Do I Have to Live in Texas to Get a Divorce Here?

With the many life stages Texas residents go through, it is no surprise that people’s state of residency changes multiple times as well. Someone can attend college, get married or have children among any of the great 50 states. However, when it comes to divorce, as a rule of thumb, you can only get divorced in one state. In Texas, you can only get divorced Texas according to specific regulations.

Only a few states have exceptions to the rule of residency as a prerequisite to filing for divorce. In short, you must live in Texas for a minimum of 6 months in order to file for divorce in that state. This can complicate matters for some people, for example, some couples separate for months or years before their official file for divorce. Sometimes this leaves one spouse living in one state and the other state in another.

If the Texas family court regulates the initial divorce settlement, that court has jurisdiction over all other residual issues. These could be anything related to child custody or support, and any changes to these arrangements. This is why it is important for you to file in your home state to avoid the hassle and expense of traveling to another state for every court proceeding. This is something to think about if you think your spouse is going to file for divorce in another state. It may be in your best interest to file in your state first.

Each state’s residency requirements for divorce are different. Some are quite similar to Texas with a 6-month residency required. All residency questions aside, divorce can be a confusing time with much change associated with the dissolution of a marriage. It is best to examine your personal situation, including the state of filing, in order to determine how to best approach the divorce proceedings.

Source:, “Divorce Residency Facts,” accessed on Feb. 2, 2015

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