Residency laws are pivotal in Texas divorce proceedings. They outline the prerequisites you must meet before beginning a divorce in Texas and determine which jurisdiction within the state is appropriate for filing. Understanding and adhering to these residency requirements is of utmost importance when considering divorce in Texas, as it can have a substantial impact on the legality and efficiency of the entire process.
To get a divorce in the state of Texas, you must meet specific residency criteria:
- State Residency: You or your spouse must have lived in the state of Texas for at least six months before you can file for divorce. This means that at least one of you will have established residency in Texas before pursuing a divorce case.
- County Residency: Additionally, you must have resided in the county where you plan to file for divorce for a minimum of 90 days. This requirement ensures that your divorce case is handled in the appropriate county jurisdiction.
- Child Custody Jurisdiction: When children are involved in the divorce, it’s essential to understand the concept of “home state jurisdiction.” If neither spouse has any existing court orders related to the child, Texas becomes the home state jurisdiction after residing in the state for six months. This determination is vital for child custody and visitation decisions.
When one spouse resides in Texas, and the other resides in another state, questions about jurisdiction may arise.
- Both Spouses Last Lived Together in Texas: If the couple last resided together in Texas, and one spouse subsequently moves out of state within two years of their separation, Texas retains jurisdiction over the divorce case. This means that Texas can handle the divorce proceedings even if one spouse has relocated to another state.
- Both Spouses Last Lived Together in Another State: Conversely, if the last place the couple lived together was in another state, and one spouse relocates to Texas, the jurisdiction for divorce may still belong to the state where they last lived together. This situation can be more complex and may require legal guidance to determine which state has jurisdiction.
Navigating the divorce process in Texas involves understanding and meeting the state’s residency requirements. These requirements ensure that the divorce case is handled in the appropriate jurisdiction. If you have questions or concerns about divorce residency requirements or other legal aspects of divorce in Texas, consulting with an experienced attorney can provide you with the guidance and support needed to navigate this challenging process successfully.
For More Information Contact an Experienced Dallas Family Law Attorney
For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact Paula Lock Smyth Law Offices at 214-420-1800. Our office is located at 2911 Turtle Creek Blvd., Suite 300, Dallas, TX 75219.