Separated spouses living in different cities or states or spouses who have recently moved to Texas, may have a questions as to where that spouse should file for divorce. The Texas Family Code sets forth the requirements for filing for divorce.
Under Section 6.301 and 6.302, generally a spouse may file for divorce if that spouse has been “domiciled” in Texas for the past 6 months and resided in that county for the past 90 days. A party may also file in the county where the other party has resided for the past 90 days if that party has been “domiciled” in Texas for the past six months.
Texas courts have held that residing in a county requires the spouse to be physically present and living in the county, but does allow for temporary absences from the county. Often times courts will look at if the person had a good faith intent to live in that county. So if someone moves to Collin County, Texas, buys a house, and seeks to establish themselves in Collin County, then even if that person then goes out of the country for 6 weeks for a job, the court will probably say they resided in Collin County the entire time.
Much of the same requirements apply to establishing a “domicile” in Texas for meeting the 6 month requirement. Generally, the person much live in Texas and have the intent to make it his or her home. For military service members and his or her spouse, if they establish a residence in Texas then even if they get stationed overseas they will generally, be considered as having been “domiciled” in Texas the entire time.
If both spouses live in the same county, then a decision on where to file will be straightforward. If the spouses live in different counties then it is important to speak with an attorney and look at the options on would be the best county to file.
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