Many people that in a marriage relationship separate, stop living together and even lose touch. But, what happens when you want to move on with your life? How do you remove your ex from your insurance, estate or even a lottery win? How can you marry another person when you’ve already married? In Texas you generally need to go through a formal divorce proceeding.
The first thing you need to do, is determine if one of you has lived in Texas for the last six months and in the county that the case is filed in for at least the last ninety days. With this, at least one of you is a resident and Texas and the county can have jurisdiction over the claim.
Grounds for Divorce
Next, you need to state the grounds for the divorce. Insupportability is the most common now days. It means that there is no finding of fault with either of you, you just have differences which can not be overcome. The other grounds may be claimed to allow a divorce are:
- Conviction of a Felony
- Living apart
- Confinement in a mental hospital
Children and Things
You next need to determine how you want your assets and debts divided. How are you going to pay your bills without your spouse? Where are you going to live? And, what about simple things like furniture and dishes?
Many people wait too long to think about their assets and their debt. You need to make plans on how you will get by. Save up if you need to. Texas is a community property State. You need to understand what is your separate property and what is community property.
If you have children, are they going to live with you or your spouse? Is there going to be child support? If you are discussing the divorce, it is best to understand these issues before the litigation begins. Are these issues agreed to by you and your spouse or do they need to be determined by the court?
Do you need an attorney to assist in the divorce? Do you each need your own, or can you share the same attorney?
I worked as a plumbers helped when I was a teenager. But, when I need plumbing done, I call a professional plumber to handle it. It is faster and usually cheaper. The same applies to using an attorney. They know the laws and procedures and are there to advise you on what is your best interest. Many people spend a lot of money fighting over something that is irrelevant to their divorce.
I would always recommend that each of you has their own attorney, even if you are still getting along. If you do, it is more likely that you will stay civil with each other.
Petition for Divorce
The next step is to file a Petition for Divorce with the court. This is usually done at the district or county clerks office in the courthouse. The petition will generally need to have the required information and either a location to serve notice upon your spouse or a waiver of service signed by them.
Once your spouse is given notice, you have begun divorce proceedings. There is a standard waiting period of ninety days before you can get a final decree of divorce. But, if there are complications, you divorce could take a lot longer to be finalized.