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How the Divorce Process in Texas Works

Getting a divorce is a complex process. You must navigate complicated legal steps while also facing emotional and financial challenges.

It can be helpful to have an overview of the steps of the divorce process even before you meet with a divorce attorney in Austin.

1. What are the residency requirements to file for divorce in Texas?

The Texas Family Code states that one spouse must have lived in the state for the last six months. You or your spouse must have lived for at least 90 days in the county where you plan to file the divorce petition.

2. What are the grounds for divorce in Texas?

Texas is a no-fault divorce state, which means one spouse does not have to find a fault or reason for the court to want to grant the divorce. There are seven allowable reasons for divorce listed in the state statutes.  

3. How will our property be divided during a divorce?

Texas is a community property state which assumes property either spouse obtains during the marriage is likely community property. Separate property is that property owned prior to marriage or obtained by gift or inheritance.

Each partner’s community property will be identified and divided in your divorce. Your separate property will be confirmed to you as your own.

 Your divorce attorney in Austin can explain how the Texas law affects the division of your family assets. People often make mistakes regarding community property division when they don’t have a lawyer.

4. What is the first step in filing for a divorce?

The first step in filing for divorce is filing an Original Petition. The person filing the Original Petition with the Court is called the Petitioner, and the other person is the Respondent. Once the Original Petition is filed with the Court and your spouse receives a copy, your divorce process is underway.

Your divorce attorney in Austin should file the necessary papers with the Court. You and your lawyer will determine if you need to request Temporary Orders at this time. These Temporary Orders can make financial arrangements and parenting provisions, for instance, while the divorce is pending. 

5. What happens after the divorce petition is filed?

Next, the spouse, or their attorney, must respond to the Original Petition. If a person is served formally by a process server, they have a court deadline and should consult a divorce attorney.

A divorce attorney can make sure you know when your court deadline is, and how to meet it.

6. How long until our divorce is final?

Texas requires a 60-day waiting period from the date the Original Petition is filed before the Court can render the divorce final. This interval provides time for you to work with your divorce attorney in Austin and hopefully come to an agreement with your spouse.

An uncontested divorce occurs when both parties can resolve issues like property division and child support within the 60-day time frame. Generally, it takes four to six months to finalize a divorce. Agreeing on critical issues and finalizing required documents takes time.

Reaching the end of the divorce process is often smoother with the help of an Austin divorce attorney. They take time to understand you and guide you through the process. If you’re not sure where to start, or how to navigate the process, contact the friendly team at Lazar Law.

For help with possession and access and other child custody and visitation matters in an Austin divorce or custody case, contact Lazar Law at 512-477-1600.
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