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Can I File for Divorce in Texas?

Posted on February 17, 2020 by Chris Kirker

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Where a person decides to file their lawsuit for divorce can make a difference in the outcome. The Texas Family Code contains a few key rules regarding where a person can file for divorce.

First:

Can there be a divorce in Texas? As a threshold requirement, either the “petitioner” (i.e. the spouse who files for divorce) or the “respondent” (i.e. the other spouse) must have lived in Texas for at least six months before the date the petition for divorce is filed. The actual language of the law requires at least one spouse to be a “domiciliary” of Texas. One is “domiciled” in Texas if she or he:

  1. Intends to reside in Texas, and
  2. Does some act in furtherance of that intention. 

Second:

Once it has been determined that the divorce can be filed in Texas, the question becomes, “Where may the divorce be filed in Texas?” The Texas Family Code allows the divorce to be filed in any county in which either spouse has been a resident for 90 days preceding the filing date. For example, if spouses have been separated for some time, with one living in Travis County and one living in Williamson County, then the petitioner could choose to file in either county. Alternatively, if both spouses have been living in the same county for the last 90 days, then the petitioner must file in that county. Note: The petitioner need not be a Texas resident. For example, a spouse living in California could file for divorce against her Texan spouse, but only in the county in which her Texan spouse is a resident. Conversely, the Texan spouse could file against her California spouse in her own county.

If you are contemplating divorce, or if you think your spouse is, and you have questions about where to file, contact Kirker│Davis LLP today to schedule a meeting with a divorce lawyer.


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