If you’re considering divorce, you’re not alone. Each year, 75,000 people divorce in Texas, and 40 to 50 percent of all first-time marriages end in divorce. January is typically the most common month for divorce, with couples staying together through the holidays and separating soon after. In fact, many attorneys say the first work week or the first day that kids are back in school is the number one day for filing for divorce.
No matter what your reason for ending your marriage, if you’re filing for divorce in Texas, there are several important things you should know about the law. Here are five tips on filing for divorce in Texas:
1. Divorce in Texas is a Lengthy Process.
If you’re hoping for a speedy divorce, it probably won’t happen. In Texas, a divorce is not final for at least 60 days after a petition is filed. It typically takes about six months to one year or longer to finalize a divorce, depending on the complexity of the issues and the degree of conflict.
2. No Legal Separation.
Texas does not recognize legal separation. This means that even when you are living apart from your spouse, all of the property you or your spouse acquire is community property—regardless of the way it is titled—and all debt you or your spouse acquire is community debt. Simply put, you are married until you are legally divorced. Make sure you take that into consideration during the divorce process so that there are no surprises.
3. “No-Fault” Divorce in Texas.
Texas law allows for “no-fault” divorce, which means the spouse filing for divorce does not have to prove any fault, wrong doing or marital misconduct on the part of the other spouse. However, a judge may take fault into consideration when determining what is a fair division of the parties’ marital property.
4. Divorce in Texas is not a DIY job.
Getting divorced is a complicated process. Attorneys attend school for years to understand all that the legal system encompasses. While you can technically represent yourself in a divorce suit, it can be a difficult process and end up costing you time, money and stress.
“When contemplating a divorce, it is important to consult with an attorney,” Rashelle Fetty, a Texas Legal participating attorney, said. “An attorney can be your voice during the divorce process and communicate your wants and needs effectively all while navigating the legal system.”
Even if your divorce becomes emotional, your lawyer can be an objective party who can remain calm and keep your best interests in mind. But before you hire an attorney, make sure you interview several and let them know what your goals are. It’s essential that you feel comfortable with your divorce attorney and feel confident that they will represent your interests.
5. Divorce in Texas Doesn’t Have to be Expensive.
A divorce can cost anywhere between hundreds to thousands of dollars, with the average running somewhere between $15,000 to $30,000. Most of that is on legal fees! But divorce doesn’t have to be expensive. As a Texan, you have access to legal protection plans like Texas Legal. Although Texas Legal’s plans require a six-month waiting period for divorce, our plans can cover your legal fees in full, leaving you with just our low monthly premiums to pay. If you’re considering a divorce in Texas, you need to take a look at how Texas Legal can save you money and help you find the right attorney.