How to File for Divorce in Galveston County
Divorce may be one of the more difficult experiences you will have to endure, but Galveston County divorce is no worse than anywhere else. Knowing what are you in for may ease the process.
Whether you live in Galveston, Jamaica Beach, or elsewhere in Galveston County, divorce law says that you must live in Texas for at least six months before you file for divorce in Galveston County, and you must have been a resident of Galveston County for at least 90 days before filing for divorce. Bringing your paperwork to the Galveston County divorce court will begin your divorce.
How to File for a Galveston County Divorce
By the time your divorce is final, you will have filed multiple forms with the Galveston County divorce court, but the Original Petition for Divorce is the first one you will have to file. Its function is to officially ask the court to end your marriage. The document will refer to the petitioner and respondent; the spouse who files the form is the petitioner, and the other spouse is the respondent
Before filing for divorce in Galveston County, you will probably want to hire a lawyer. A knowledgeable Galveston County divorce lawyer can help explain the legal ramifications of your divorce decisions and make the process proceed more smoothly.
If you and your spouse can agree on the major issues of your divorce, such as how to split belongings and handle custody of your children, this is known as a no-contest divorce. Texas grants both no-fault divorces and at-fault or fault-based divorces. Fault-based divorces are granted when you can blame the failure of the marriage on one party. No-fault divorces are granted when there is a breakdown in the marriage that is neither party's fault.
Grounds for Divorce in Galveston County
These are some of the more common reasons that Galveston County divorce courts recognize as valid grounds (or reasons) for fault-based divorce:
- Adultery. The court may grant a divorce in your favor if your spouse has had a sexual relationship with another person.
- Cruelty. If your spouse is guilty of cruelty and it is impossible to live together, the court may grant a divorce on grounds of cruelty.
- Felony. If either you or your spouse has been convicted of a felony or been imprisoned for at least a year, the court can grant a divorce based on felony.
- Living apart. If you have lived in a different place than your spouse for more than three years, the court may grant a divorce on the basis of living apart.
- Abandonment. If your spouse left you more than a year ago and not returned, you may be able to get a divorce on the grounds of abandonment.
Tell Your Spouse You've Filed for Divorce
You cannot legally be divorced if your spouse is unaware that you have filed for divorce. You also must prove to the court that you have notified your spouse. You can do this with either a proof of service notice or publishing a divorce notice in a newspaper. The courts prefer in-person service.