Austin Divorce Attorneys

Experienced Divorce Lawyers Serving Central Texas

If you are contemplating a divorce, then it is essential to begin the process with an understanding of Texas divorce law and how it applies to your situation. With over 50 years of combined experience, our divorce attorneys are proud to serve as counsel in divorce cases throughout Central Texas and will fight for your best interest.

How to File for Divorce in Austin, Texas

As an accomplished divorce firm in Austin, TX, we can explain the law, the grounds for divorce in Texas, and then file an Original Divorce Petition on your behalf as the first step. Our Austin divorce lawyers generally strive to finalize divorces through skilled negotiation, which saves you both time and money.

That being said, our family law firm has significant litigation experience and is not afraid to take your case to court if it becomes necessary.

Divorce can be confusing and you will certainly have questions. Contact Jefferies & Herlihy, LLC at (512) 379-6274 to discuss your situation with our divorce lawyers in Austin, TX.

Is Everything Split 50/50 in a Divorce in Texas?

Everything is not always split 50/50 in Texas – which is a community property state. According to the Texas Family Code, a reasonable and proper division of community property is required. What that looks like can vary from cases to case.  Texas judges could award a 55/45 or even a 70/30 division of the community estate if they believe there is evidence of harmful or improper behavior by one of the parties, , fault based grounds for divorce, significant disparity in earning capabilities, or many other factors

With any questions, consult with our experienced Austin divorce lawyers today.

What Are Grounds for Divorce in Texas?

In Texas, you may file for divorce based on either fault or no-fault. In a fault-based divorce, you must prove to the court that your spouse has committed some wrongdoing. This is known as “grounds for divorce.”

For fault-based divorce in Texas, some of the most common grounds divorce include:

  • Abandonment
  • Cruelty
  • Infidelity
  • Impotency
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Conviction of a felony

Is Texas a No-Fault Divorce State?

No-fault divorces are becoming more and more prevalent and are often, but not always less time-consuming. However, you will still need to provide a reason, or “grounds”for the divorce.

For a no-fault divorce in Texas, some of these grounds for divorce include:

  • The marriage is no longer working
  • You and your spouse have been living separately and apart for at least three years
  • Your spouse has been confined to a mental institution for at least three years

Why would you choose a fault-based divorce or a no-fault divorce? Fault-based divorces can have an impact on the outcome of alimony or child custody, for instance.. An unfaithful spouse, for example, may be required to pay more in alimony, may experience unequal distribution of high net assets, or not receive the custody arrangement that they had hoped for. 


It's highly recommended to consult with an Austin family law attorney to help guide you through the complicated process for a negotiated divorce.

Understanding Child Custody in Texas Divorce Cases

Child custody is often a significant concern for divorcing parents. In Texas, the court encourages parents to develop an agreed upon child custody arrangement that works for both parties and the children. Still, if both parents cannot reach an agreement, the court will decide based on the child's best interests.

There are two types of custody in Texas: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is the right to decide about the child's upbringing, education, healthcare, and other important decisions made for and about the child. Physical custody refers to where the child will primarily live, what the other parent’s possession and access schedule is, and who will be responsible for the child’s day-to-day care.

Our experienced family law attorneys at Jefferies & Herlihy, LLC can help you navigate the complexities of child custody and work towards a custody agreement that is in the best interests of your children.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce in Texas?

The difficulty of the divorce process depends on whether both parties agree on certain issues. If both parties agree, then the divorce process may take only a few weeks or up to a  year, but can also depend on your particular legal situation. That said, this does not mean that both must agree to a divorce.

The Austin family law attorneys at Jefferies & Herlihy, LLC can assist with:

It is possible to get a divorce in Texas even if your spouse is not in agreement with your decision to end the marriage. If you and your spouse are able to come to an agreement on the multiple legal matters that arise during divorce proceedings, a trial will not be necessary.

As a family law firm representing clients in Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bexar, and Dallas Counties, our divorce attorneys T. Wade Jefferies and Scott Herlihy can help you navigate the divorce process, regardless of the complexity of your unique divorce case.

What Are the Texas Residency Requirements for Divorce?

In order to file for divorce in Texas, you or your spouse must have lived in the state for a minimum of six months. In addition, you must have lived in the county where you file your petition for divorce for at least 90 days prior to the filing.

Once your petition is filed, it takes at least 60 days for the divorce to be finalized. Jefferies & Herlihy, LLC can guide you through the laws concerning divorce in Texas. Our Austin divorce lawyers look out for your best interests and will work with you to resolve your divorce with as little stress as possible.

Does It Matter Who Files for Divorce First in Texas?

It does not make any significant difference who files for divorce first in Texas.

  • If you are the “Petitioner” (the one who filed first), then you will have to wait until your spouse (the “Respondent”) responds to the lawsuit.
  • If you are the Respondent, then you will need to file a response to the divorce petition within 20 days of being served with the Petition for Divorce

What Do You Do if Your Spouse Won't Sign Divorce Papers?

After serving your divorce petition, your spouse should respond to the divorce papers within 20 days. The case could then potentially proceed as an uncontested divorce. Your spouse may still be required to sign some type of papers, such as an Agreed Decree of Divorce. 

If your spouse still does not sign an Agreed Decree of Divorce, then it is likely that the case will go to trial. The judge will then make decisions and rulings on the terms of the divorce and all related matters such as the property division, child custody and support, and all other issues in the case. 

Our Austin Divorce Attorneys Can Help

At Jefferies & Herlihy, LLC, we understand how complicated and stressful the divorce process can be. Our divorce attorneys located in Austin have decades of combined experience in Texas divorce law and can help guide you through the divorce process.

Are you ready to take the first step in filing for divorce? Call (512) 379-6274 to schedule an appointment for a consultation with an  divorce attorney representing the city of Austin!

Why Hire Jefferies & Herlihy, LLC?

  • Empathetic Approach
    We have been exactly where you are and because of that, I can offer empathy and help in a way that is unique and solution-oriented.
  • Accounting Background
    When it comes to high stakes litigation, having counsel with an accounting background, skilled and experienced in litigation, and who understands how businesses operate and should be valued, is a significant asset.
  • Personalized Representation
    We value treating every client like family. Personal trust and relatability are the hallmarks of any good attorney-client relationship.