Florida Or Texas Divorce With Child

by Tra from Houston, Texas

I currently live in Texas but my ex lives in Florida. What state do I need to file in to start the divorce process?

We have one child age 11. We have been separated for 3+ years and already have a child support agreement through the court system in Florida.

Can I file the documents from Texas?

Answer to Florida Divorce Question

Dear Tra,

In order to file for a divorce in Texas, you must have been a state resident for at least six months prior to filing.

Furthermore, the Texas county in which you live requires you to be a resident of that county for at least 90 days.

Since both states offer the "no-fault" ground of irreconcilable differences (Texas) or the marriage being irretrievably broken (Florida), you do not have to prove fault on the other person.

However, the state of Texas does offer a fault basis of living apart without cohabitation for at least three years.

In either of these grounds, you can obtain a divorce whether your spouse agrees to the case or not. Since you already live in Texas, as long as you meet the residency requirements then you should file there. The fact that you already have a child support agreement in place should make the divorce case much simpler since you will not be fighting over the children.

No matter which state you file in, the child support agreement should be submitted to the court as it will likely be adopted or contained in the final divorce judgement. Texas and Florida have slightly different child support laws. You should discuss the options as they pertain to your situation with an attorney if you unsure which is the best avenue for support orders.

Since child support in Florida is based on Florida’s child support guidelines, the order would likely stay the same throughout the divorce if the divorce were filed where your ex lives. Another consideration about filing in Texas is the fact that it is a community property state.

Florida, however, is an equitable distribution state. Therefore, you will need to review your marital and non-marital property to determine which state laws would best apply to your situation.

Notice: We provide these answers to the general public and our website visitors as a means to further their online legal research. These answers are merely suggestions and should not be regarded as legal advice.

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