Residency Requirements for Divorce in Texas


What Are The Residency Requirements For Divorcing In Texas?


Has a situation arisen where you are considering a divorce in the state of Texas? Understanding the residency requirements for divorcing in Texas is crucial for initiating the legal process. In order to file for divorce in Texas, at least one of the parties must have been a resident of the state for at least six months and a resident of the county where the divorce is filed for at least 90 days. It’s important to ensure you meet these requirements before moving forward with your divorce proceedings. Failure to meet these requirements could result in a delayed or dismissed case, leaving you in a vulnerable position. Make sure to consult with a legal professional to ensure you are meeting all necessary residency requirements before initiating divorce proceedings in Texas.


Key Takeaways:


  • 6-month residency: To file for divorce in Texas, either spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least 6 months prior to filing.

  • 90-day county residency: The filing spouse must have lived in the county where the divorce is filed for at least 90 days.

  • Military exceptions: Military personnel stationed in Texas may still meet residency requirements, even if they are not Texas residents.

  • Proof of residency: When filing for divorce, spouses may need to provide documentation or evidence of their residency in Texas and the specific county.

  • Consult with an attorney: Due to the complexity of residency requirements and potential exceptions, it’s important to consult with a family law attorney to ensure eligibility for filing for divorce in Texas.


Basic Residency Requirements for Filing for Divorce


Any individual seeking to file for divorce in Texas must meet the residency requirements outlined by the state. These requirements are in place to ensure that the state has jurisdiction over the divorce proceedings and to prevent forum shopping, where parties try to file for divorce in a state with more favorable laws.


Domicile Requirements in Texas


With regard to domicile requirements, either spouse must have been a domiciliary of Texas for at least six months prior to filing for divorce and a resident of the county in which the suit is filed for at least 90 days. Domicile in this context means a person’s principal residence where they intend to remain and to return to if absent. It is important to note that military personnel on active duty are considered residents of Texas if they have been stationed in the state for at least six months, regardless of whether they intend to make Texas their permanent residence.


County-Specific Residency Criteria


One aspect of the county-specific residency criteria is that the divorce suit may be filed in the county where either spouse resides. If both parties reside in different counties within Texas, the suit can be filed in either county. However, it is crucial to understand that if the petitioner resides in a county with a population of 20,000 people or less, they may file for divorce in the county where they currently reside or in the county where their spouse resides.


Requirements – Texas has specific requirements for residency when filing for divorce, such as the domicile requirements and the county-specific residency criteria. It is essential to meet these requirements in order to initiate divorce proceedings in the state.


Special Circumstances Affecting Residency Requirements


If you are facing a divorce in Texas, it’s important to be aware of the special circumstances that can affect the residency requirements for filing. Texas has specific laws regarding residency for divorce, but there are some exceptions to these requirements in certain situations.


Military Personnel and Their Spouses


Circumstances may arise where one or both spouses are members of the military and are stationed outside of Texas. In such cases, special provisions may apply to accommodate the unique circumstances of military life. For military personnel or their spouses seeking a divorce in Texas, the residency requirements may be waived if certain conditions are met. It’s crucial to consult with a knowledgeable attorney who can guide you through the specific regulations and exceptions that apply to military service members and their spouses.


Temporary Relocations and Their Impact on Residency


With the increasing prevalence of temporary relocations for work or personal reasons, individuals may find themselves living outside of Texas, despite their intention to maintain Texas residency. Temporary relocations can have an impact on the residency requirements for divorce in Texas, and it’s essential to understand the specific rules that apply in such situations. If you have temporarily relocated from Texas but still wish to file for divorce in the state, seeking legal counsel can help you navigate the residency requirements effectively.


Special consideration should be given to temporary relocations due to work, education, or family obligations, as they can affect your eligibility to file for divorce in Texas. Understanding the nuances of Texas residency requirements in these circumstances is crucial to ensuring a smooth and successful divorce process.


