Dissolution of a Texas Marriage –

How long does a person have to wait before getting a divorce finalized in Texas?

Under the Texas Family Code, section 6.702, a person filing a divorce petition has a waiting period of 60 days. The Court may not grant a divorce before the 60th day after the date the suit for divorce is filed.

However, a waiting period is not required before a court may grant an annulment or declare a marriage void other than as required in civil cases generally.

A waiting period is also not required before a court may grant a divorce in a suit in which the court finds that the respondent has been finally convicted of or received deferred adjudication for an offense involving family violence as defined by Section 71.004 against the petitioner or a member of the petitioner’s household; or, the petitioner has an active protective order or an active magistrate’s order for emergency protection based on a finding of family violence, against the respondent because of family violence committed during the marriage.

Can a person request a jury trial on a divorce case?

In a suit for dissolution of a marriage, either party may demand a jury trial unless the action is a suit to annul an underage marriage. Under Texas case law, parties to a divorce proceeding are entitled to a jury trial upon proper request.   The jury alone decides whether contested assets will be characterized as either community or separate; and, while the question of a just and right division of the marital estate rests solely within the sound discretion of the court, the jury’s findings on the factual issues underlying the division of the marital estate, including the valuation of the assets, are conclusive.

Can a wife testify against the husband?

In a suit for dissolution of a marriage, the husband and wife are competent witnesses for and against each other under section 6.704 of the Texas Family Code.   However, a spouse many not be compelled to testify as to a matter that will incriminate the spouse.

If the husband or wife testifies the court or jury trying the case shall determine the credibility of the witness and the weight to be given the witness’s testimony.

Can a person change their name in a divorce proceeding?

In a decree of divorce or annulment, the court may and shall change the name of a party specifically requesting the change to a name previously used by the party unless the court states in the decree a reason for denying the change of name.

The court may not deny a change of name solely to keep the last name of family members the same.

However, a change of name does not release a person from liability incurred by the person under a previous name or defeat a right the person held under a previous name.