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Family Law

Divorce

While you can get a divorce in Texas just by claiming that you don’t get along, you can use fault such as spousal adultery, cruelty, abandonment, felony criminal conviction, confinement in a mental hospital and more to get a higher share of the community property. 

Talk to a lawyer if you have grounds to file for divorce. 

No. You can file for divorce yourself as Pro Se. We’d recommend retaining an attorney in complex cases.

You can file for divorce by yourself as Pro Se or you can retain an attorney. The divorce is initiated by filing an Original Petition for Divorce.

Yes, you can get divorced in Texas even if you have no legal status. You can file as long as you or your spouse:

Has been living in Texas for the past 6 months, and

Has been living in the county where you filed in the last 90 days.

Your divorce is uncontested if it can be finished by agreement or by default.

You can request a default judgement if your spouse doesn’t answer. Service has to be complete through a personal service or substituted service. If your spouse does not respond you can move to get a default judgement. You will have to present a final decree to the judge, and she will sign it. 

No. Fortunately, Texas is a no-fault state. You do not have to prove that your spouse is cheating, an addict, a gambler, or just plain awful to get a divorce. A divorce can be granted if one spouse believes that the marriage has ended because the parties just don’t get along.

It doesn’t matter. Texas is a “no fault” state. One spouse can get a divorce even if the other spouse is not at fault. Your spouse cannot stop you from getting a divorce in Texas. 

A waiver of service is a document that waives service of the divorce petition to the other spouse. One spouse can file for divorce and the other can sign the waiver. The waiver states that the spouse doesn’t need to be officially served. It generally does not waive other rights such as getting hearing notices or signing the final decree of divorce.

No. There is no such thing as a common law divorce. If a man and a woman: 

  1. Stop living together
  2. The common law marriage has not proved to have existed in a legal proceeding within 2 years after the man and woman have stopped living together, it will be presumed that the couple was never married. This rule does not apply to a common law marriage that arose from signing a Declaration of Marriage. 

You and your spouse do not need to be separated to file for divorce. You can file even if you live in the same house.

You have to wait at least 60 days to get your divorce in Texas. There are exceptions to the 60 day waiting period when there is family violence by a spouse. If the exceptions don’t apply you cannot get a divorce before 60 days.

The 60 days are counted as 60 calendar days from the day the divorce is filed. If the 60th day is a holiday, you will go to the next working day.

 No. Texas law does not allow for legal separation. If you want to stay married but want to make sure you have separate assets, a post nuptial agreement or partition and exchange agreement may be an option for you. 

You will have to get the previous case dismissed. All previous divorce cases must be dismissed before you can file a new one. If there is an open case in another state, a Texas court may not have jurisdiction to hear the case here. Talk to an attorney. 

A contested divorce is when you and your spouse don’t agree on issues like child custody, child support and dividing of the assets. You will have to serve your spouse, or he can sign a waiver. You will have to set the case for a hearing.

Child Custody, Child Support and Paternity

You will need to file a Paternity action in court. By filing a Paternity case you are asking the court to determine that you are the child’s genetic father. 

You must meet one of the two requirements before you file for Paternity: 

  1. It has been less than 4 years since the Acknowledgement of Paternity was signed by the other man, or 
  2. The Acknowledgement of Paternity is void. 

Child support is mandatory. It is calculated using a formula provided by law. You can calculate your child support using this link from the Texas Attorney General’s office.

There is a solution. Denial of Paternity. A Denial of Paternity is a legal form signed by the presumed father (someone the mother is married to at the time the child is born). The Denial of Paternity states that the husband is not the real father.

Paternity is the legal identification of a child’s father. Once paternity is established, the child’s genetic father becomes the child’s legal father with all the rights and duties of a parent. 

Paternity can be established by: 

  1. Presumption if the child’s mother and father are married at the time the child is born, or 
  1. By filing an acknowledgement of paternity, or 
  2. By a court order.