Proving Residency in Court


Keep in mind that in order to file for divorce in Texas, at least one spouse must have been a resident of the state for six months and a resident of the county where the divorce is filed for at least 90 days. Proving residency in court is a crucial aspect of the divorce process, and it requires careful attention to documentation and evidence.


Documentation and Evidence Required


An important aspect of proving residency in court is providing documentation and evidence to support your claim. This can include presenting a valid Texas driver’s license, voter registration card, utility bills, lease agreements, or any other documents that establish your physical presence in the state and county for the required period of time. It’s crucial to gather and organize these documents well in advance of filing for divorce, as they will play a key role in demonstrating your residency status to the court.


Addressing Disputes Over Residency Status


Disputes over residency status can arise during the divorce process, especially if the other party contests your claim of residency. In such cases, it’s important to be prepared to address any challenges to your residency status by providing compelling evidence and documentation to support your case. This may involve obtaining witness statements, affidavits, or other forms of evidence to corroborate your residency claims.

Proving your residency in court may require careful planning and strategic presentation of evidence to establish your eligibility to file for divorce in Texas. It’s essential to gather a strong body of evidence to support your residency claims, and to anticipate and address any potential disputes or challenges to your residency status.


Consequences of Failing to Meet Residency Requirements


For individuals seeking a divorce in Texas, failing to meet the residency requirements can have serious consequences. It is crucial to understand the potential outcomes and legal alternatives in such cases.


Dismissal of Divorce Petition


Petitioning for divorce without meeting the state’s residency requirements can lead to the dismissal of the petition by the court. If the court determines that the residency requirements have not been met, the petition for divorce will not be granted, and the case will be closed. This can result in wasted time, effort, and financial resources for the parties involved.


Petitioners who have had their divorce petitions dismissed due to residency requirements not being met must be aware of legal alternatives and remedies available to them in such situations.


Legal Alternatives and Remedies


One potential legal alternative for individuals who fail to meet residency requirements is to wait until they have established residency in Texas. This may involve temporarily moving to the state and meeting the residency criteria before re-filing the divorce petition. Another option is to pursue legal remedies such as seeking a waiver of the residency requirements from the court.


Alternatives for individuals in this situation also include seeking legal counsel to explore other possible solutions and remedies. It is crucial to understand the legal options available and take appropriate action to address the residency issue.




On the whole, understanding the residency requirements for divorcing in Texas is crucial to ensure a smooth and legally valid divorce process. Meeting the 6-month residency requirement and filing in the correct county is essential for obtaining a divorce in Texas. It is important to consult with a family law attorney to ensure that all residency requirements are met and to navigate any complexities that may arise during the divorce process. By being informed and proactive, individuals can ensure that their divorce proceedings in Texas are legally sound and in compliance with state laws.




Q: What Are the Residency Requirements for Divorcing in Texas?


A: In order to file for divorce in Texas, either you or your spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least six months prior to filing. Additionally, you must have been a resident of the county where you plan to file for at least 90 days.


Q: Can I File for Divorce in Texas if I Just Moved Here?


A: If you have recently moved to Texas, you will need to wait until you have been a resident for at least six months before you can file for divorce in the state.


Q: Do the Residency Requirements Differ for Military Members Stationed in Texas?


A: Military members or their spouses who are stationed in Texas may still meet the residency requirements for divorce, even if they have not lived in the state for the required six months, as long as Texas is the home state of either the service member or their spouse.


Q: What if My Spouse Lives in a Different State?


A: If your spouse lives in a different state, you can still file for divorce in Texas as long as you meet the state’s residency requirements. However, navigating the legal process may become more complex due to the involvement of multiple states.


Q: Are There Any Exceptions to the Residency Requirements for Divorce in Texas?


A: In rare cases, a judge may waive the residency requirements for divorce in Texas if there are compelling circumstances, such as domestic violence or extreme hardship. However, these exceptions are not common and typically require legal justification.




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