Are you preparing for a divorce? It is normal to be stressed out, overwhelmed, and emotional about the process. Divorce is difficult—but you are certainly not alone. The Texas Department of State Health Services reports that there were 76,423 divorces filed in the state in the most recent year with comprehensive data. By some measures, half of U.S. marriages eventually end in divorce.
As hard as it is to go through a divorce, there are some steps that you can take to make the process as easy as possible. Proper preparation can make a divorce a much more smooth experience for everyone involved. Our Frisco divorce attorney explains what you should know when getting a divorce in Texas.
An Overview of the Divorce Laws and Divorce Process in Texas
Divorces are handled at the state level. If you are getting divorce in Collin County or Denton County, it is crucial that you know how the process works under Texas law. Some of the key things to know about the divorce laws and divorce process in Texas are as follows:
- Most Divorces in Texas are No-Fault Divorces: Most divorces in Texas are no-fault divorces. Under Tex. Fam. Code § 6.001, a married couple has the right to divorce on the no-fault grounds of insupportability. No-fault divorces are generally far more smooth. With fault not being an issue, the spouse can focus on the future.
- There is a Residency Requirement to Get Divorced in Texas: You can get divorced in Texas regardless of where you get married. However, you need to satisfy the state's residency requirement. You can only file for divorce in Texas if at least one spouse has officially resided in the state for 180 days. The divorce should be filed in a county of residency for at least 90 days.
- Texas is a Community Property State: Texas is a community property jurisdiction. All of the marital property of a couple is presumed to be jointly owned 50/50 by the spouses. In contrast, separate property is owned by a particular spouse. In many divorce cases, deciding who gets to keep what is among the most contentious matters.
- Parents Need to Know the Best Interests of the Child Standard: Divorce is especially complicated for parents who share minor children. You will need to work out custody as part of the divorce. Technically, our state now uses the term “conservatorship” instead of custody. Under Texas law (Tex. Fam. Code § 153.002), all disputes regarding children are resolved using the best interests of the child legal standard.
Four Steps for a Healthy Divorce in Texas
Although divorce is never easy, not every divorce ends up as a horror story. Quite the contrary, divorcing couples can work through the process in a calm and level-headed manner to achieve a healthy and smooth divorce. Here are four tips that can help you make your divorce easier:
- Focus on the Future: By the time a divorce has been filed, most spouses have a lot that they disagree about. It is important not to get too bogged down in the past or in assigning blame. From a legal perspective, the divorce process is about untangling your lives and setting you up for the future. A future-focus can make a big difference.
- Communication is Key to Cooperation: The better that spouses can cooperate, the easier it will be to get a smooth divorce. There cannot be effective cooperation or collaboration without communication. Each party needs to be willing to listen and try to communicate openly with their spouse.
- Get Organized: It is not always emotions or personal conflict that causes problems in the divorce process. A more practical issue—disorganization—can also lead to a very messy divorce. By proactively organizing your financial and legal affairs, you can put yourself in the best possible position for a smooth and healthy divorce.
- Seek Professional Guidance and Support: You do not have to go through the divorce process alone. Professional guidance and support can make the difference. An experienced Frisco, TX divorce lawyer will be able to help you with all of the legal and logistical matters. You may also benefit from working with a professional counselor or family therapist.
Disagreements Can be Resolved: Know Your Legal Options Beyond Litigation
It is common for spouses going through a divorce to have disagreements—especially in the early stages of the process. That being said, a dispute does not necessarily mean that divorce litigation will be required. You have other legal options available through which you can work out a solution in your divorce case, including:
- Divorce Mediation: Mediation is a form of non-adversarial alternative dispute resolution (ADR). It is non-binding. Parties to a divorce can go before a neutral third party mediator who can help them facilitate a workable solution on all key matters—including things like property division and child custody. Mediation is far faster and more cost effective than litigation. To learn more, please contact our Frisco divorce mediation lawyer.
- Collaborative Divorce: Collaborative divorce is another option for couples who want to work toward a cost effective, non-adversarial solution. In Texas, collaborative divorce is a specialized, confidential legal process through which parties can work together towards an agreement in a low-conflict, but structured legal setting. If you have any specific questions or concerns about your options, please do not hesitate to contact our Frisco collaborative divorce attorney for help.
Schedule a Confidential Consultation With a Frisco, TX Divorce Attorney
At The Page Law Firm, our Frisco divorce attorney is a skilled and compassionate advocate for clients. We know that divorce can be difficult—and we are here to make the process as smooth and painless as possible. Give us a call at (214) 618-2101 or contact us online for a confidential initial consultation. From our office in Frisco, we provide family and divorce representation throughout North Texas, including in Collin County, Denton County, Tarrant County, and Dallas County.