Your marriage has fallen so far south, you feel like you are living on opposite poles. You have decided you are ready for divorce, but now what? Here are some of the basics that you’ll need to get started.
Texas is a no-fault divorce state, which means that you can file for divorce whether or not you or your spouse is at fault for the breakup of your marriage. The only reason that you need to give the court for wanting a divorce is that your marriage is “insupportable.” That is not to say that you can’t file for divorce if you or your spouse is at fault. You still can. If an at-fault divorce is filed, the court will assign blame to you or your spouse for any wrongdoing. Common examples of this are adultery, cruelty, and abandonment.
You need to look at your marriage and decide which to file. A no-fault may be easier to file, so you don’t have to worry about proving the wrongdoing to the court. On the other hand, the court can choose to take the wrongdoing into consideration in deciding the “just and right” way to divide your property.
Texas is also a community property state. This basically states that when you and your spouse were married, you became a community. All of the property from before the marriage and acquired during the marriage is now either separate property or community property.
Separate property is basically what you or your spouse owned before your marriage, is received by you or your spouse as a gift or inheritance during your marriage, or is personal injury awards to you or your spouse during your marriage. Simply put separate property is yours and only yours. Everything that is not separate property is then community property. Community property is split as equally as possible between you and your spouse. Keep in mind, while the court is looking for a “just and right” manner to spilt property, they can also consider whose fault it was for the break up, if 1 of you misused your money, any difference in your incomes, both of your ages and physical health, and who will have custody of the children, if there are any.
There is also spousal support, which is basically alimony and the Texas courts call it spousal maintenance. If you want to spousal maintenance or you feel like you should receive it, find out if you are eligible first. All cases start at $0, unless the one paying is accused of domestic violence. For the court to consider awarding spousal maintenance, you must show that you are unable to support yourself (basically meet your minimum reasonable needs) and one of three items. You must prove you are unable to support yourself due to a physical or mental disability, or your child requires substantial supervision or care, or show that you were married for more than 10 years. The court determines how much and for how long spousal maintenance will last, but they do place maximums of $5,000 per month and 10 years on it, barring special circumstances. The court may look into many aspects of your life including how long you were married and your education and employment skills.
Keep in mind that divorces are complicated and exhausting. There are so many details to go into that you are going to need a very strong attorney on your side. You need The LaFour Law Firm where they have experience and will walk you through your case. Call them at 713-223-7700 to schedule an appointment.