Terms to Know When Planning for Divorce

You will hear many unfamiliar terms during a divorce, and it is important to know what they mean.

When facing divorce, it is natural to have questions about what to expect. People often wonder what their life will be like after divorce, and what will happen during the process. All of these unknowns can make the process even more difficult but understanding some of the basic terms used in a Texas divorce can help. Below are five of the most basic terms that may come up during your divorce, and an explanation of what they are, so you know what to expect and can prepare yourself for what is to come.


Texas is a no-fault divorce state. That means that when one spouse wants a divorce, they can file on the grounds of insupportability. One spouse must only show that there has been a breakdown in the marital relationship and that there is very little chance that the two spouses will work it out.

However, a spouse may also file for divorce based on certain grounds. This is a fault divorce and indicates that one spouse’s wrongdoing led to the breakdown of the marriage. In Texas there are several fault-based grounds for divorce, including:

Fault may or may not be taken into consideration during the divorce proceedings. For example, if one spouse can prove the other was cruel during the marriage, the accused spouse may not be granted as much visitation time with children from the marriage.

Conservatorship, Possession, and Access

Although these are three terms, they all refer to one thing. Better known as child custody, conservatorship is the legal term given to address the physical and legal aspects of sharing time with the children after divorce. Possession refers to which parent the child will live with primarily, while access refers to the parenting time, or visitation rights, the other parent will receive.

Child Support

In Texas, all parents are considered to be financially responsible for their children, even after divorce. As such, a judge will typically order that one parent is responsible for paying child support after divorce. Support is usually paid to the parent that has primary possession of the child and is intended to be used for the child’s daily expenses such as food, clothing , shelter, education and entertainment.

Community Property

Property division is a part of all Texas divorces. This is the process of dividing the marital assets, or assets acquired during the marriage, between the two spouses. Texas is a community property state, which means that property will be divided fairly. Most judges will likely try to divide the property equally, although factors such as adultery can result in one spouse being granted more property than the other.


Also known as alimony, maintenance refers to regular payments one spouse must make to the other. Texas courts may award spousal maintenance in cases when one spouse will not have enough assets or property to provide for their basic needs after the divorce, and they meet other legal criteria.

Getting a Divorce? Our Texas Divorce Lawyer can Help

There are many confusing terms during any divorce in Texas. At John Powell III, P.C., our Pearland divorce lawyer can explain them all, and how they will affect your case. If you are getting a divorce, Attorney John Powell, III will attempt to ensure you understand everything that happens during each stage of your divorce and will strive to give you the best chance possible of getting the settlement you need. Call us today at 281-747-6346 or contact us online to schedule a meeting.