Texas Divorce: What You Should Know

Key facts about getting a divorce in Texas.

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What are the grounds for divorce in Texas?

Texas is a mixed state. This means that you can use either fault or no-fault grounds as the basis for seeking a divorce, or you can base your divorce on the fact that you've been separated from your spouse for at least three years.

In Texas, using fault grounds may give you an advantage in a dispute about the division of marital property or the appropriateness or amount of alimony. To learn more about whether Texas uses fault as a determining factor in alimony and property issues, see Adultery in Texas: Does Cheating Affect Alimony?

What is the residency requirement for divorce in Texas?

At least one spouse must be a resident of Texas for six months before filing for divorce.

How is property divided at divorce in Texas?

Texas is a community property state. This means that any income earned by either spouse during the marriage, and all property bought with those earnings, are considered marital property that is owned equally by each spouse or partner. At divorce, the property is divided equally between the spouses or partners.  See Texas Divorce: Dividing Property for more information. 

What are the rules about child custody in Texas?

Like all states, Texas courts begin with a presumption that it's best for a child to have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after a divorce. If possible, judges want to support joint custody arrangements. However, the exact nature of the time-share will be determined by the children's best interests. For more information, see Child Custody in Texas: The Best Interests of the Child.

What are the rules about child support in Texas?

Like all states, Texas requires both parents to support their children, even after a divorce. The amount of child support depends primarily on each parent's income and other resources, and how much time each parent spends with the children. In addition, sometimes the courts will "impute" income to a parent who has the capacity to earn more than he or she actually is earning. To learn more about child support, see Understanding and Calculating Alimony in Texas.

Does Texas have resources for do-it-yourself divorce?

Yes. You can usually get fill-in-the-blank forms at your local courthouse or the local law library. See the Texas Young Lawyers Association website, where you'll find extensive information about do-it-yourself divorce.

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