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How long does the divorce process take?

Texas has a minimum waiting period of 60 days between divorce filing and finalization. That means if everything goes smoothly, the divorce process can take as little as 61 days. However, very complex or contested cases could take years and even the most straightforward, uncontested divorces at times need more than 61 days.

How long do I need to live in Texas before filing for divorce in the state? 

As an experienced Arlington, TX divorce lawyer from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC explained, at least one half of the divorcing couple must have lived in Texas for six continuous months prior to filing for divorce. Additionally, one half of the couple must have lived in the county in which they are filing for divorce for at least 90 days. 

Who gets what during the divorce? 

Texas is a community property state. This means that, generally, assets are divided equally and split down the middle. However, the court may choose to take into account abuse, adultery, or other factors and split property in a non-standard way. Things that are acquired prior to the marriage, such as homes purchased before tying the knot, are generally not considered community property and stay in the possession of the original owner. However, if community funds are used to pay for separate property, the non-owning spouse can request to be reimbursed during the divorce.

Does Texas recognize common-law marriages?

Yes, common-law marriage is very much real in Texas. A couple is considered common-law married if they agreed to their relationship status, lived together in Texas as a married couple, and indicated to others that they were a married couple. Texas has no set amount of time for which couples need to be together before deemed common-law married. There is no one specific way of proving that a couple is common-law married nor one specific fact necessary as proof. The court takes into account the facts and situations of each individual case.

Do I absolutely need an attorney?

No. Whether to hire an attorney is completely a personal decision. However, it is likely best to hire an attorney if your divorce is complicated or contested to make sure that your best interests are competently advocated for. Additionally, it is still possible to get a lawyer’s feedback while representing yourself pro-se. Many attorneys offer paid consultations to give legal advice and some attorneys offer limited scope representation, an agreement in which an attorney agrees to handle only a specific aspect of your case, as opposed to the entirety of the case.