When the wedding bells are ringing, divorce is the furthest thing from your mind. However, relationships change over time, and not always for the better. No one decides to end a marriage easily. You might be worried about recovering from heartbreak, and you might have heard about the possible emotional and financial toll of a divorce.  

Fortunately, the Katy divorce lawyers at The Larson Law Office are here to help you during this difficult time. Our family law attorneys are highly skilled and compassionate. We can help you navigate the stressful legal process of a Texas divorce. Our family-owned practice consists of attorneys who understand the impact of this decision, and we’ll fight for your best interests every step of the way.

Divorce in Texas

A divorce is a legal court proceeding. You must meet specific legal requirements to get a divorce in Texas. Specifically, you must meet the Texas legal residency requirements, and you must have a reason or grounds for divorce.

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Residence RequirementsKaty Divorce Lawyer

Every state requires that the parties seeking a divorce meet some basic residence requirements. In Texas, at least one of the spouses must be:

  • A Texas state resident for at least six months before the date the divorce is filed; and
  • A resident of the county where the divorce is filed for at least 90 days.

Unfortunately, if neither you nor your spouse meets these residence requirements, you may have to file for divorce in another state. There are, however, some differences in calculating residency for those seeking a military divorce. You should consult with a divorce attorney in Katy, Texas, to confirm you meet the residence requirements.

Grounds for Divorce

You also must name a legal reason or “grounds” for divorce. Texas law lists the legal grounds for divorce as follows:

  • Cruelty,
  • Adultery,
  • Conviction of a felony,
  • Abandonment for one year,
  • Living apart for three years, 
  • Confinement in a mental hospital, and
  • Insupportability.

The last ground for divorce, “insupportability,” is the Texas version of no-fault divorce. That means that neither spouse has to prove that the other is to blame for the divorce. The filing spouse must simply allege a breakdown in the marriage relationship with no hope for reconciliation. 

The first six grounds for divorce listed above are considered fault-based grounds. This means that in your divorce case, you would state that the other spouse caused the divorce for one of the listed reasons. You will have to prove the grounds you allege with credible evidence in court. For example, if you file for divorce based on the grounds of adultery, you will need to gather evidence to support that your spouse engaged in this behavior. When a court grants a divorce on a fault-based ground, the court gives a larger share of the marital estate to the innocent spouse. 

You should discuss your reasons for divorce with one of our Katy divorce lawyers to help select the appropriate grounds for your divorce. 

Divorce vs. Annulment

Sometimes people would rather get an annulment than a divorce. The difference between an annulment and a divorce is that in a divorce, you are ending a legally valid marriage. In an annulment, you claim that the marriage wasn’t legally valid from its inception. 

Texas law limits the grounds to get an annulment to the following reasons:

  • No parental consent when one of the spouses was over the age of 16 but under 18;
  • A spouse was intoxicated at the time;
  • A spouse was impotent;
  • One spouse lied about an important fact within the marriage;
  • Marriage under force or threat of force;
  • A spouse hid a prior divorce;  
  • A spouse lacked the mental capacity to enter into the marriage; or
  • More than 72 hours passed between the marriage license issuance and marriage.

The innocent spouse must act to end the marriage soon after discovering the problem. If they learn of the issue but continue to live in the marriage, a court will not likely grant an annulment. 

There are also reasons to void the marriage, such as bigamy, and marriage to a minor, stepchild, or relative. Both annulments and void marriages are complicated. You should speak with a divorce attorney in Katy, TX, about these matters.

What Happens in a Texas Divorce?

Filing for a divorce is just the beginning of the divorce process. A court makes decisions about any family law matters arising from the divorce. 

First, the court will decide whether to grant the divorce based on the grounds alleged. Then, the court decides on the terms of the divorce, which might include the following:

  • The division of marital assets,
  • Spousal maintenance,
  • Child custody, and
  • Child support.

The spouses can negotiate a resolution to these matters rather than leaving them in the hands of the judge. Most people benefit significantly from representation from a divorce lawyer in Katy, TX, in either negotiating the terms of the divorce or fighting the case at trial.

Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce

People often wonder about the difference between a contested and an uncontested divorce. In an uncontested divorce, the parties largely agree on the terms of the divorce. This makes the divorce process much smoother and faster. In uncontested divorces, the spouses, through their attorneys, often come to a mutual divorce agreement relatively quickly.    

In a contested divorce, the spouses disagree on one or more terms of the divorce. They may even disagree on the need for a divorce. With a contested divorce, the spouses usually have to go through the entire judicial process. This includes attending multiple court hearings, exchanging documents, and sitting for depositions—among other things. The divorce will then go to trial, where a judge decides every aspect of the divorce. The spouses can, however, settle the divorce at any time before trial if they can reach an agreement.

Whether you’re facing a contested or uncontested divorce, an attorney can help you negotiate or fight for the issues that are important to you. Contact a Katy divorce attorney in our office for advice on your situation.

Contact Our Katy Divorce Lawyers Today

A divorce is rife with emotional and financial turmoil. You need an advocate who is sympathetic toward you and your needs yet unafraid to fight for your interests in court. Fortunately, The Larson Law Office is here to help. With our decades of experience handling Texas divorces, we bring knowledge, skill, and compassion to every case. Contact us today