Frequently Asked Questions

  • In order to file for divorce in Texas, the initiating party must have lived in the state for the previous six months (prior to filing divorce) and have been a resident of the county for at least ninety days. If this requirement is not met, the court can abate (halt/pause) the suit until the residency requirements have been satisfied.

    The process generally takes about sixty days to finalize the divorce.  This is known as the “cooling off” period between two spouses allowing for an opportunity of reconciliation. The process can take longer if the parties are not in agreement concerning child custody and/or property division.

  • The only instance in which one can bypass the waiting period is if there is an issue of family violence.

  • Yes. The law requires that one party met the residency requirements. It is not necessary for both spouses to be residents of Texas in for a divorce suit to be maintained in Texas.  Keep in mind that there are special requirements that must be met when notifying the non-resident spouse of a pending divorce in Texas.  It is best that you discuss the specifics of your case with a qualified attorney before filing a divorce action.

  • Spousal maintenance is a form of financial support that can be awarded to a spouse on a temporary or permanent (with exceptions) basis.  There is no formal guideline in setting spousal maintenance, but the spouse who is seeking the support should be prepared to show that they are unable to provide for their minimum reasonable needs.  Additionally, the Court will determine whether sufficient resources are available to the other spouse to provide for those needs.

  • Texas does recognize common law marriages as valid institutions.  Parties who are married under common law must be divorced just as if they had gone before a pastor or government official who performed the marriage ceremony. In Texas to be considered common law spouses, the parties must: 1. Have an agreement to be married 2. Live together as husband wife 3. “hold out” to others that they are indeed married.

    Some couples opt to file a Declaration of Informal Marriage to memorialize their union. If the couple does not file a declaration, the spouse who is seeking the divorce has to prove that a valid marriage existed.

  • Separate property is defined as property owned by either spouse prior to the marriage.  Separate property also includes gift or inheritance as well as certain proceeds from the settlement of personal injury claims.

  • Community property is defined as property, other than separate property, that is acquired by either spouse during marriage.

  • This will often come to an issue of the length of the marriage.

  • The best way to handle this situation would be to file an enforcement. This motion is advising the Court of the duty of support owed and that the non-custodial parent (parent who doesn’t live with the child) has failed to comply with  a court order.

  • Depending on the Court and nature of the issues surrounding the case, it is highly likely that the parties will be encouraged or ordered to attend mediation.  More often than not, if custody is at issue in the case, the parties are encouraged to attend mediation prior to any temporary orders hearing. There are time when the parties are ordered to attend mediation and other times when the parties can opt for a  mediation in hopes that it will resolve the case.

  • Mediation has a plethora of benefits. Mainly it will save the parties time, energy, and money by helping to reach resolution on the matter. If an agreement is reached in mediation, it is binding upon the parties.