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Process for divorcing in Texas

When the marriage of a Texas couple is coming to an end, the process of divorce may seem bewildering and daunting. Understanding the basic requirements and the court procedure can help allay some of the fears people may have when they are contemplating a divorce.

The first hurdle that must be met is that the state must have jurisdiction over the matter. This requirement is met as long as one or both spouses have resided in Texas for at least six months. Then, the person who will file must select the grounds under which he or she will be doing so. Most people opt to file a no-fault divorce on grounds of insupportability. Some, however, choose a fault-based ground, such as adultery, a spouse that has been convicted of a felony, a spouse that has been institutionalized, cruelty or that the pair have been living apart for six months or more.

The person filing will file the petition for the divorce with the court, along with the required fee and a summons. The clerk will give copies back to the petitioner, who will need to have the copies served on the other spouse and will thereafter be required to file an affidavit of service with the court. The other spouse will then have a specific amount of time in which to file a response. Other documents that may be needed include parenting plans or agreements, proposed property divisions, statements of assets and income and others.

It is fairly common when a marriage is ending for people's emotions to be running high. That can make the required paperwork and documentation seem even more difficult. Whether or not the couple is able to reach an agreement as to such things as spousal support, child custody and property division, the assistance of family law attorneys may be advisable.

Source: TexasLawHelp.org, "The Uncontested Divorce Process in Texas ", accessed on Jan. 19, 2015

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