No one ever expects their marriage to ultimately end in divorce, but it is an unfortunate reality for many. For many, the divorce process is their first encounter with the court system and many are unfamiliar with some of the basics of what the experience entails or requires.
Although Texas provides grounds for a no-fault divorce, which is also known as irreconcilable differences, the state also recognizes divorce based on fault. In Texas, potential grounds for divorce include adultery, abandonment, cruelty, felony conviction, and confinement in a mental hospital.
The Residency Requirement
Before you can file for divorce in Texas, you must meet the state’s residency requirement. You or your spouse must have lived in the state for at least 6 months and be a resident in the county where you wish to file for divorce for at least 3 months. If you meet these requirements, the court can potentially finalize your divorce 60 days after the initial filing.
Key Issues in a Divorce
There are several key issues that must be addressed in a divorce, including property and asset division, alimony, child support, and child custody, each of which can take a considerable amount of time to resolve if you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement any of them. When spouses cannot agree on one or more of these issues, they will have a contested divorce. However, if you find yourselves on the same page, you may have an uncontested divorce.
When rendering a decision regarding your children, whether it be child custody or child support, a judge will always put their best interests first.
Below are some of the factors a judge will consider when determining custody:
- The child’s emotional needs
- The relationship the child has with each parent
- The child’s developmental needs
- The child’s age
- Each parent’s work schedule
- Each parent’s lifestyle and ability to provide for the child
- In some cases, the child’s preference may be considered
- Whether either parent has a history of domestic abuse or substance abuse
- Any other factors a judge may consider pertinent to supporting the child’s best interests
When it comes to dividing property and assets, Texas is a community property state, which means all marital property will be divided equally. Additionally, alimony is only granted under specific circumstances. For example, the court will examine the duration of the marriage, any contributions a spouse made as a homemaker, and the earning ability of the spouse who is seeking alimony.
Contact Our Knowledgeable Divorce Attorneys Today!
If you can no longer make your marriage work, the team at The Law Office of Derek S. Ritchie, PLLC can provide the assistance you need. Our divorce attorney has the compassion, knowledge, and experience necessary to guide you through this complex legal process while protecting your interests. You can rely on us to help you get started on the next chapter in your life.