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What should you know about divorce in Texas?

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2023 | Divorce

Divorce can impact various facets of your life, including your finances, your living arrangements and often your emotional well-being. While these challenges are universal, the specifics of the divorce process can vary by jurisdiction.

It’s essential to be aware that Texas has its own rules, from waiting periods and asset division approaches to considerations about parenting time and alimony. Understanding state-specific concerns can help you navigate the process more successfully than you otherwise might.

Cooling off period

One of the first things to know about getting a divorce in Texas is the mandatory 60-day waiting period that starts from the day a divorce petition is filed. This cooling-off period is designed to offer couples time to reconsider the decision to divorce or prepare for the legal proceedings ahead.

Community property model

Another unique aspect of Texas divorce law is its adherence to the community property model. This means that any assets acquired during the marriage are generally considered community property and are subject to division between the spouses. However, the division of the value of those assets isn’t always equal. Instead, factors like the spouses’ earning potential, how much each spouse invested in the maintenance of specific assets and each party’s financial needs can affect how assets are split.

Parenting time and responsibilities

Child custody, known in Texas as conservatorship, is another vital aspect of many divorces. Joint conservatorship, where both parents share responsibilities and rights regarding the child, is usually preferred. This doesn’t necessarily mean equal time with a child. Instead, the focus is on ensuring that the child’s best interests are met. A Standard Possession Order often outlines a former couple’s parenting time schedule, which can be customized based on the family’s needs.

Alimony is a consideration

Spousal maintenance, known as alimony, isn’t automatically granted in Texas divorces. Unless otherwise agreed to by both parties, a spouse must meet specific criteria, such as being married for at least 10 years or unable to earn sufficient income to meet basic needs. Even if these conditions are met, the court will consider various factors, including the recipient’s efforts to net income or the payer’s ability to provide support, before awarding alimony.

Understanding how state-specific divorce law may impacts your case can help you to make informed decisions. Be sure you think logically about everything so you don’t let emotions rule the order of the day. Seeking legal guidance can be helpful in this regard as well.