Texas is a no-fault state for divorce. This means that a party doesn’t need to have a specific reason for filing for divorce. Texan couples get divorced for many reasons; however, a party can allege an official reason, or “grounds,” for a Texas divorce. According to World Population Review, Texas had an 11% divorce rate for 2022 thus far. While the top reasons for divorce usually fall under infidelity, money management issues, and incompatibility, it’s essential to understand what legal route is best on a case-by-case basis.
Spouses can pursue “fault” and “no-fault” divorces in Texas. If you recently considered filing for divorce, one of the first decisions you need to make is whether you will pursue a fault or no-fault divorce.
At the Law Office of Jason Wright, our dedicated team of Texas divorce lawyers helps clients through the complicated and emotionally-challenging divorce process. We offer reasoned advice at every stage of the process to ensure you have all the information you need to make the best critical decisions along the way.
One of the earliest and most important decisions anyone planning on filing for divorce must make is whether they will file for a fault-based or no-fault divorce. In Texas, spouses can pursue either option. However, this decision will have broad implications throughout the divorce process. It is crucial to make an informed decision regarding which type of divorce case to pursue.
When discussing fault and no-fault divorces, the question isn’t necessarily about whether one spouse’s actions were responsible for the breakdown in the marriage. There are only a few ways to obtain a fault-based divorce. If a situation does not fall within one of the grounds for a fault-based divorce, a spouse will have to file for a no-fault divorce.
The Texas Family Code outlines several grounds to obtain a fault-based divorce:
Cruelty – If one spouse’s cruelty towards the other makes “living together insupportable,” the spouse suffering cruel treatment can pursue a fault-based divorce on the grounds of cruelty.
Adultery – If one spouse is unfaithful, the other spouse can file for a fault-based divorce on the grounds of adultery.
Felony Conviction – If one spouse was convicted of a felony and imprisoned for at least a year, it is grounds for a fault-based divorce.
Abandonment – If one spouse leaves the other spouse for at least one year with no intent to return, the other spouse can file for a fault-based divorce on the grounds of abandonment.
If a spouse cannot file for an at-fault divorce, the other option is to file for a no-fault divorce. No-fault divorces are more common, as they are typically easier to obtain.
To file for a no-fault divorce in Texas, a spouse can claim that too much conflict and irreconcilable differences have hindered the marriage. Differences can appear as spouses with different personalities, changed viewpoints over time, or other factors. Often, people file for a divorce based on unsupportability.
There are a few considerations when filing for a fault-based or no-fault divorce. While the court is not required to consider one spouse’s fault when dividing a couple’s assets, the court is permitted to do so. If a court found fault, the court can (but doesn’t have to) award a large percentage of the marital property.
The road to obtaining a divorce can seem overwhelming; however, the process becomes much more manageable when broken down into discrete steps. The process for filing for divorce in Texas will proceed as:
Before you can file for divorce in Texas, the first thing you need to do is ensure that you meet the requirements to do so. Initially, you must satisfy the Texas residency requirement for divorce. There are two parts to the residency requirement:
While both fault and no-fault divorces have benefits and drawbacks, it is essential to consult with an experienced Texas divorce lawyer before deciding on which type of divorce to pursue.
Filing a Petition for Divorce formally starts the divorce process.
After filing the Petition for Divorce, you must serve your spouse a copy of the document. However, you cannot serve them yourself. Most people have a sheriff or a professional process server to effectuate service.
Texas law requires anyone who files for divorce to wait at least 60 days before the court will finalize a divorce.
Mediation is the process where parties come to an agreement, with the help of a mediator, to reach agreements on issues of the divorce. A final trial is where the court will make all the decisions necessary to finalize the divorce. The issues that the court must consider are:
Once all of the issues involved in the divorce are resolved (either by mediation or trial), the court must sign a final divorce decree. After obtaining a copy of the final divorce decree, you must file it with the local district court, and then your divorce becomes final.
If you are unfamiliar with the process, pursuing a fault or no-fault divorce in Texas can be challenging. At the Law Office of Jason Wright, we are here to support you throughout the process. If you develop questions about your divorce or seek legal advice, call us today, and we will walk you through the process.
The process of getting divorced requires you to walk a fine line. On the one hand, you should work through any issues with your spouse to expedite the process and make it easier for all parties. On the other hand, effective communication with your spouse during this time can be challenging. Below are a few things that you should try to avoid when pursuing a divorce:
If you are getting a divorce, chances are you’ve been through a lot and may have lingering feelings of anger. Your spouse may be at fault for the breakdown of your marriage, and it is common to want them to pay for their actions. However, acting out of spite usually only makes the divorce process take longer than necessary and ends up costing you more money in the long run.
Both parents must continue to pay as much attention to their kids as possible for couples with children. Divorce is challenging for children to wrap their minds around, and they need your love and support now more than ever.
Children have a hard enough time when their parents go through a divorce; the last thing they need is one parent telling them their other parent is a bad person or responsible for the family breaking up. Your children’s well-being is vital to factor in. They should have a positive relationship with both of their parents.
Getting divorced is a permanent decision, the effects of which will stay with you for years. While it’s tempting to give in to anger and make rash decisions, doing so only jeopardizes your future.
One of the hardest things in any divorce is managing expectations; however, this is crucial. Just as you have your “non-negotiable” positions, so too does your spouse. If both you and your spouse can take a step toward the middle, it will go a long way in ensuring a smooth divorce.
Hiding cash, transferring property into someone else’s name, or otherwise secreting assets rarely works out in the end along with being against the standing orders of courts in the Central Texas region. Remember, your spouse will almost certainly have an attorney who will know where to look for hidden assets. If the court discovers you’ve hidden assets, it will damage your credibility and will impact the court’s decisions throughout the process.
If you are considering divorce or believe that your spouse is about to file for divorce, you must reach out to a dedicated Texas divorce lawyer as soon as possible.
At the Law Office of Jason Wright, we have extensive experience helping our clients through the divorce process, ensuring their interests are protected at every step of the way. We take as much time as necessary to get to know you and your situation before recommending any course of action and will always take what you tell us to heart.
To learn more and schedule a confidential consultation, contact the Law Office of Jason Wright by calling (512) 884-1221 or submit the form below. We are committed to vigorously working to find the best solution for you and your family.