Divorce BasicsA divorce suit can include up to five different lawsuits in one:
- A suit to dissolve the marriage
- A suit to divide the property of the marriage
- A suit for spousal maintenance (alimony)
- A suit affecting the parent-child relationship (SAPCR)
- A tort or contract action
Absent a finding of family violence by the other spouse, you cannot be granted a divorce until the sixtieth day after the suit was filed.
Property division is often a huge issue in divorce. Texas requires a just and right division of community property (not necessarily a 50/50 split), with the court considering the rights of each party and any children of the marriage. Community property includes things owned (assets) and owed (liabilities). A Tyler family law attorney will work with you to identify and characterize property as either the separate property of you or your spouse or community property.
Separate property consists of:
- Property owned by you or your spouse before marriage
- Property acquired by you or your spouse by gift, devise (through a will), or descent (inherited)
- Any recovery for personal injuries sustained by you or your spouse during the marriage
Community property is non-separate property that is acquired by either spouse during marriage. The name on the title or the source of the money used to acquire the property is often immaterial. Community property can even include property you or your spouse acquired while living outside of Texas in a state that doesn’t follow the community property framework.
No matter how property is characterized, spouses are given great leeway and can enter into agreements making community property separate property and vice versa.
Sometimes called alimony,
spousal maintenance is the exception and not the rule in Texas. To recover, a spouse needs to show that he can’t meet his minimum reasonable needs without spousal maintenance and certain other conditions must also be met.
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