Understanding the Texas Divorce System

Every state has its own rules and regulations regarding divorce, and Texas is no exception. Before you initiate the divorce process, it’s important to familiarize yourself with Texas divorce laws so you know what to expect. Whether you’re looking for a legal separation from your spouse or an official divorce, here are a few things you should know before you take that first step.

Divorce and Alternatives

Legal Separation

In Texas, there is no provision in the law for legal separation. So, if you choose to separate from your spouse for a while, there is no legal process you can go through in Texas to make the separation official. Keep in mind that simply living apart from your spouse does not make your salary or any new property you acquire separate property from the marriage. It only becomes separate when you are officially divorced.

Grounds for Divorce

There are two types of divorce in Texas: no-fault and fault. A no-fault divorce is the most common type, although it is possible to file a petition claiming the other spouse is solely responsible for the divorce. Acceptable grounds for a Texas divorce include: abandonment, cruelty, felony conviction, adultery, confinement in a mental hospital (for three or more years), or living apart (for at least three years).

Where to File

Texas divorce law requires that you or your spouse reside in Texas for at least six months prior to filing a divorce with the District Court of Texas in the county where you or your ex-spouse lives. For example, in Frisco divorce paperwork will be processed by the Frisco District Clerk’s office. You can contact your local District Court in your county with any questions you may have regarding the divorce process through the Texas legal system.

Divorce Mediation

Divorce mediation is available to many divorcing couples and allows them to work out the terms of their divorce settlement without the expense of hiring lawyers. In some cases, mediation can help both parties remain civil and come to a fair agreement. It is important to note that not all divorces can be settled civilly, and divorce attorneys may be necessary to ensure a fair outcome for both parties.

It's always preferred that divorce can be avoided whenever possible; however, if divorce is imminent and you live in Texas, go to your county courthouse or talk with an attorney to learn about the divorce process.