Frequently Asked Questions- Divorce
Q:What is the process for me to get a marriage annulled in Texas?
A:A problem that results in a deficiency in your marriage is an annulment, legally speaking. For example, if you were under the age 18 and got married then your marriage is void. The only exception is if you were 16 or 17 and obtained your parents’ permission. Another example of how an annulment may be obtained is if you or your “spouse” were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the marriage ceremony occurred. A mental incapacitation or impotency are two other avenues to obtain an annulment in Texas.
Q:What happens if I can’t serve my spouse with divorce papers?
A:When you hire a process server to physically present divorce papers to your spouse you are relying upon that person to complete their objective. If your spouse continually sidesteps attempts at service, you may need to petition the court for an alternative or substitute method of service. Examples of substitute service in Texas include serving your spouse via certified mail or publication in a newspaper widely circulated in the area where your spouse was last known to reside.
Q:What does it mean to serve my spouse by certified mail or publication?
A:Service by mail or publication are two alternative methods of service that can be employed in Texas, if necessary. Certified mail service entails that your attorney will mail a copy of the divorce citation and petition to the last known address of your spouse. This will suffice for the purposes of service. Service by publication would require that the notice of filing for your divorce be published in a local newspaper, magazine, or other publication. A default judgment can then result if your spouse does not file an answer to your petition within the requisite amount of time.
Q:Does my spouse need to consent to the divorce?
A:In other words: what if your spouse doesn’t want to get divorced but you do? The reality is that you can get divorced even if your spouse does not consent or want the divorce. If your spouse tries to avoid notice of the divorce or otherwise refuses to participate a default judgment can be issued against him or her as indicated in the prior question’s answer. The main point to bear in mind is that if you want to get divorced you can- even if your spouse disagrees with the decision or is otherwise not onboard.
Q:After the divorce can I move out of Texas?
A:Texas requires that you be domiciled in the state for at least the six months prior to the divorce and in the county where you file for at least 90 days. However, there is nothing preventing you from leaving the state after the divorce. Unless, however, there is a geographic restriction barring you from living outside a certain geographic area as the primary parent of your children. If you are the non-primary parent of your kids then you can reside outside of the state but that will significantly impact the degree to which you are able to exercise possession of your children.