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Divorce in Texas: The Basics

Posted on in Divorce

According to, Texas has the second highest number of divorces in the country on average each year, at 77,000. That number, of course, is inflated due to the large population of Texas—the only state not in the top five number of divorces included in the top five population is California—but it still means that a large percentage of Texans face divorce each year. According to the Texas Vital Statistics Unit (VSU), a unit of the Texas Department of State Health Services, the crude divorce rate in the state increased slightly from 3.3 per 1,000 residents in 2005 to 3.4 per 1,000 residents in 2006. There were 79,469 divorces in the state in 2006. Divorce in Texas- The Basics IMAGE

The procedure for filing for divorce in Texas is more or less standard when compared to other states. The most important first step if you're considering divorce is to contact a Texas divorce attorney, because no matter how much research you do, divorce is a complicated process best undergone with the assistance of a professional. According to, the second step of filing for divorce in Texas is for one spouse to file an Original Petition for Divorce with the court. At that time, the spouse can file a temporary restraining order if necessary. If no restraining order was filed, the other spouse has 20 days to file an "Answer." In that 20-day period, it's imperative that the non-filing spouse also obtains a qualified attorney—even if he or she is reluctant for the divorce.

The next step is one of "discovery," in which both spouses exchange information and documents pertaining to finances, assets, etc. The case then, hopefully, reaches a settlement, but if a settlement cannot be reached the case goes to court. In Texas, both spouses are required to attempt mediation before the case goes to court. According to, "mediation is an informal process allowing the divorcing couple to work with a neutral third party (the mediator) to negotiate and settle all terms of their conflict.

If divorce is on the horizon for you or someone you know, don't go through it alone. Contact an experienced Texas divorce attorney today.

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The Law Offices of William D. Powers

8911 N. Capital of Texas Highway, Building 2, Suite 2105, Austin, TX 78759