Divorce

To file for a divorce in Texas, at the time the divorce is filed, either spouse must have been living in Texas for the preceding six-month period and been a resident of the county in which the suit is filed for the preceding 90-day period. Any time spent outside of Texas while serving in the U.S. armed forces (or as an accompanying spouse of someone serving) is still counted as residency in Texas for the purpose of calculating the six-month and 90-day time periods. If you do not live in Texas but your spouse does (and s/he has been living in Texas for at least the past six months), you can file a suit for divorce in the county in which s/he lives.

There are seven grounds for divorce in Texas. Only the first ground listed below does not assign fault to either spouse for the break-up of the marriage. The other six grounds do require proof that one spouse is to blame the divorce.

1. Insupportability – The marriage can no longer continue because of disagreements or differences that cannot be resolved.

2. Cruelty – When a spouse is guilty of “cruel treatment” towards the other spouse to the extent that it is no longer feasible to continue living together.

3. Adultery – When a spouse has engaged in sexual activity with someone other than the spouse.

4. Conviction of a felony – When, during the marriage, a spouse has been convicted of a felony and imprisoned for at least one year and has not been pardoned.

5. Abandonment – When a spouse left with the intention of abandoning the other spouse and remained away for at least one year.

6. Living apart – When spouses have lived apart (without cohabitation) for at least three years.

7. Confinement in mental hospital – When, at the time of filing for divorce, a spouse has been confined in a mental hospital for at least three years and it appears that their mental disorder is the type that will not get better or if it does get better, it appears that a relapse is probable.

In Texas, a divorce cannot be final for at least 60 days after the petition is filed. The divorce is final as soon as the judge pronounces it so in open court and signs the decree of divorce. If the spouses are not in agreement, it typically takes six months to eighteen months to finalize a divorce, depending on the complexity of the issues and the degree of conflict