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FAQS

I Know Texas is a No-Fault State, but What if My Spouse is Cheating/is a Gambler etc?

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.

Do I have to Prove that My Spouse is at Fault to Get a Divorce?

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.

Can I Get a Legal Separation in Texas if I don’t Want a Divorce Yet?

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.

What if I Previously Filed for Divorce in Another State Before Filing in Texas?

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 Man signed the Acknowledgement of Paternity for my Child but I am the Real Father, What can I do?

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 have to 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.
 

What if the child is not the biological child of the person mother is married to?

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.

What is Paternity?

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
  2. By filing an acknowledgement of paternity, or
  3. By a court order.

Can I get a Common Law Divorce?

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

  1. Stop living together; and
  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.

Do my wife and I have to be separated to file for divorce?

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.

How much child support will I get?

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.

What is a waiver of service in divorce?

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.

How long will my divorce take?

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.

What if my spouse doesn’t want a divorce?

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.

What is a contested divorce?

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.

What is an uncontested divorce?

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

  1. By Agreement - if you and your spouse agree on everything, such as, child custody, child support, assets and debts. You can draft the final papers and have a Judge approve and sign them as your divorce decree.
  2. By Default - if you file for divorce and serve your spouse but your spouse does not file an answer or appear in court. You can draft a default decree and present it to the Judge. The Judge will sign it.

What if my spouse doesn’t answer the divorce petition?

You can request a default judgement if your spouse doesn't anwer. 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.

What do I do if my spouse is running from being served?

If you have filed for divorce, you will have to serve your spouse. If he is avoiding service you can request substituted service from the Judge. You will have to prove that your spouse is evading service. A Judge will sign an order for substituted service that will allow you to post the notice at the spouse's front door. Service will be complete.

Do I need a lawyer to file for divorce?

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

How do I start my divorce?

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.

Can I get a divorce if I am not a legal immigrant in U.S.?

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

  1. Has been living in Texas for the past 6 months, and
  2. Has been living in the county where you filed in the last 90 days.
   

Can I file for divorce in Texas if I got married in another state?

Yes. You can get divorced in Texas as long as:

  1. Your marriage is legal in the state where you were married, and
  2. You meet the residency requirements. You or your spouse has lived in Texas for the past 6 months and in your county for the past 90 days.

What if my spouse doesn’t live in Texas?

You can file for divorce in Texas as long as one person meets the residency requirements under Family Code 6.301  

I just moved to Texas, can I file for divorce?

You can file for divorce in Texas if you or your spouse:

  1. has been living in Texas for the past 6 months and
  2. has lived in your county for the past 90 days.
Note, this rule applies to only one person. You can file for divorce in Texas as long as one spouse qualifies under the above conditions.

What is a common law marriage?

A common law marriage happens when a man and a woman, both 18 and over:

  1. agree to be married
  2. live together as husband and wife; and
  3. represent to other people that they are married
There is no set time period for two people to be together to be considered common law married. A common law marriage may also occur if a man and a woman, both 18 and over, sign a Declaration of Informal Marriage provided by the Bureau of Vital Statistics or the County Clerk.  

What are some of the reasons I can get an annulment?

There are several reasons to get an annulment:

  1. One of the spouse was under 18 at the time of marriage. That spouse didn't get parental consent or a court order.
  2. One spouse was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  3. Either spouse is permanently impotent.
  4. One spouse was convinced to be married to the other by fraud, duress or force.
  5. One spouse lacked the mental capacity to enter into the marriage.
  6. One spouse concealed a prior divorce.
  7. The spouses were married within 72 hours of the marriage license being issued.

What is an annulment?

An annulment is a proceeding that would declare your marriage void. It is considered void as if the marriage never happened.

What will my divorce cost?

A typical divorce ranges from $5,000 to $15,500. Sometimes divorces take unexpected turns. In those cases attorneys have to spend additional time to ensure that the client is able to get what she wants. In such cases the cost can be higher. The cost of divorce also goes up if the parties go to trial. If parties settle at the mediation stage, there is lower cost. But if parties end up in trial the attorney's fees can increase. Call our firm for an initial consultation to get your personalized divorce plan and cost today.

My husband abandoned me many years ago and I do not know where he is. Can I divorce him?

Yes, you can file for divorce even if your husband or wife has abandoned you. You will have to serve them the divorce papers to them to get a divorce. If you are able to convince a judge that you cannot locate your husband, the judge will appoint an attorney to find your spouse. Service can then be completed once the attorney locates him. If the appointed attorney cannot locate him, you can then publish notice of divorce in a local newspaper . You can proceed with your divorce after the notice is published.

Can I get a divorce in Houston if my wife has gone to another country?

Yes, you can. You will be able to get a divorce in Houston even if your spouse has gone to another country. A court will be able to split all your property even if your spouse is not present. A court will also be able to give you child custody orders without your spouse. Keep in mind that you will have to serve your spouse with the initial divorce petition and show the judge that you have properly served him/her under the laws of Texas.