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Understanding Texas Divorce Laws

The Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski

Are you preparing for a divorce? Divorce law can be complex with many different aspects involved. Division of property, assets, child custody, spousal support, child support, and other legal matters must all be decided as part of the divorce proceedings.

Whether you’re considering filing for divorce or your spouse has informed you that they want a divorce, here’s what you need to know about Texas divorce laws.

The state of Texas recognizes the following legal grounds for divorce:

  1. If the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation;
  2. Cruelty by one spouse towards the other of a nature that renders living together unsupportable;
  3. Adultery;
  4. The commitment of a felony by one spouse, who has been imprisoned for at least one year in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, a federal penitentiary, or the penitentiary of another state, and who has not been pardoned (This does not apply if the spouse was convicted on the testimony of the other spouse);
  5. Abandonment for at least one year;
  6. If the couple have lived apart without cohabitation for at least three years; and
  7. If, at the time the suit is filed, one of the spouses has been confined in a state mental hospital or private mental hospital in Texas or any other state for at least three years and it appears that the mental disorder is of such a degree and nature that adjustment is unlikely, or if adjustment occurs, a relapse is probable.

A marriage may be annulled or voided for other reasons, but that is a different legal matter from divorce. A lawyer can help you determine whether or not an annulment or voided marriage is possible for you.

Division of Property

Community property is considered to be any money, possessions, land, and assets of any kind that were acquired by either party since the start of the marriage. In Texas, the court has the right to rule on the division of community property during a divorce in a way they think is just. Division of property also includes items like stocks, retirement funds, employer-offered profit sharing, bonuses, insurance policies, and other financial assets.

Child Custody/Support

One of the most difficult and emotional aspects of divorce is child custody. Custody, referred to as conservatorship in Texas, means having the major decision making rights, privileges, duties and powers. Joint conservatorship means that both parents share in the parental duties. If the parents can not agree on how to divide the parental responsibility, the court will rule on this matter.

If the child lives primarily with one parent, the other parent may be required to pay child support to the custodial parent. The amount will be determined by the court. Child support is paid until the child is 18 years old unless there are extenuating circumstances that require the child to remain under parental care into adulthood.

Spousal Maintenance

More commonly known as alimony, spousal maintenance is paid by one spouse to the other. In the state of Texas, for spousal maintenance to be ordered, one of the following must be true:

    1. The obligor was convicted of a criminal offense that also constitutes an act of family violence and the offense occurred within two years of the date the suit for Dissolution was filed or while the suit is pending; or

    1. The couple has been married ten years of longer; the obligee lacks sufficient property to provide for his/her minimum reasonable needs and is unable to support him/herself through employment due to physical or mental disability; or is the custodian of a child of the marriage of any age, who requires substantial care and personal supervision due to a physical or mental disability; or she/her clearly lacks earning ability in the labor market to provide for his/her minimum reasonable needs.


Separation is not legally recognized in the state of Texas, therefore there are no laws established to govern this situation. However, a written agreement can be established between both parties that specifies division of property and how debt and spousal support may be paid during the time period leading up to divorce.

Facing Divorce? Get Help From The Law Office of Andrea M. Kolski

Texas divorce laws can be complex and complicated. You need the help of an experienced divorce and family lawyer who can help you interpret the law and get your fair share of the marital assets. The Law Office of Andrea M. Kolski will fight for your right to the marital assets as well as child custody and support.

Call 832-381-3430 or contact us today to schedule a consultation. We are glad to offer our legal support during this difficult time.

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8505 Technology Forest Pl #104

The Woodlands, TX 77381

Phone: 832-381-3430

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