Divorce Law in Texas Requirements and Process
In order to get a divorce in Texas, you need to meet certain requirements. These requirements are not likely to affect those die-hard Texas who have resided continually in the state their whole lives, and they are especially pertinent for those new to Texas. However, it is good for anyone to be aware of all the requirements when trying to navigate the bureaucratic process of something as important as a legal separation.
First, one must be aware of the residency requirements to file for divorce in Texas. One cannot simply walk into the jurisdiction and expect to be served even if they are not from the state. In order for courts to consider a petition for divorce, either one of the spouse must have, at a minimum, resided in the state of Texas for at least six months before filing. This requirement is less restrictive at the county level, however. The spouse must have resided in the county where the separation is sought for a mere 90 days before filing. If one member of the marriage is a resident of a place outside of Texas, then Texas places no restrictions on them. The external spouse may file for divorce in their own locality.
Rules for military personnel are an extension of this. The fact that a Texas resident leaves the state in order to serve in the armed forces does not cause him to relinquish Texan residency, but he may claim to be a resident of Texas if he so chooses and so may file for divorce in the state. Those soldiers hailing from outside of Texas who have been stationed within the state for the past six months can claim Texan residency and are thus also granted the right to file for divorce by Texan courts.
As complex as a childless divorce is, pregnancy has the capacity to jumble matters even more, and courts in Texas usually recognize the labyrinthine nature of such a state of affairs. Regardless of whether or not the husband is the father of the child, Texas courts will overwhelmingly decline to finalize this process if the wife is pregnant. Since children, even the pre-natal, must be taken into account in any final settlement, Texas courts will only finalize such a separation very special circumstances. Take this into consideration if the mother of the union is pregnant.
Once all of these matters are taken into account and one files, there are other procedures in place which will slow the process. The spouse of the petitioner must be given legal notice and has 21 days from the date of said notice to respond. If there is no response, then the divorce can go ahead without the absent party. Courts in Texas generally prefer to wait at least 60 days before finalizing a divorce degree, except in the case where one of the spouses is deemed to be violent. Then a judge may grant a speedier divorce.
Before starting on your divorce proceedings in Texas, know that the process will usually take some months to be completed, even under the most seemingly simple of cases. Except under extenuating circumstances, a divorce can be described as neither a simple nor an automatic matter.