An attorney should be consulted in divorce matters, especially if the divorce is contested. Even agreed divorces can have child custody consequences or complex property divisions which can require the assistance of an attorney. The lawyers at Lindsay, Lindsay & Parsons have years of experience dealing with such issues and would be happy to discuss them with you. Please feel free to contact our office to schedule a free consultation with an attorney to discuss your rights and options.
What if my spouse does not want a divorce?
In Texas if one spouse wants to be divorced, the divorce will be granted by the court. Texas is a no-fault divorce state, which means that fault does not have to be proven for a divorce to be granted.
Does Texas recognize common-law marriage, and, if so, is a divorce is required?
In Texas, a couple may be common-law married. No time requirement exists before a couple will be considered common-law married. All that is required is a showing that the couple intended to be married and held themselves out as husband and wife. Common-law marriage is a fact-intensive matter and each case will be considered individually. If the court determines that a common-law marriage exists, a divorce is required.
How long does it take to get divorced?
Texas has a mandatory 60-day “cooling-off period.” This means that a couple must wait sixty days before a divorce can be finalized by the court. This time does not begin to run on separation of the parties, but rather will start on the date the divorce petition is filed. You should be aware that this is a minimum time, and many divorces take much longer.
What do the terms “community property” and “separate property” mean?
Texas is a community property state. This means that any property acquired during the marriage is presumed the property of the community. Community property is considered to be owned equally by the husband and wife. The community property must be divided in the divorce. Normally, each party is entitled to one half.
Property that was owned by one spouse prior to the marriage or that was acquired during the marriage by gift or inheritance to one spouse is considered separate property. Separate property is owned only by one spouse and is not divided by the court in a divorce. It remains the property of the one spouse.
How is the community property divided?
The court’s only requirement to divide property is “a just a right division”. Many factors will be considered in dividing community property, including the size of the community estate and any fault resulting in the dissolution of the marriage.
How are debts divided?
Debts incurred during the marriage are generally divided equally between the spouses. In a case where the debt is secured by property awarded to one spouse, such as a vehicle or a house, that debt generally goes to the spouse who was awarded the property. If a debt was incurred during the marriage but benefited only one spouse, the court may award that debt to the benefiting spouse. If the debt was incurred by one spouse prior to the marriage, that debt is considered separate debt and typically will remain the debt of the spouse who incurred it.
What is a temporary restraining order?
A temporary restraining order, or TRO, is an order of the court entered after a routine hearing that occurs at the beginning of a divorce. This order can control some behavior of both parties until the divorce is finalized. Most temporary restraining orders will prevent a party from selling property, incurring debts, or harassing the other party. Generally a TRO will serve to preserve the status quo until the divorce is finalized.
What is required if there are children from the marriage?
If your divorce involves children, the court will require you to attend a parenting class. Either your attorney or the District Clerk’s office can provide you with the details of this class. The class can be taken in person or online. Often, failure to complete this required class will result in a court order preventing you from seeing the child until the class is completed. Also, please see child custody and child support for more information on these topics.