divorce, such as child custody, property division, and spousal support. A contested divorce happens when there are disagreements on any of these issues, requiring court intervention. 

While not mandatory for uncontested divorces, consulting with an attorney can ensure a smooth process and protect your rights. 

What is community property and how is it divided in a Texas divorce? 

Texas is a community property state. This means all marital property and debts acquired during the marriage are considered community property and are subject to division during a divorce. Separate property, acquired before the marriage or through inheritance, is generally not subject to division. An attorney can help you understand how community property will be divided in your specific case. 

How is child custody determined in a Texas divorce? 

The primary concern in child custody cases is the best interests of the child. Texas courts consider various factors when determining child custody arrangements, including the child's needs, the parents' parenting abilities, and the stability of each parent's home environment. An attorney can advocate for your parental rights and help you achieve a favorable child custody arrangement. 

What is spousal support and how is it determined in Texas? 

Spousal support, also known as alimony, is a financial award granted to one spouse by the other spouse after a divorce. Texas courts consider factors such as the length of the marriage, the income disparity between the spouses, and the needs of each spouse when determining spousal support. An attorney can help you navigate the process of spousal support and ensure a fair outcome. 

How long does a divorce typically take in Texas? 

The timeframe for a divorce in Texas can vary depending on several factors, including whether the divorce is contested or uncontested, the complexity of the case (e.g., child custody disputes, property division), and the court backlog. Uncontested divorces can be finalized in as little as 60 days, while contested divorces can take much longer, sometimes over a year. 

What steps should I take if I am considering divorce in Texas? 

If you are considering divorce in Texas, gather important financial documents like bank statements, pay stubs, retirement account statements, and property deeds. Consider creating a budget to understand your income and expenses and explore options for managing your finances after the divorce, such as separate bank accounts.  

An attorney can advise you on your legal rights and options, guide you through the divorce process, and help you achieve a favorable outcome. 

What happens to my credit cards debt during a divorce? 

Debts acquired during the marriage are also considered community property and will be divided by the court. Premarital debts or separate debts documented by agreements might be exceptions. Consult an attorney to understand how your specific debts will be handled. 

Can I keep my retirement savings? 

Retirement accounts accumulated during the marriage are generally considered community property. However, there might be ways to protect some portions depending on your specific situation. Speak with an attorney for personalized advice. 

How can I protect myself from my spouse hiding assets during the divorce? 

An attorney can help you with the discovery process to identify and value marital assets. This may involve requesting financial documents, appraisals, and forensic accounting to ensure a fair division of property. 

What happens to the house during a divorce? 

The house is usually considered community property and subject to division. Options include selling the house and dividing the proceeds, one spouse buying out the other, or refinancing the mortgage to keep the house. 

Do I need to move out of the house during the divorce process? 

Not necessarily. There's no legal requirement to leave the house during the divorce. However, if there are safety concerns or domestic violence, a court may order one spouse to leave the residence. Discuss living arrangements with your attorney based on your specific situation. 

What are the tax implications of divorce in Texas? 

Divorce can have tax implications, including child support payments, alimony payments, and the division of assets. Consult a tax advisor to understand how your specific situation might be affected. 

What happens to my health insurance after the divorce? 

You might be able to stay on your spouse's health insurance plan under COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) for a limited time. 

You can get health insurance:

* Children's Medicaid or CHIP for children and pregnant women.

* Medicaid for some people who can't afford private coverage.

* Medicare for most adults over age 65 and people with disabilities.

Explore health insurance options through the Texas Department of Insurance

What happens after I file for divorce? 

The process after filing involves serving the other spouse with paperwork, a mandatory waiting period, and potentially attending mediation or court hearings. 

How do I cope with the emotional stress of divorce? 

Divorce can be emotionally challenging. Focus on self-care, prioritize your emotional well-being, and reconnect with friends and family for support. Consider therapy to help navigate the emotional challenges. Explore new hobbies and interests, and start to rebuild your life one step at a time. 

Consider seeking support groups, therapy, or counseling to help you navigate this difficult time. 

How do I talk to my children about divorce? 

Be honest with your children in an age-appropriate way. Explain that you and your spouse will no longer be married, but you both still love them. Reassure them that they are not to blame for the divorce and that their needs will be a priority.  Resources and guidance from a therapist specializing in family matters can be very helpful. 

How long does it take to get over a divorce? 

The healing process after divorce varies for everyone. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself time to grieve the end of your marriage.