What You Need To Know About Divorce Laws In Texas

Navigating a divorce in Texas? Things are about to get as messy as a heaping plate of Texas barbecue. But don’t worry; this guide breaks down everything you need to know about tackling divorce in the Lone Star state.

If you are considering divorce in Texas, speaking with a knowledgeable Fort Bend and Houston divorce lawyer from the outset is highly advisable. An experienced family law attorney can guide the best legal strategies for your unique situation while protecting your rights through the complex divorce process. They will help ensure you meet residency requirements, understand the grounds for divorce, and navigate the paperwork, property division, and custody issues.

Grounds for Divorce

You can file for divorce in Texas on no-fault or fault-based grounds. Here’s how they work:


Texas allows no-fault divorce on the grounds of “insupportability” – meaning marital differences are completely irreconcilable. This grounds for divorce does not require proving any marital misconduct occurred. However, if you and your spouse disagree on key issues like property division or child custody, the divorce may take longer to finalize, even under no-fault grounds.


For a fault-based divorce, you must provide clear evidence proving grounds such as adultery, abandonment, domestic violence or cruelty, felony conviction, or mental illness. Another option is proving you and your spouse have lived fully separate lives without cohabitation for at least three consecutive years. Think carefully about which grounds best fit your situation.

Residency Rules and Timelines

Before being able to file divorce paperwork in Texas officially, you or your soon-to-be ex must meet these residency requirements:

  • At least one spouse must have lived in Texas continuously for a minimum of 6 full months.
  • The spouse filing must have resided in the specific county where they are filing divorce paperwork for at least 90 consecutive days.

In addition, Texas state law mandates a 60-day waiting period starting when the initial divorce petition was filed. A judge cannot grant the divorce order until at least 60 days from the original filing have passed. There are limited exceptions in cases of domestic violence or other difficult circumstances.

Spousal Maintenance

Texas has strict rules regarding spousal maintenance or post-divorce alimony payments. Spousal support is not automatically granted, and to receive it, you must demonstrate a clear financial need along with your former spouse’s proven ability to pay. Judges determine alimony on a case-by-case basis after examining the specific facts and circumstances of the marriage and divorce. Awards are limited in duration, usually 3-5 years maximum.

Working With a Divorce Attorney

  • Navigating the complex legalities of divorce in Texas is difficult without professional guidance. A knowledgeable Texas divorce attorney can provide invaluable help with the following:
  • Reviewing your case details and identifying the best legal strategies.
  • Filing paperwork and ensuring residency rules are met.
  • Dividing marital property appropriately based on TX community property statutes.
  • Determining child custody arrangements focused on the child’s best interests.
  • Calculating support payments per Texas guidelines.
  • And protecting your rights through the entire divorce process.


While divorce in Texas can be emotionally and legally messy, understanding the state’s laws and procedures can help you strategically approach this challenge. Working closely with an experienced local divorce attorney specializing in Fort Bend and Houston family law is highly recommended.

They will expertly guide you through meeting residency requirements, selecting appropriate grounds, navigating paperwork, dividing assets per Texas law, determining child custody, and protecting your rights. With the right legal guidance tailored to your situation, you can complete the divorce process and embrace a new start. Don’t hesitate to lean on a compassionate and knowledgeable Fort Bend and Houston divorce lawyer as your ally.