The question about where you can file for divorce comes up more frequently than you might think, especially for couples who were married outside of Texas but are now seeking a Texas divorce. The good news is that it really doesn’t matter where you were married – the state in which the ceremony was performed has almost nothing to do with whether you can pursue the divorce filing in the state of Texas. However, you do have to meet two principal requirements:
Minimum Texas residence period – One or both spouses must have resided in the state of Texas for at least six months. Additionally, one or both of you must be able to show that you lived in the country where the divorce is to be filed (in our case, Williamson, Travis, or Hays County) for a minimum of 90 days.
Personal jurisdiction over both parties – Let’s say, for example, that you were married in Tennessee.You then moved to Texas, but for whatever reason your spouse never set foot in the Lone Star State. No children were born in Texas, no Texas property was shared, and you never really pursued the life of a married couple here. In that case, we can establish jurisdiction over you, since you met the Texas residence requirements, but we can’t automatically establish Texas jurisdiction over your spouse.
Don’t panic if one party in your divorce fails the second prong of this test. There are exceptions under what is known in Texas as the Long-arm Jurisdiction statute. This statute, when utilized with the proper legal expertise and creativity, can give the courts the power of personal jurisdiction over what we call a “foreign” spouse. If you need that kind of expertise for your case, contact Evans Family Law Group.