Basic Requirements for Filing for Divorce in Texas
States usually differ in practice and basic requirement when it comes to divorce. One difference is the basis for the filing of divorce. A total of 17 states, which include California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin do not necessitate a spouse filing for divorce to have a strong, valid ground why he/she wants to have his/her marriage terminated. All a petitioner needs to place or check in the petition for divorce form is due to irreconcilable marriage. Though he/she may have a spouse who is adulterous, has been convicted of felony or guilty of domestic abuse, including any or all of these in the petition for divorce form will have no bearing since the above 17 states are no fault divorce states.
The state of Texas, though, like all the remaining other 33 states used to strictly adhere to citing grounds for divorce. Recently, however, all 33 states have started recognizing the no fault practice, making filing for divorce easier for couples whose differences are no longer workable.
To properly guide petitioners, states have their own set of rules and guidelines which are aimed at directing spouses through the process of divorce. In the state of Texas, specifically, these rules and guidelines include:
- Residency requirements;
- Ground for divorce (for no fault divorce, citing insupportable differences is enough, while for fault divorce, grounds may be cruelty, adultery, conviction of felony, abandonment for at least one year, living apart for at least three years without cohabitation, or confinement in a mental hospital for at least three years);
- Filing the Petition for Divorce document; and,
- The Petitioner sending his/her former spouse (the Respondent) a legal notice of the petition;
The Respondent has 21 days within which to file an Answer or contest the divorce; if no Answer is filed, then the case is a default. This would allow the judge to decide on the divorce case even without the Respondent.
Divorce, whether fault or no fault will always be an emotionally contested issue between spouses – add to these trying to reach a settlement on all other related issues, which include child conservatorship, visitation rights, child support, spousal support and division of assets and properties. Making the divorce process a bearable experience, as well as to help spouses arrive at a fair settlement and to keep their case out of courts is the reason why there are divorce lawyers and law firms, like the Kirker Davis, LLP for instance, dealing with this emotionally burdening issue.