Divorce law in the state of Texas is governed by the Texas Family Code. Texas is a community property state. What does this mean and how does this impact a divorce case?
This means that any property acquired during a legally sanctioned marriage that is not acquired through a gift or an inheritance may end up as property of the community or marriage. In such a situation, each spouse has an equal right to that property.
However, an equal right to community property does not mean a right to equal halves. Under Texas state law, Texas provides for a just and right division of marital property. This means that the division need not be 50/50. The court will take into account other factors in deciding how much one spouse gets in comparison to the other spouse.
For example, take the case of wife and mother who was never educated and stayed home to raise children. If she never went to school and the children are out of the house, and the husband and sole provider chooses to divorce her for a woman with whom he committed adultery, the court would take into account what would be fair and equitable regarding division of the assets given the personal circumstances of the two spouses.
Does Texas law allow for alimony?
Texas law allows for spousal maintenance. But the divorcing couple must have been married for at least 10 years in order for spousal maintenance to be a possibility. Spousal Maintenance may also be ordered upon a finding of family violence against the party that would pay.
Are common-law marriages treated like regular marriages in Texas with respect to divorce laws?
For this provision to be in force, however, a date must be determined on which the couple met all of the elements of common-law marriage in the state of Texas. These three elements include:
- the partners holding themselves out as husband and wife
- the partners having an agreement to be married
This can usually be determined through their filing taxes together or any other type of governmental paperwork concerning the marriage. Other facts and circumstances can also come into play.
For example, if the male partner makes a will and calls his female partner “wife,” this can serve as evidence. It just depends on when it can be proven that all elements of a common-law marriage were in place. Once this date has been determined, then questions regarding division of community property can be addressed.
What is the custody law in Texas?
Custody law falls under guidelines set forth in the Texas Family Code. People always have the freedom to make an agreement, but the guidelines have provisions for ways to determine custody.
What is the child support law in Texas?
The child support law is in the Texas Family Code. The expectation is usually 25% of net resources (after taxes) for the first child and then 5% for each additional child. Whoever does not have primary custody of the children pays child support.
As a note, gay and lesbian marriages are now subject to all existing Texas Family Code provisions relating to dissolution of the marriage, including spousal maintenance and provisions dealing children that fall under this Code.