Just as we can’t always plan when love and marriage will happen, we can’t always plan when the desire to end a marriage will occur. Of course, it is never really a good time to go through a divorce, but sometimes the timing is particularly bad. For example, if you have recently moved to a new state, the idea of going through a divorce probably sounds fairly traumatic. There may be another practical bar to moving forward with a divorce anyway. A Fort Worth fathers rights lawyer explains when you can file for divorce in Texas along with some of the other basic requirements for getting a divorce in the State of Texas.
Basic Requirements for a Texas Divorce
In order to file for a divorce in any state, you must first be certain you meet the basic filing requirements. In the State of Texas, those requirements include a residency requirement. To file for divorce in Texas you must be able to show that at the time the suit is filed either the Petitioner (spouse filing the divorce) or the Respondent has been:
- a domiciliary of this state for the preceding six-month period; and
- a resident of the county in which the suit is filed for the preceding 90-day period.
- If one spouse has been a domiciliary of Texas for at least the last six months, a spouse domiciled in another state or nation may file a suit for divorce in the county in which the domiciliary spouse resides at the time the petition is filed.
- If you are a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, and have been stationed at one or more military installations in the state for at least the last six months and at a military installation in a county of the state for at least the last 90 days, you meet the residency requirement.
In addition, you must also declare the grounds on which you are seeking a divorce. Like many states, Texas now offers a “no-fault” option for Petitioners. You may choose to use the no-fault option which alleges that the “marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.” If you choose to move forward with a no fault divorce you will not be required to prove anything regarding the cause of the divorce. Texas also, however, retains several fault options as well. If you allege one, or more, of the fault grounds in your divorce petition, you will ultimately need to prove those grounds for the court to grant the divorce. Fault grounds available in Texas include:
- Cruelty — the court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other spouse is guilty of cruel treatment toward the complaining spouse of a nature that renders further living together insupportable.
- Adultery — the court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other spouse has committed adultery.
- Conviction of a felony — the court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if during the marriage the other spouse: (1) has been convicted of a felony; (2) has been imprisoned for at least one year in the State Penitentiary, a Federal Penitentiary, or the penitentiary of another state; and (3) has not been pardoned. (b) The court may not grant a divorce under this section against a spouse who was convicted on the testimony of the other spouse.
- Abandonment — the court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other spouse: (1) left the complaining spouse with the intention of abandonment; and (2) remained away for at least one year.
- Living Apart — the court may grant a divorce in favor of either spouse if the spouses have lived apart without cohabitation for at least three years.
- Confinement in a mental hospital — the court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if at the time the suit is filed: (1) The other spouse has been confined in a state mental hospital or private mental hospital, as defined in Section 571.003, Health and Safety Code, in this state or another state for at least three years; and (2) it appears that the hospitalized spouse’s mental disorder is of such a degree and nature that adjustment is unlikely or that, if adjustment occurs, a relapse is probable.
Contact a Fort Worth Fathers Rights Lawyer
If you have additional questions or concerns about the divorce process in the State of Texas, contact an experienced Fort Worth father’s rights lawyer at The Law Office of Jon R. Boyd by calling 817-338-4500 to schedule your appointment today.