At Martin Oostdyk , we know that going through a divorce isn’t easy and making the decision to do so can be life changing. We are here to work with you and advocate for you through every step of your divorce process. You don’t have to experience stress or worry about how your divorce is proceeding or how it is being managed; we will communicate with you clearly, every step of the way.
Following are 5 important facts to consider when filing for divorce in Texas:
If you and your spouse agree on almost all issues, and there are no major disagreements, this would be considered an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce is most common when there are no children or significant assets (or debts) in the marriage. This is the simplest and fastest way to receive your decree of divorce; you and your spouse draft up a settlement agreement, attend a hearing with a judge, and the judge will sign-off on the agreement.
If there is a chance that you and your spouse can settle any conflicts prior to court intervention, the court strongly encourages you to do so. Through a process called mediation, most divorces will settle out of court and require only the court’s signature on the Divorce Decree (the final document granting divorce.)
To file for divorce in Texas, one or both of you must have lived in Texas for the previous six months and, the person filing must have been a resident of the county where the petition is being filed for the previous 90 days.
The state of Texas will establish a formal date for when your marriage ended by using the date you filed for divorce (Petition for Dissolution). If children or assets are involved, this is an important date, especially if your divorce is contested as some contested divorces can take over two years to finalize. The court will typically look to this date to determine the value of assets, calculate child support, etc. Please note that the state of Texas does not recognize legal separation so if you are not ready to file for divorce but need to formalize some temporary agreements with your spouse, you should consider seeking legal representation to help formalize legally binding agreements which will then be signed by a judge.
Be prepared to provide at least 3 years of pay stubs, bank statements, tax returns, credit card statements, retirement statements, mortgage paperwork, etc. In contested divorces, the court may require you to present a very clear picture of your finances as of the date of filing for divorce and will use this information to determine things such as child support, spousal maintenance, and division of assets (if applicable).