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  • Wyble Law Firm, PLLC

What should I do before asking my spouse for a divorce?

Making the decision to seek a Texas divorce is a significant and life-altering choice, impacting every aspect of your life. If you find yourself considering this path, it is crucial to take certain steps before initiating the conversation with your spouse.

Ensure residency requirements are met

Before filing for divorce in Texas, it is imperative to meet the state’s residency criteria. This entails either you or your spouse have lived in Texas for at least 6 months and in the specific county where you intend to file for a minimum of 90 days. Exceptions exist for military personnel or government workers stationed outside of Texas, but still consider it their home state or county.

Select the grounds for divorce

No-fault options involve stating that the marriage is insupportable due to conflict or discord. Fault-based grounds require proving your spouse’s responsibility for the marriage’s breakdown through reasons like cruelty, adultery, felony conviction, abandonment, living apart or confinement in a mental hospital. The grounds chosen may impact court decisions on property division, spousal support and child custody.

Organize your documents

Gather essential documents related to marital property, income, expenses, debts, taxes and children. These documents aid in determining financial and familial aspects, supporting your claims or requests in court. Items to compile include bank statements, mortgage statements, tax returns, child support orders, etc.

Prepare for the waiting period and cost

Be aware of the 60-day waiting period mandated by Texas law, providing time from filing for divorce until court approval. Plan for potential costs, which vary based on legal representation, court involvement, presence of children and property complexities. The average cost in Texas is approximately $15,600.

Establish a support network

Recognize the emotional and financial toll divorce can take and build a robust support network. Seek assistance from family, friends, co-workers, therapists, support groups and online communities. Communicate your experiences and needs, avoiding isolation and unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Initiating a divorce conversation is challenging, but by following these preparatory steps in Texas, you can streamline the process, reduce stress and better navigate the changes ahead for you and your family. Remember, there is support available, and you are not alone in this journey.

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