Diplomatic Divorce Attorneys Representing Beaumont & Port Arthur Family Law Clients
A Texas court will grant a divorce based on either “fault” or “no-fault” grounds. A no-fault divorce in Texas may be issued due to irreconcilable differences or living separately (i.e. without cohabitation) for at least three years. A judge may issue a fault divorce in cases involving cruelty, adultery, and other situations.
If you would like to file for divorce in the state of Texas, either you or your spouse must be a resident for at least six months prior to beginning the proceeding. You or your spouse must also have lived in the county in which the divorce is filed for at least three months. The earliest you can expect to have your divorce finalized — and remember, most divorce proceedings take much longer to wrap up (i.e. six months to one year) —is two months after the initial court filing.
Because Texas is a “community property” state, a judge will divide your marital property equally between you and your spouse. Any separate (non-marital) property — i.e. gifts, inheritances and/or property that one spouse had prior to getting married is not subject to division and remains the property of the spouse who owns it. Keep in mind that property division does not apply only to “real” or personal property. It also applies to retirement funds, stock options and insurance payments, among others. This is especially important if you and your spouse have significant assets (i.e. high net worth). Whether property is considered marital or separate depends on how and when it is acquired, which means hiring an experienced divorce attorney is crucial to obtaining the outcome you deserve.
Insurance Benefits After a Divorce
Under federal law, you may be allowed to keep your medical insurance benefits under your former spouse’s group plan. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) created benefits available to the former spouses of people who work for employers with 20 or more employees. Simply defined, the COBRA Act states that employers must offer “continuation coverage” for the first three years following a divorce. Certain fees apply, however, and the details can be wildly complex. Contact an experienced family law attorney as quickly as possible.
Temporary Spousal Support
A Texas judge may issue an order awarding temporary spousal support if you or your spouse is unemployed or earning insufficient income. Since there are no legal guidelines concerning temporary spousal support, you should plan to demonstrate what your needs are and the resources your spouse has to satisfy those needs. This process is often confusing and time-consuming, so it’s best to consult an experienced divorce lawyer if you are planning to seek temporary spousal support.