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What You Need To Know When Getting Divorced In Texas

In order to get divorced in Texas, several factors will need to be assessed. It takes a skilled attorney to understand how to accurately assess a marriage, property, support and other issues. Attorney Dan-Phi Nguyen has experience with Texas divorce and with issues relating to child support, custody and welfare. To get started with the process or to schedule a meeting to find out more about how attorney Nguyen can help you, call his Houston office at (713) 485-0781.

What Is Assessed During A Divorce?

Many things will need to be reviewed before and during the divorce process. The main factors are:

  • Whether your marriage was valid or “common law”
  • How to identify what is marital and what is personal property
  • How to divide the marital property in a manner that is equitable
  • Whether spousal support should be awarded; if so, how much for how long
  • If there are reimbursements to consider
  • How to divide debt
  • If there are children, child custody and child support must be determined

Some divorces can move rather smoothly forward because both spouses agree on most everything. In other cases, there may be complex property to divide, issues of support and custody to work out, or other entanglements.

Informal Or ‘Common Law’ Marriages

For the court to grant a divorce, it must determine that the marriage in question is a valid or “official” marriage. Informal marriages (otherwise known as “common law” marriages) have fact-specific elements to be proven for such an informal marriage to exist.

The parties to the informal marriage must:

  1. Agree to be married
  2. Live together in Texas, acting as a married couple

In order for a common law marriage to be viewed as valid in Texas, a couple must live together for at least two years. If you and your partner did not cohabitate in Texas for at least two years, the court will not recognize your relationship as a common law marriage. The amount of time a couple must live together for a common law marriage varies by state. Not all states recognize common law marriages.

Equitable Division Of Marital Property

It is a misconceived notion that the division of marital property is always split right down the middle in equal portions to be distributed between the parties.

The fair and equitable division of marital property in a divorce proceeding requires an experienced family law attorney. An attorney will need not only to be familiar with Texas law, but also have a strong familiarity with nuances and relevant legal precedent.

It is important to understand how to ascertain which property is personal (separate) and which is marital (community). Debt must also be divided based on how it was accrued. Serious tax consequences may arise from the improper classification and evaluation of the property. This can cause an inequitable division of the marital estate and other significant financial burdens on the disfavored party.

Texas Is Community Property State

The state of Texas is recognized as a “community property” state. Characterizing property as either community or separate is determined by the inception of title to the property or the initial point in time at which a party has a legal claim to the property. The basic general rule is that community property consists of property other than separate property, acquired by either spouse during the course of the marriage. Property in dispute during divorce proceedings is generally presumed to be community property until one party can prove the property’s separate character by clear and convincing evidence that the property was (1) acquired prior to the marriage; (2) acquired by any individual by gift, devise or will; and/or (3) the recovery of monetary damages for personal injuries sustained during the course of the marriage, with the exception of recovery of lost wages or loss of earning capacity. The party’s inceptions of title of the property in dispute is very nuance-specific and fact-intensive.

Spousal Maintenance

Many spouses who find themselves at a significant financial disadvantage against the opposing spouse can further seek remedies through spousal support or spousal maintenance. A situation like this would arise after the marriage has lasted at least 10 years. The financially disadvantaged spouse’s ability to earn a living to meet his or her basic and reasonable needs may have deteriorated over time as a result of being the “stay-at-home” spouse or “housewife,” with the intent of staying home to maintain the upkeep of the marital residence and raising the children while the other spouse was the “breadwinner.” The husband in the marriage were historically the financial “breadwinner” for the household, assuring the housewives with a false sense of security their basic needs and the needs of their children were financially provided for through the husband’s sole income alone, especially during the early 1900s. However, over the decades, as American culture begins to grow more and more progressive, that trend begins to decrease rapidly.


Reimbursement is a cause of action requested in certain divorce proceedings in situations where the funds or assets of one marital estate are used for the enhanced benefit of the other marital estate. There are many different scenarios in which this may occur, including using the funds of one party’s separate property to enhance the benefit of the other party’s separate property. Conversely, a party can further seek the reimbursement of the community property estate for the community funds and assets to enhance the value of the other party’s separate property.

Agreed Waiver Divorces

The Law Office of Dan-Phi V. Nguyen, PLLC, offers flat-fee legal services to spouses who are in agreement to dissolve the marriage without disputing any legal issues as to the division of any community property and/or the terms and conditions with respect to conservatorship, child support, and possession and access regarding the children of the marriage. So long as the case remains undisputed between the parties and a waiver of citation of service is signed by the respondent, the case shall remain charged as a flat fee from the filing of the petition to the prove-up of the agreed divorce decree to finalize the case.

What Attorney Dan-Phi Nguyen Offers

Because attorney Nguyen worked for years as a CPS prosecutor with the Harris County Attorney’s Office, he understands the inner workings of the office. He has a comprehensive understanding of the policies and procedures DFPS workers are required to abide by. In his experience, it has been the workers’ inability to follow those procedures that can lead to a dismissal or reduction of the charges against a parent. This CPS defense knowledge sets attorney Nguyen apart from other attorneys when it comes to complicated divorce and other Texas family law issues.

Connect With Attorney Dan-Phi Nguyen

It’s likely that you have questions about what to expect about the Texas divorce process. Reach out to attorney Dan-Phi Nguyen by calling (713) 485-0781 or by sending a consultation request email. Attorney Nguyen will let you know what your options are and how he can be of assistance. Located in Houston, attorney Nguyen serves parents throughout the entire Houston metro area.