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3 things you did not know about divorcing in Texas

You may think you know divorce, whether you have parents or friends who have gone through it or you have researched how to start. While some aspects to divorce are very similar across states, some are special to your specific location.

Texas has its own quirks when it comes to divorce. They are important to know to help you navigate the end of your marriage.

1. Legal separation is not an option in Texas

Most states allow legal separation, where you work out similar provisions to a divorce but legally remain married. Some couples choose to do this as a trial period or to retain certain benefits of marriage, such as health insurance. Texas does not allow couples to take this route, meaning that even if you live separately, you maintain marital responsibilities until you have a legal split. Any assets or debt you or your spouse obtains will be community property.

2. You may have to see a counselor

Filing for divorce clearly means you want out, but the court will consider if reconciliation is possible. You may receive orders to see a specific counselor, who will report to the court if you and your spouse may benefit from more sessions or if divorce is imminent. 

3. Divorce may be automatically favorable to one spouse under certain circumstances

Texas is a no-fault state, meaning that you do not have to prove your spouse of wrongdoing to get a divorce. You can divorce on grounds of insupportability, commonly known as "irreconcilable differences." However, if there is fault on your spouse's part, things are likely to go in your favor. Situations where this can apply include the following:

  • Abandonment for one year
  • Adultery
  • Cruelty
  • Felony conviction with at least one year of imprisonment and no pardon
  • Hospitalization for mental illness with little chance of adjustment or high chance of relapse
  • Three years of separate living

Some of these things may be difficult to prove and do not guarantee you will get everything you want. But if you have a strong case, this route may be worth pursuing for a more favorable outcome.

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