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Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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Texas divorce law 2 questions. If initial paperwork is filed

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Texas divorce law

2 questions. If initial paperwork is filed for a divorce in Texas and one spouse AFTER this filing makes a debt or purchases property, would it still be both spouses' responsibility and ownership?
Only if the answer is no, Second question, there is no "legal separation" in Texas. Is there a timeline after filing when a divorce must be finalized?

Thank you for your question.

Texas is unlike many other states in that the filing of a divorce action does not immediately cause one spouses debts to become separate property. This cannot be accomplished pre-divorce Decree without a written agreement with the spouse that all debts from a date certain forward will become separate debts and not community debts. Thus, the answer to your first question is no.

There is no timeline within which a divorce must be finalized. A divorce proceeding, if contested by the other side, can go through many stages of general civil litigation (such as discovery and motion practice). This can take years to resolve. If it is not contested by the other side but there is no divorce agreement, you will be placed on a docket list for a trial date. If the other side is not forcing the trial date to be delayed by requests for additional time to conduct discovery, etc., then you will be given an opportunity to have your divorce trial in the time frame assigned to you by the court.

If you are worried about your spouse going into a spending frenzy and incurring a mountain of debt when you file for a divorce, you need to seek a temporary restraining order which places limitations on your spouses ability to incur community debt and spend community funds. The law states that the parties to a divorce should attempt to maintain the status quo in regard to community assets until the court can divide those assets.

I hope this has helped. Please let me know if you need further information.

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