Texas Divorce Laws 12

Divorce Law Basics in the State of Texas

Also See: Texas Marriage Laws

Statute: Texas State Divorce Code (Family Code, Title 1, Chapter: 6): statutes.legis.state.tx.us

No-Fault Grounds:

  • Irreconcilable differences
  • The parties have lived apart for at least three years without cohabitation

At-Fault Grounds:

  • Cruelty
  • Conviction of a felony and has been imprisoned for at least one year and has not been pardoned
  • Abandonment for at least one year
  • Confinement in a mental institution for at least three years and the spouse’s mental disorder makes it probable that adjustment is unlikely or that a relapse will occur

Residency: Either party must be a resident of the state at least six months and a resident of the county for at least 90 days prior to filing

Legal Separation Recognized? Provides temporary orders at the time that divorce suit is filed. Alimony, property distribution and child support can be awarded.

Counseling Requirements: The court may order the parties to attend mediation if reconciliation is possible. The court may also order counseling when a minor child is involved.

Property Distribution: Texas is a community property state. Parties may modify the distribution by separate agreement; otherwise, the court will distribute the property equally.Separate property (property acquired prior to the marriage, as a gift or through inheritance) is not included in property distribution. Fault is not considered.

Alimony: Alimony may be awarded to either party at the discretion of the court. Fault is considered on the part of the spouse seeking support.


  • Betty

    I live in Texas and would like to divorce – we have a home if I leave our home to live somewhere else while the divorce is going on do I forfeit any of my rights.

    • Jim

      Well if you have kids and you leave the home (while your children stay with your spouse) you definitely make it clear that your spouse is the primary care giver, which might make it tough to get shared custody. I doubt you forfeit any of your rights to your marital property, but you should talk to a lawyer before you move out.

  • Robert Carrillo

    I have separated from my wife about a year ago i havent gotten the divorce yet but we are seperated and now my girlfriend is pregnant i wanna purchase a mobile home. if she tries will she be able to file and try to take away the mobile from me?

    • Jim

      Pretty sure the date of separation is what matters. Anything you earn or purchase after that point (assuming you file for separation with the court) should be your personal property.

  • Shayne Jones

    My wife and I got married the 21st of March this year. I do not reside in Texas as I am in the military. What are the stipulations for getting a divorce?

  • Gary

    I live in texas have for almost 5 years now.. wife is from canada… was married in michigan… was together 9 years, i had a heart attack moved to texas have been here since..she moved here with me and in the end of may 2010 beginning of june 2010 she up and left went back to canada a year later i filled for divorce and she is contesting it… do i need to get attorney??? also what all is she intittled to??

    • Jim

      You should definitely get an attorney if there are significant assets (like a home) that you acquired while you were married, and that she might be entitled do. If you don’t have a lot of money or assets to fight over, I don’t see why an attorney would help.

  • Ms.V

    I am getting married in 3 months. I have my own house in Texas and my future husband wants to move in but he wants to be added to the deed if he pays the mortgage. I said no to the deed. If he pays the mortgage anyway does that make my house community property?

  • Kathy Cather Davis Young

    I was married for 23 years and divorced. My X husband worked on his job for 40 years I’m I in title to his retirement email en though it’s not In the decree

  • Kayla Stueve

    I have been married just shy of 9 years. I will be filing for divorce next month and I just found out that the state in which I got married in put my birth year as 1987 instead of 1988. I haven’t had a copy of the marriage license since we got married. So I wasn’t aware of it till recently can I get into trouble when I go file for this divorce?

  • Deb T

    I married 1 month ago, and before that we lived together about 3months. I sold my home and moved into his. Things are not going good, and I moved out. So I have no home, no furnishings, and he wants a divorce. What am I entitled to? And I do live in Texas

  • Bradley Hazelwood

    my wife faked being pregnant to get me to marry her and haS cheated on me with different men for 12 yrs can i file for annulment instead of divorce she has ran out without telling me 6 times im tired of trying counsiling or anything else
    did not help please what do i do she already took everything except my truck and motorcycle she left tony in her car and now wants to put it in current bf name to take my truck which i use for worki mow lawns bc im disabled we gott the truck out of my disability backpay the motporcycle i got from a inherited car to me even traded for it