Taking Legal Challenges Head-On

Is there anything I need to do before a divorce?

On Behalf of | May 30, 2023 | Divorce

If you are considering divorcing your spouse in Texas, there are some important steps you should take before you file the petition. There are actually steps you should take before even asking your spouse for a divorce.

Gather information about your finances, assets and debts

One of the most contentious issues in a divorce is how to divide the property and debts of the marriage. Texas is a community property state, which means that most property and money acquired during the marriage belongs to both spouses equally, unless there is a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

Before you file for divorce, gather as much information as possible about your income, expenses, bank accounts, investments, retirement plans, real estate, vehicles, personal property and debts. This will help you prepare for the property division process and protect your interests.

Consider your options for child custody and support

If you have minor children with your spouse, you will need to decide how to share the parental rights and responsibilities after the divorce. Texas law encourages parents to reach an agreement on the best interests of their children, including where they will live, how much time they will spend with each parent, how they will communicate and how they will make decisions about their education, health care and other matters.

If you and your spouse cannot agree on these issues, the court will decide for you based on several factors. Consider how much child support you will pay or receive, depending on your income and the needs of your children.

Research the divorce process and requirements

Before you file for divorce in Texas, familiarize yourself with the basic steps and requirements of the process. At least one spouse must have been living in Texas for at least 6 months and in the county where you file for at least 90 days. You must file an original petition for divorce with the district court clerk’s office in the county where you or your spouse reside. You must serve a copy of the petition on your spouse or have them sign a waiver of service.

You must wait at least 60 days after filing before finalizing your divorce, unless there are special circumstances, such as domestic violence or adultery. You must attend a final hearing where the judge will review your agreement or make a decision on any disputes.

Prepare yourself emotionally and mentally

Divorce can be an emotionally and mentally challenging experience that can affect your well-being and happiness. Take care of yourself during this time by seeking support from family, friends, counselors or therapists. Avoid engaging in negative behaviors. Focus on the positive aspects of your life and future.