When a couple no longer wishes to be married, the next step is usually to begin the divorce process. In Texas, there are two available options for divorce: no-fault and fault-based. Either process begins with the filing of an original divorce petition, usually in the county where that spouse lives.

A no-fault divorce does not require proving the other party did something wrong. A fault-based proceeding does require that certain grounds for the divorce be presented, such as:

  • A felony conviction with at least one year’s imprisonment.
  • Adultery.
  • Abandonment for at least one year.
  • Confinement to a mental hospital due to insanity.
  • Not living together for at least a 3-year period of time.
  • Some form of cruelty.

Because Texas is a community property state, all property must be listed and division of that property determined according to the community property guidelines. This also includes the division of debt that exists at the time of the divorce.

If there are minor children involved, decisions must be made about child custody that are in the best interests of the child or children involved. It is preferable for the parents to reach an agreement regarding any arrangements. If that cannot be done, then the court will step in to make the necessary child custody arrangements. Support of the minor children must also be determined at this time.

Handling all of this in a proper and timely fashion is not usually handled by the involved divorcing partners. The best choice for both parties is to individually seek the services of an experienced divorce lawyer to handle all of the details and protect the best interest of that spouse.

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See Also: Adoption