Texas Law: Where Should I File for Divorce?

General residency rule: A person can file for divorce in Texas and in a specific county if either the wife or the husband have been a domiciliary of the state of Texas for six months and a resident of the county for the 90 days prior to filing for the divorce. The test for residence and domicile requirements generally involve an inquiry as to the parties’ intent. This requires that there is an intention to establish a permanent home accompanied by some act done to execute that act.

Divorce by non-resident spouse: If one spouse has been a domiciliary of Texas for at least the last six months, a spouse domiciled in another state or nation may file a suit for divorce in the county in which the domiciliary spouse resides at the time the petition is filed.

Acquiring jurisdiction over a non-resident spouse: If one of the parties has resided in Texas for six months and has been a resident of a county for the 90 days preceding filing for divorce, but the other party no longer resides in Texas, the court may exercise personal jurisdiction over the out of state party/their personal representative if:

1. Texas is the last marital residence of the parties and the suit is filed before the second anniversary or the date on which the marital residence ended, or

2. There is any basis consistent with the Texas constitution for exercise of personal jurisdiction.

Armed forces personnel not previously residents: A person not previously a resident of Texas who is serving in the armed forces of the United States and has been stationed at a military installation in Texas for at least the last six months and a military installation in a county of Texas for at least 90 days is considered to be a Texas domiciliary and a resident of that county for those periods for the purpose of filing for a divorce.