texas divorce law


Any divorce, whether contested or not, will have several key issues to be resolved between the two parties. A dedicated Austin property division lawyer will make sure to educate their client on all of their case’s pertinent issues, especially these six aspects of divorce laws in Texas. Here are some must-know aspects of Texas divorce law.


Residency Requirement   


If you plan to file for a divorce in Texas, either you or your spouse (or both) should have been a Texas resident for a minimum of six months before the date of filing. In addition, the petitioner(s) must have resided in the county (where the divorce petition has been filed) for the previous 90 days or more. 


Property Division


When you divorce in Texas, the court will divide all marital assets and debts (marital property) in a manner that the court finds to be “just and right.” In other words, property distribution must be equitable (not equal). 

Texas is a community property state. Even if you or your spouse acquired some property outside of the state, it will be considered community property for the purposes of divorce, if it would have been community property had it been acquired in the state.  


Spousal Maintenance


Maintenance in Texas refers to a periodic payment award from one spouse’s future income to financially support the other spouse. Your Austin divorce lawyer will explain to you the limits on spousal maintenance amount. 

austin divorce attorneyThe party that is required to make the maintenance payments (the obligor) will not be ordered to make monthly payments exceeding $2,500 or 20 percent of his or her monthly income, whichever is less. The court will set the payment amount that is sufficient to meet the minimum reasonable needs of the recipient (obligee).


Child Custody


Child custody in Texas is called conservatorship, and joint legal custody is called Joint Managing Conservatorship. Your Texas divorce lawyer will explain to you that joint legal custody means that both parents will share the critical decision-making rights, duties, privileges, and powers related to the child.  

In Texas, the primary standard used to determine custody is the child’s best interest. If the parents are unable to arrive at an agreement regarding child custody and do not file a parenting plan in writing before the court, the Judge might award joint legal custody after evaluating various factors.


Child Support 


Under Texas law, child support payments are calculated on the basis of the Varying Percentage of Income Model. This calculation is based on the net income of the obligor and the number of children the couple has.

Depending on the situation, the court may order one or both parents to pay for child support until the child turns 18, or graduates from high school, whichever happens later. In the case of a disabled child, the child support payments may have to be made for an indefinite period. Our experienced Texas child support attorneys can help.


Legal Separation


Under Texas law, the concept of legal separation is not recognized. The state does not have any provisions for court actions related to legal separation.


Get Knowledge and Expertise With Austin Divorce Attorney Eric M. Willie, P.C.

Choose the top-rated and highly reviewed Austin divorce attorneys at the Law Office of Willie & Dasher for your family law case. We pride ourselves on the quality of our relationships with clients. We serve clients from areas such as Austin, Travis County, Westlake, Hays County, and Williamson County in Texas. To request a consultation, call 512-478-0834 or complete our online contact form.

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