View related topics

Answers From A Grapevine Divorce Attorney

If you are contemplating divorce, you probably have questions about what to expect out of the process ahead. Below you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding divorce and family law. If you would like to discuss the details of your case with a Grapevine divorce lawyer, we encourage you to contact Powell Law Offices, P.C., for a confidential consultation.

What are the residency requirements for divorce in Texas?
To file for divorce in Texas, either you or your spouse must be a resident of the state for at least six months. Furthermore, at least one spouse must be a resident of the county in which you intend to file for at least 90 days. If you do not meet these requirements, you would be prohibited from filing.

What are the grounds for divorce in Texas?
Texas law allows for "no fault" divorce, which means that you do not have to prove fault. However, you can include fault grounds if you choose. You can show that the marriage is unworkable or that you have lived apart for three years. If you wish to obtain a divorce based on fault by your spouse, your general options are:

  1. Adultery
  2. Confinement of your spouse in a mental hospital for at least three years, with a condition that is unlikely to improve
  3. Cruelty
  4. Abandonment
  5. A felony conviction

If you wish to obtain a divorce based on fault, you must be able to go to court and prove fault through witness testimony, emails, phone calls, Facebook posts, etc.

Sometimes a court will consider giving the spouse who is not at fault a larger portion of the community assets if the court finds the fault of the other spouse was adequately proven.

How will the marital property be divided during divorce?
Texas is a community property state, which means that all of the property and assets that were acquired during the marriage will be considered "community property"—and thus, subject to equitable distribution. Only separate property will be excluded from the division process. The same goes for debts incurred during the marriage, except for student loans.

The following are generally not considered community property:

  1. Inheritances
  2. A gift to one spouse from that spouse's family
  3. A gift from one spouse to the other spouse

What property will I be able to keep when I get divorced?

This depends on several factors. Any property either spouse owned prior to the marriage is considered that spouse's separate property, unless the other spouse can prove that it was converted to community property during the marriage.

Typically, each spouse is entitled to 50 percent of the value of all community property, unless fault is proven or other special circumstances exist.

I paid all the bills during the marriage. Am I entitled to reimbursement from my spouse?

It depends on the bills paid. If the bills that were paid were living expenses such as a mortgage, utilities, groceries, etc., then you are not entitled to reimbursement for those. Texas law says that spouses have a duty to support each other.

I paid off all my spouse's debt. Am I entitled to reimbursement?

If the debt you paid off was incurred by your spouse prior to you getting married, then you may be entitled to reimbursement for the amount you paid on that debt. If you spent money to improve property or a business your spouse owned prior to the marriage, then you may be entitled to reimbursement of that money as well.

How long will it take to finalize my divorce?
Once you or your spouse has filed a divorce petition with the court, it will take at least 60 days for the divorce to be finalized; however, if you and your spouse are unable to agree on the terms of your separation, you could expect the process to take anywhere from six months to a year or longer.

Who will get custody of the kids?

In Texas, child custody is referred to as "conservatorship." Generally, both parents will have the right to make medical, financial and legal decisions for the children, and the parent who has been the main caregiver for the children will typically be the parent with whom the children live. This can vary, however, depending on the circumstances of the case and whether one parent can be shown to be neglectful, abusive or involved in activity that will put the children in danger or at risk of physical or emotional injury.

How is child support calculated in Texas?

Child support in Texas is determined by a formula. The parent with whom the children do not live will pay 20 percent of his/her net monthly income (after certain deductions) for one child, 25 percent of his/her net monthly income for two children, 30 percent of his/her net monthly income for three children and so on. The court can order an amount that varies from this formula if the parties agree to it or if special circumstances exist.

Still Have Questions? Contact Our Firm For A Confidential Consultation.

Divorce is a complicated process, and every case is unique. For this reason, you should not hesitate to discuss the specific nature of your case with Lauren Powell, an experienced divorce attorney in Grapevine, Texas. With more than a decade of experience, Lauren Powell of Powell Law Offices, P.C., is well-equipped to provide the guidance that you need and deserve. Call now to set up your initial consultation.