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Texas Divorce Information Center

Two-thirds to three-quarters of divorces are initiated by women.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce in Texas

Q: What is a legal divorce?

A: A divorce is a method of terminating a marriage contract between two individuals. From a legal standpoint, divorce will give each party the legal right to marry someone else, to divide and share marital assets and debts and to determine matters related to the care and custody of their children. In Texas, divorces are either fault-based or no fault.

Q: What is a no-fault divorce?

A: Traditionally, divorce was granted only in cases of marital misconduct such as adultery or physical abuse. In these cases, the "guilty" spouse was punished by getting a smaller share of the couple's property, being denied custody of their children, or both. In a no-fault divorce, however, both parties agree that there are no "fault" grounds for the divorce. In Texas, married couples can get no-fault divorces if the marriage has become "insupportable" because conflict has destroyed the legitimate ends of the relationship. No-fault divorces can also be granted if a couple has been living separately (without any cohabitation) for three years.

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Divorce in Texas - An Overview

A divorce is a method of terminating a marriage contract between two individuals. In Texas, divorce can either be "no fault" or fault-based. No fault divorce is a marital termination proceeding where the divorce is granted without either party being required to show that the other is responsible for the breakdown of the marriage. Under no fault rules, either party may obtain a divorce, even if the other spouse does not consent to the divorce.

Texas divorces can also be fault-based, requiring one person to give a legal reason in order to get a divorce. In Texas, divorces can be granted on the grounds of (1) adultery, (2) abandonment, (3) incurable insanity, (4) imprisonment for a felony conviction or (5) cruel and inhuman treatment. Tex. Fam. Code § 6.301. Typically, a fault-based divorce is pursued if the couple cannot reach a satisfactory settlement about property division, child support or custody, and one party wants the court to consider the conduct of the other party when deciding the issue.

Contemplating divorce is always difficult. Involving a knowledgeable Texas family law attorney from Law Office of Douglas C. Smith as soon as possible in the divorce process is one of the best ways to preserve your own long-term financial and emotional health. Contact our El Paso, TX, office today to schedule a consultation.

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Division of Property in Texas

When there is little or no marital property, no children and no spousal maintenance, spouses can usually obtain a quick divorce by having an attorney draft a divorce agreement and having a judge approve it. Most divorces, however, are quite different and far more complex. Issues that complicate divorces include considerable marital property (both personal property and real estate), children, family businesses, large or concealed debts, trust funds, real estate in other states, joint and separate bank accounts, investments, insurance, pensions and other assets. In these complex situations, the parties often require the assistance of the court to divide their property.

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Questions to Ask During Divorce

Considering whether to end your marriage is one of the most important and difficult decisions you will ever have to make. It is also important to approach the question from a rational perspective rather than solely an emotional one. In many ways, it is a business decision that requires you to evaluate many issues.

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How to Move On

Recovering from a divorce is similar to the grieving process one experiences when a loved one dies. There are five stages in the process: shock and denial, anger, ambivalence, depression, and recovery. Many people expect to work through these stages one after the other, but that isn't usually how it happens. You can expect to move in and out of each phase over time and sometimes experience more than one phase at the same time. It is a difficult process and time consuming.

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An Amicable Divorce

Divorce is one of the most emotional experiences a person will ever face. The decision to end a marriage is not an easy one and it is often accompanied by anger, fear and resentment.

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Texas Divorce Resource Links

Texas Family Code
Title 1, Subtitle C, Chapter 6 of the Texas Family Code regarding suits for divorce.

The Language of Divorce
A glossary of divorce-related legal terms from the Family Advocate Client Handbook: Divorce Forms.

Texas Marriage License Application and Report of Divorce or Annulment Records
Instructions for requesting a marriage license or verification or a divorce or annulment in Texas.

Frequently asked questions about child support
A publication of The Child Support Division in the Office of the Attorney General of Texas with answers to frequently asked questions about child support.

Protective orders
A publication of the Office of the Attorney General of Texas about obtaining a protective order.

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