Filing for Divorce

Any divorce, even one on friendly terms, must begin with the filing of an “original petition for divorce” in a state district court.

Some counties, such as Ector county, have specialized courts that deal only with family law matters like divorce. Other counties send divorces through the same general district courts used for all types of civil and criminal matters.

In order to file for divorce in Texas, one of the spouses must have been a resident of the state for the six months prior to filing the petition and a resident of the county where the suit is filed for 90 days.

Most petitions include a request for a two-week temporary restraining order (TRO). This freezes things as they are and prevents one spouse from taking any action that harms the other.

The TRO prevents spouses from hiding money or spending money in abnormal ways. It also prevents the interference of the use of the marital residence. The restraining order cannot order that the party be excluded from the home without special circumstances, and it prevents the changing of locks or any other type of exclusionary action.

Before the TRO expires, a judge will schedule a temporary order hearing to determine if the TRO needs to be made permanent while the divorce goes forward. The judge will also make provisions for temporary spousal support, temporary custody and possession arrangements, temporary child support, temporary use of property and payment of debts, and payment of interim attorney’s fees.

If you are getting a divorce, make sure your attorney is protecting your rights, call The Schoel Law Firm at 432-550-3870!