The magic of the Internet is that I don’t know precisely where any of you are reading his blog posts are physically located. Based on our physical location in the Houston area, I would assume that you are living in Southeast Texas and are interested in learning more about Texas family law. However, our area is about as diverse a region as any in the country, and we are fortunate enough to have people from all over the country and all over the world living in Southeast Texas. As a result, I don’t know if you are down the street from our office or across the globe. In a way, it doesn’t matter.
The decision to file for divorce should only be considered after a great deal of contemplation. If you are experiencing marital difficulties, it is advisable for you and your spouse to attempt counseling with the professional. You may be surprised to learn that speaking to someone who has been there before can help you gain as far as a perspective on your relationship and hope for the future. While it is possible to reconcile with your spouse during a divorce, the odds of this occurring are far less than if you attempt a reconciliation before filing.
We have heard a great deal of talk surrounding what this pandemic will do to the national divorce rates. A simple search on the Internet will reveal many articles showing how divorce rates in other countries have gone up significantly since the beginning of this coronavirus situation. Some types of stress are suitable, but many types are insufficient. The types of stress that we have undergone since the inception of the coronavirus pandemic are mainly wrong. You are relational, emotional, and financial states may not be as solid as they were four or five months ago.
When you and your spouse begin to feel stressed acutely in these areas, it is understandable for each of you to seek ways to alleviate this stress. Suppose your marriage was already experiencing problems before the pandemic divorce may have been an option that you all have chosen to consider at this time. Stressful times do not necessarily mean that your divorce will be forthcoming, but it adds to the list of obstacles and hurdles that you all would have to get over to save your marriage.
The coming of a new school year has probably not helped bring about any less stress in your lives. In many cases, during most times, the new school year brings about a change of pace for children and parents alike that can be beneficial to a home. Getting the kids out of the house and into the over team helps the home find an equilibrium of sorts. This year, with more up in the air as to when in-person schooling will begin again, we see that families have to scramble to make sure their children will be educated to balance the need for parents to work during this time.
At their core, divorce is about the inability to communicate
as a family law attorney, I hear all sorts of reasons and justifications for divorce. Many of them are pretty detailed and much more or simple. The vast majority of divorces that I encounter are brought about by the inability or unwillingness to communicate with your spouse. You may be thinking that financial problems, infidelity, or other reasons would have been the primary impetus for people divorcing. However, I think if you drill down beneath the surface of those reasons, you get to a fundamental inability or unwillingness to communicate.
If you are unable or willing to communicate with your spouse about whatever problems you perceive in the relationship, it is next to impossible for you all to fix them. A common complaint that I hear from husbands about wives is that we as men Will say that we do not mind readers and cannot always tell what is bothering our wives. On the other hand, I hear from wives and women that when they communicate problems to their spouses, their husbands are unwilling or unmotivated to continue the discussion and engaging conversation. This is not a new concept, and I’m not breaking any new ground by telling you that men and women act and communicate differently from one another for the most part.
My point in telling you all of this is that no matter where you are physically in our world if you are reading this blog post, I have a pretty good idea that you are considering getting a divorce. You may not have ever contacted a family law attorney or thought about life after your marriage, but if you are reading this blog, the seed has been planted in some way in your mind that a divorce may be a possibility. From my experience, it is a more significant step to go from a content marriage two reading up on divorce than reading up on divorce to filing for divorce.
So, if this is where you are, and you believe that a divorce is somewhat likely to occur, you should begin to plan for your case for your post-divorce life. However, that does not mean that you should not engage even more diligently in Attempting to salvage your marriage and reconcile if you believe that that is possible. It may be emotionally messy and draining during this pandemic to attempt to do that, but I can tell you that a divorce is much more effort. People get divorced more frequently than ever before in today’s world, but if the same action were applied to saving your marriage, I think you would be surprised about what you could accomplish together.
