Texas Divorce FAQ’s – Miscellaneous

This is about miscellaneous issues for divorce in Texas, including residence requirements, grounds for divorce, common law marriage, annulment, legal separation, and any requirement for parent training in Texas.

This information is from Robert J. Matlock, the DivorceInfo Network Lawyer for Texas. Click here to visit his web site.

What are the requirements for residence?

Six months in the state and 90 days in the county where the suit is filed.  Either party may meet those requirements.

What are the grounds for divorce?

The most common ground is “insupportability” which is known as a no-fault basis for divorce.  Basically, that means the parties are unable to get along with one another and there is no hope of resolving their differences.

Other grounds include: a) cruelty, b) adultery, c) conviction of a felony with a sentence of a year or more, d) abandonment for a year or more, e) living apart for 3 years or more, and f) confinement in a mental hospital for 3 years or more.

Is there such a thing as common law marriage?

Yes. It takes an agreement between the parties that they intend to have a marriage relationship, cohabitation of the parties and holding themselves out to other people as being married.

Evidence of those factors may be indirect such as changing names on driver’s licenses, credit cards, or Social Security records; filing joint income tax returns; opening joint bank accounts or credit card accounts; or purchasing assets in both names.

If the parties decide to do so, they can register their common law marriage with the county clerk where they live.

How does annulment work?

There are very specific grounds for annulment of a marriage.  They are: a) marriage under the age of 14 years; b) marriage without parental consent when over the age of 14 an under 18; c) marriage while under the influence of drugs or alcohol; d) impotency; e) fraud, duress or force used in having the person enter the marriage; f) mental incompetency; g) failure to disclose that the party had been previously divorced within 30 days before the marriage; h) marriage within 72 hours or less after the issuance of the marriage license.  A marriage is also invalid if the parties are related to one another in some way (brother and sister, uncle and niece, etc.) or either party is still married to another person.

A suit for annulment is similar to a divorce except there is no mandatory waiting period before the court can grant the annulment.

Is there such a thing as legal separation? If so, how does it work?

No.  However, when a divorce suit is filed, the court will enter temporary orders that allocate possession of the assets, order the payment of the debts, require child support and/or spousal support payments, define which parent has custody of the children and set other ground rules that remain in effect while the case is pending.  Temporary orders are not as strong as “legal separation” orders but they are similar in some respects.

Do parents of minor children have to go through parent training? If so, how much does it cost, and how long does it take?

It depends upon the policy of the judge.  In the large cities, there a number of programs aimed at convincing the parents to avoid using the children as pawns in the divorce case.   Some of the programs include the children and investigate how they are handling the problems associated with the divorce.  Others are geared only toward the parents.

The price and length of the programs vary – $30 to $75 and 4 to 15 hours.

Other issues in Texas:

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