Divorce is always difficult. Fortunately, divorce rights for women are extremely fair under Texas laws. For a woman who has been wronged in the marriage or has served as a homemaker, the law protects her interests as a contributor to the marital partnership. Knowing the law, in addition to having a good attorney, will relieve much of the stress and uncertainty of the divorce process.
A petition for divorce in Texas must cite grounds for the action. Filers can choose no-fault or fault-based grounds.
In a no-fault divorce, the marriage is "insupportable because of discord or conflict," according to the state statutes. This is also known as irreconcilable differences.
Often a cheating husband will file for divorce on no-fault grounds. In this case, women have the right to clarify the record when answering the petition by declaring grounds of fault as adultery or abandonment.
Other grounds recognized by the court are mental cruelty, imprisonment or conviction of a felony, living separate and apart, insanity and confinement to a state mental hospital. DivorceSupport.com recommends, "When you are petitioning the court for a divorce or agreeing to a divorce, make sure that you completely understand the grounds and any potential legal repercussions."
A key Texas law affecting women's rights in a divorce is the Community Property Law. Community property is "all property acquired during marriage by either spouse," according to "The Handbook of Texas." This includes all "earnings of both spouses and the revenues from the separate property acquired during marriage." For the woman who did not work outside the home, this law helps ensure that she receives half of the property that her homemaking work enabled the couple to acquire. According to DivorceSupport.com, "The community assets will be split equally by the District Court if the spouses are unable to reach an agreement."
Support and Alimony
Texas courts consider 12 factors when considering support, according to DivorceSupport.com. These factors include the vital duties of a woman who served as a homemaker and contributed to her husband's education. Any marital misconduct on the part of the husband is also evaluated when determining alimony, maintenance or support.
Texas courts prefer that divorcing parents enter into a written agreement regarding custody and present it to the court for approval. If parents can't agree, the court will choose the parent who is able to "portray himself or herself as the best custodial parent," according to DivorceSupport.com. Most often this will be the woman, even if economic support in addition to child support must be arranged in the final divorce decree.
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