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Your Rights as an Immigrant in a Texas Divorce Case


Divorces happen all the time. It is not unusual for people to fall out of love or want to sever a relationship with their spouses after marriage because of their differences. The reasons to file for divorce are endless; it all just depends on whether or not you can learn to live with those reasons. 

If you want to file for divorce in Texas even as an immigrant, you can. There is no law in Texas that forbids you to get out of a sticky marriage because of your race or citizenship. It is, however, mandatory for one party to be a Texas resident for six months or more to file a divorce case, and it is also crucial that you have resided in the county where you are filing your case for at least 90 days.

The only difference between an immigrant and a Texan native is that the immigrant wasn’t born in Texas, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have rights in a foreign land, especially when it comes to divorce and family laws. Here are the most important rights that you have if ever your divorce case gets to court:

You Have a Right to Divorce

You shouldn’t let your spouse intimidate you in case you want to file for divorce. Spouses who are unwilling to participate in the divorce often resort to this measure, especially if you are unfamiliar with your rights. They can contest the divorce all they want, but does nothing except delay the inevitable. Remember that your spouse cannot force you to stay in a marriage. 

You also have to note, however, that you will have to provide your own lawyer for this divorce because the Texas courts won’t assign one to you. Texas attorneys are only provided in criminal cases. 

You Have a Right to Your Children

You have the right to get custody of your children just as much as your spouse is. There will be no preference or prejudice over your gender or nationality in a Texas court. Capability and your relationship with your children will ultimately be the deciding factor on whether or not you get child custody. 

You Have a Right to Your Share of Assets

Texas is a community property state which means that all the assets between you and your spouse are both yours. This includes anything from a car, a business, a house, and even your debts. Your marriage bonds your financial assets as well. That means that in the hands of the Texas court, these assets will be rightfully divided between you and your spouse based on certain factors such as the duration of your marriage or your annual income. 

Before deciding to settle for agreements or to file a divorce, keep in mind that you have rights as a person, even if you are an immigrant in Texas. Knowing these rights can protect you in these trying times. 

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas.

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