Texas is known for its cowboy history, and Dallas and Houston were actually once had some of the highest divorce rates in the county. It may not be out of the ordinary now, but the Texas divorce laws are important to understand for anyone with marriage troubles.
Texas divorce laws – adultery
Texas allows couples to get divorced on both fault and no-fault grounds. Before the 1970s, fault grounds were the only option.
One spouse had to prove the other did something wrong before a divorce would be granted. Divorce laws in Texas still recognize several fault grounds for divorce, including cruelty, adultery, and conviction of a felony.
Despite the fault provisions, nearly every divorce in Texas is granted on a no-fault basis.
The no fault basis under divorce laws in Texas is called “insupportability.” The court is supposed to rule on whether discord or conflict between the spouses has destroyed the legitimate ends of the marital relationship. In reality, a couple wants to end their marriage a court will let them.
Divorce laws in Texas – Child custody and support
In a divorce, cours will typically also rule on issues related to children. State of Texas divorce laws state that the policy of the state to ensure that children will have frequent and continuing contact with parents that are looking out for their best interests in a safe, stable, and nonviolent environment.
The state also wants divorced couples to do their best to work together for their children.
Once custody issues are resolved, then a Texas court must address child support. The Texas Attorney General has provided a calculator to make that easy. A couple has to enter their income and subtract deductions like court-ordered medical support. This leads to a projected obligation that can be used to determine one spouse’s required payments to the other.
Texas is a community property state.
That means that everything a couple gets during the marriage belongs to both spouses jointly. A husband may think he has his own special car with just his name on the title, or a wife may squirrel away some money in a separate bank account, but those assets are all jointly owned. Spouses do keep some separate property. The most common examples are property that they had from before the marriage plus any gifts or inheritance they get during the marriage.
Texas divorce laws – property division
What is the most important issue for someone asking, what are the divorce laws in Texas?
For a lot of people it is going to be money. The main source of money for a divorcing couple is from the division of their community property. The court has to order the division of the estate “in a manner that the court deems just and right.”
A judge has wide latitude in determining what is just and right. Texas divorce laws do give some guidance that a court must consider. This includes looking at the income and property that each spouse has, along with their future earning capacity. Usually a couple will come up with some sort of agreement to avoid the whims of a judge.