Residency Requirements - Filing For Divorce in Texas
To be eligible to file for a divorce in Texas, at least one of the spouses involved must be a resident of the state for a continuous six month period of time (Texas Family Code, Sec. 6.301). This is defined as a domiciliary. One spouse must additionally be a resident of the county within Texas where the marriage took place. These residency requirements must be met in order to file for divorce in Texas.
Does this mean I can file for divorce in Texas if my spouse has moved away?
As long as one spouse is a domiciliary of the state, a divorce may be filed and maintained in Texas. The same rules mentioned apply above regarding the length of residency. Although a divorce is filed in a specific county, that judge doesn't necessarily have the ability to divide the assets involved. To move forward with proceedings such as these in addition to orders related to children, personal jurisdiction is required for both spouses and must be obtained by the court. This can be achieved only if the spouse who has moved out of state last resided in Texas during the marriage. Further qualifications must be met as defined in the Texas Family Code Sec. 6.305.
What if I have moved out of Texas but my spouse still resides there?
If filing for divorce but you have moved out of state, you can file in the county in which your spouse resides in Texas, given they have lived there for the required six month period and have been in the county for the preceding 90 days, defined by the Texas Family Code Sec. 6.302.
What if either my spouse or I serve in the military and we've had to move?
If your primary residence is in Texas but one or both spouses has moved out of state temporarily while serving in the military, the time spent out of state qualifies as Texas residency so you will meet the required six month and 90 day periods, given you lived in Texas that long prior to the temporary move (Texas Family Code, Sec. 6.303).
Where do I get divorced?
To get divorced in Texas, you must have been a resident of the state for at least six months and a resident of the county in which you file for at least 90 days. You may file for divorce in either the county where you reside, where your spouse resides, or in the county where you last lived together.
If you qualify to file for divorce in Harris or any surrounding counties, contact the experienced family law attorneys of Hendershot, Cannon & Hisey, P.C. for a consultation today.