Where are you file for divorce matters
from a logistical perspective, the above statement is true. Whether you file for divorce in New York state or Harris County, that will mean Different situations that arise in different scenarios become vital for you and your family. For today’s blog posts, I will provide you with general information About filing for divorce in Harris County (where Houston is located), any other County in Texas, and in other states that do not adhere to Community property principles as Texas does.
The decision to file for divorce and file your case is not always based on where you want to file. In Texas, you need to make sure that the court you file in will have jurisdiction over your case before you file your divorce. Jurisdiction is a legal term that means that the court has the right 2 hear your case, make orders relating to you and your spouse, decide child custody issues, and divide up your marital estate. Jurisdiction means different things for different types of cases, but these are the main things that we need to keep in mind since we are talking about divorce.
For a Texas family court to gain jurisdiction over your case, two things must be true. The first thing is that you must have been a resident of Texas for at least six months before filing for divorce. Additionally, to file for divorce in a particular county, you must have been a resident of that county for at least the preceding 90 days. For most of us, that won’t be a problem given that we tend to have routes where we live to one extent or another period; however, if this pandemic has caused you to move to be closer to family or to take a new job, then you may not be in a position to file for divorce anywhere right now.
Once you have determined where you can file for divorce, you must learn the process of doing so. If you go to the Harris County district clerk’s website, you will know some basic information about filing for divorce in the family courts of Harris County. Harris County is the most populous county in the state, and as a result, we have many family courts here In Houston. Generally speaking, the process of getting divorced in each of those family courts is the same. However, each judge may have varying requirements on the micro-level that you and your attorney must be aware of before a divorce can be finalized.
An exciting situation may take place where you can file for divorce in Harris County, or your spouse may be able to file for divorce in one of these surrounding counties. I learned years ago about some married people that they live apart from one another for months and sometimes years before actually getting a divorce. This means that you could be living here in the Houston area while your spouse has lived in Conroe for the past six months. In a situation like that, you could file for divorce in Harris County, and your spouse can file for divorce in Montgomery County. What does this mean for you in the long term?
The first thing that would jump out to me is that if you do not file for divorce in Harris County, you may be traveling up to Conroe to hear your divorce case. At that point, it could be a race to the courthouse where the first person to file would be able to determine the venue for your divorce. What this should tell you is that if you are sure that a divorce is necessary and that if you believe that your spouse is thinking the same way you are, then it would make sense for you to go ahead and file for divorce in Harris County so that you do not have to travel as far should you ever need to go to court.
What about getting a divorce outside this state of Texas?
While I am not an expert in the divorce or family laws of any other state other than Texas, I can tell you one big difference between getting divorced in Texas and getting divorced in another state is the laws surrounding the division of your property the divorce. From what I understand, most states generally adhere to similar principles regarding child custody, conservatorships possession in child support. While there may be some differences here and there, the most significant difference between Texas and most other states is divided marital property.
Texas is a Community property state. This means that it is presumed that, at the beginning of your divorce, all property owned by you and your spouse is Community property and must be divided in the divorce case. It does not matter whose income was used to purchase the item more or whose name appears on the title. If payment from either of your places of employment was used to buy the property during the marriage, it is considered just as much your property as it is your spouse. It does not matter if you’re deed to the house bears only your name. It does not matter if your boat runs only your wife’s name. Texas looked to when you became owners of the property and more minor on the source of the funds used to purchase that property.
In other states, known as customary law property states, it is a more exact science where the spouse who earns more money typically can retain more marital property. In this way, Texas and other community property states armor egalitarian or equitable in how marital property is divided. This is the big difference between getting divorced in Texas and getting divorced in other states. However, to get a clear picture of your total circumstances, I would advise you to speak to a licensed Texas family law attorney before making any decisions about divorce.
Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
If you have any questions about the material contained in today’s blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultations in person, via video, and over the phone six days a week. Thank you for joining us today in our blog, and we hope you will join us again tomorrow as we share unique content about the world of Texas family law.