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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Divorce law in Texas

Before we can talk about divorce, we must first define marriage. What is the legal definition of marriage? Although it appears confusing now, for purpuse of this discussion we will use the traditional definition of marriage. It is the union of one man and one woman in matrimony, or marriage. This concept was acquired from biblical principals and adopted legally in the US, and it meant a contract between a husband and a wife mostly for the benefit of the husband.

This legal definition of marriage continued in the United States until the middle of the nineteenth century, when states enacted married women's property acts. These acts conferred legal status upon wives and permitted them to own and transfer property in their own right, to sue and be sued, and to enter into contracts. A concept never imagined before this time.

Although these acts were significant advances, they dealt only with property a woman inherited. The husband, by placing title in his name, could control most of the assets acquired during marriage, thus forcing the wife to rely on his bounty. Texas follows the common law doctrine of community property which confers title to both parties during the marriage equally.

Divorce law has also changed over time. In colonial America, divorce was extremely rare. This was partly because obtaining a divorce decree required legislative action, a process that was time-consuming and costly. Even with availability, divorce remained a highly conflicted area of law. The Catholic Church labeled divorce a sin, and Protestant denominations saw it as a mark of moral degeneration. The adversarial process presented another roadblock to divorce.

In the nineteenth century, consensual divorce was not known. For a couple to obtain a divorce, one party to the marriage had to prove that the other had committed a wrong of such weight that the marriage must be ended. The need to find fault was a legacy of family law that was not changed until the 1970s. Texas is a no fault divorce state which means that no prove is required of any wrong doing in order to obtain a divorce.

If yo are contemplating a divorce, we first advise you to get counseling about the issue, specially if you have children involved. Once you have tried counseling, if you are looking for an hones law firm to represent you during this diffucult time please call us (210) 979-9777 or visit our website http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com to get information on our law firm.

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