TEXAS DIVORCE LAWS:
The Residency Requirement: One of the parties must have resided in Texas for six months, and must have resided for 90 days in the county where the divorce is filed.
No Fault: The marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.
Fault: Mental Cruelty; Adultery; Imprisonment or conviction of a felony; Abandonment; Living separate and apart; Insanity and confinement to a state mental hospital.
Property Division: Texas is a community-property state, meaning any property acquired by either party during the marriage is divided equally at divorce, unless the court finds that an equal division would be unjust (click the following for an expert's overview and key tips on dividing up property through divorce).
Alimony: Texas has the harshest, most restrictive alimony laws in the country. The court awards alimony only if:
- The spouse from whom maintenance is sought has been convicted of domestic violence within two years before the suit for dissolution; OR
- The duration of the marriage is more than 10 years; AND
- The spouse seeking maintenance lacks sufficient property to provide for his/her reasonable minimum needs; OR
- Is unable to support him/herself through employment because of an incapacitating physical or mental disability; OR
- Is the custodial of a child who requires substantial care and supervision on account of a physical or mental disability; OR
- Clearly lacks earning ability in the labor market to provide for minimum reasonable needs.
Moreover, alimony cannot last more than three years, unless there is a compelling reason the spouse cannot obtain gainful employment.
Child custody and child support: As in every state, the court bases custody (called “managing conservatorship” in Texas) on “the best interests of the child.” In Texas, the court presumes that the appointment of the parents as joint managing conservators is in the best interests of the child.
Texas child-support guidelines calculate child support as a percentage of the noncustodial parent’s income.
There are many factors that go into the formula, but generally:
- For one child, support is 20 percent of the noncustodial parent’s net resources
- For two children, it is 25 percent
- For three children, it is 30 percent
- For four children, it is 35 percent
- For five children it is 40 percent
- For six or more children, not less than 40 percent.
Child support lasts until the child is 18 or graduates from high school, whichever comes first.
Click the following for an expert's overview and a list of articles on child custody and child support.
The information supplied above is for "educational purposes only" and is not intended to be used as legal advice.