According to Texas divorce law, a 'petition for divorce' and a 'decree of divorce' are the basic documents needed to begin and finalize a divorce. There may be numerous other documents required to be filed throughout the process.
The Texas divorce process begins with the filing of a petition for divorce. This petition is filed with the District Clerk in most counties, and the case is assigned to a court.
To get a divorce in Texas, either you or your spouse has to have been a resident in the state for six months and you have to have resided in the county in which you're filing for at least 90 days.
Additionally, one of the parties has to prove that there are irreconcilable differences and that there's no reasonable chance of reconciliation or reuniting in the future.
Since Texas is a no-fault state, no one is required to show that one side or the other was at fault in order to obtain a divorce.
Texas has one more stipulation to get a divorce. To ensure that you're not ending the marriage prematurely, the law requires that the divorce paperwork be on file for at least 60 days before the 'decree of divorce' can be signed by the judge.
A decree of divorce is the legally binding court order that declares a marriage officially dissolved. The action of the judge signing and entering this judgment represents the end of the divorce process and makes official the terms of any documented agreements reached by the spouses in the course of the settlement process. A decree of divorce includes the terms and orders pertaining to subjects such as:
Property Distribution Order: the court orders a division of the estate of the parties in a manner that the court deems just and right, having due regard for the rights of each party and any children of the marriage.
Pension and Retirement Accounts Order: the court determines the rights of both spouses in a pension, retirement plan, annuity, individual retirement account, employee stock option plan, stock option, or other form of savings, bonus, profit-sharing, or other employer plan or financial plan of an employee or a participant.
Spousal Support Order: the court defines the amount and schedule of payments. Not all cases involve support. The obligation of one spouse to support the other financially for a temporary or permanent basis is decided on an individual basis as agreed to by the parties or at the court's discretion.
Child Custody and Standard Possession Order: the court issues terms of conservatorship and a visitation plan. If the parties cannot reach an agreement regarding the issues involving the children, the court will establish the custody and visitation order at its discretion.
Child Support Order: the court will establish amount and schedule of payments. Texas child support guidelines use the percentage of income formula which calculates the support obligation as a percentage of the income of the non-custodial parent who is required to support the child.
Name Change Order: the court will change the name of a party specifically requesting the change to a name previously used by the party unless the court states in the decree a reason for denying the change of name.
Other issues to consider before finalizing your divorce include changing your will, power of attorney, trusts, ect. It's important to talk to your attorney about modifying your estate plan.
Read through the "Property And Debt Division" section for further information.
For more information about divorce documents, contact a San Antonio divorce attorney.
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