Texas Divorce Process
Overview of the divorce process in Texas
Texas Divorce Basics
Names of the Parties: The spouse that files the petition for divorce (i.e. initiates the divorce with the court) is known as the "Petitioner". The other spouse is known as the "Respondent".
Jurisdiction: Texas courts only have jurisdiction to grant divorces for Texas residents. So, one of the spouses must be a Texas resident for 6 months prior to the date the petition for divorce is filed in Texas.
Venue: At least one spouse must reside in the county where the divorce is filed for at least 90 days prior to the filing of the divorce petition.
No Fault: Texas is a No Fault Divorce State. "No Fault" means that one spouse DOES NOT have to prove the other spouse has done anything wrong in order to obtain a divorce. You CAN NOT be held in a marriage if the other spouse does not want to sign or refuses to participate in the divorce process.
Cooling Off Period: Texas courts cannot grant a divorce until 61 days have passed from the date the petition was filed. This cooling off period supposedly helps couples who change their mind.
Appeal Period: After the divorce decree is signed by the judge, each spouse can technically file an appeal for 30 days. As such, neither spouse can get married until the divorce decree is final (30 days has elapsed from the date in which the judge signed divorce decree).
Grounds for a divorce in Texas
- Confinement for incurable insanity for three years
- Conviction of a felony and imprisonment for over one year
- Cruel and inhuman treatment.
- Insupportability - This is the catchall that almost all divorces are filed under. Insupportability means “discord or conflict of personalities” that has prevented any “reasonable expectation of reconciliation.”