No-Fault Divorce: Texas
Every state has its own laws and guidelines for couples seeking a divorce. What are the rules and provisions in the state of Texas? Although there are both fault and no-fault divorces in that state, we’ll look at how no-fault divorce works in this blog.
According to the Texas Family Law code, a no-fault divorce will be granted “in circumstances when the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities…and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.” Another term for this is “irreconcilable differences.” Texas no-fault divorce laws state that the marriage has become “insupportable due to conflict between the parties and that there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation” as one of its main grounds for divorce. In other words, the couple simply can no longer get along.
The state of Texas allows both fault and no-fault grounds for a divorce. Fault-based grounds for divorce include adultery, mental and physical abuse and cruelty, conviction of a felony, abandonment, a couple living apart for at least three years, and confinement to a mental hospital for at least three years. In a no-fault divorce, however, the court will not assign blame to either party for the divorce. Any couple filing for a no-fault divorce in Texas should complete the Original Petition for Divorce and the Summons Form. Couples with children must complete several additional forms. If both spouses agree to the terms of the divorce, including child custody, living arrangements, support payments and the like, they can complete a divorce settlement agreement, stating all the agreed upon terms of the divorce.
Texas law requires that the petitioner (the spouse filing the papers) or the respondent (the other spouse) has lived in the state of Texas for at least six months, as well as in the county where they are filing for divorce for a minimum of 90 days. Both of these requirements must be met before filing for the divorce. This means if one of the spouses has moved to another country after the separation, they previously lived in Texas for half a year and in their new country at least half that.
Even if both spouses are on board with wanting a divorce, it cannot happen overnight. In Texas, parties must wait at least 60 days between the filing of their divorce suit and finalizing the divorce. Only if one spouse has been convicted of a criminal offense like domestic violence or where a restraining order or protective order issued by the court can this cooling off period can be waived.
In most Texas no-fault divorces, the spouses attempt to settle the matter of property division themselves, outside the court. This saves a lot of their time and money. Texas is a community property state, meaning property acquired between the parties during the course of the marriage are split up into two halves, and there’s also an attempt to divide the property so that no injustice is done to either of them.
In a Texas no-fault divorce, child custody and visitation rights are usually settled among the spouses to spare the children from bitter court battles. Sometimes, they may be asked to participate in custody mediation. Throughout the process, the “best interests of the children” are given top priority.