The Divorce Process in El Paso, Texas: From Beginning to End

Jurisdiction

First, consider whether you can file your divorce in El Paso, Texas. In order to do so, either you or your spouse must have lived in the state of Texas for at least 180 days. Also, you or your spouse must have lived in El Paso County for at least 90 days. The residency requirement is calculated from the date your divorce petition is filed with the El Paso District Clerk.

Special rules may affect this issue if you are active duty military stationed at or deployed from Fort Bliss or elsewhere in El Paso County.

Next, consider what your divorce will involve. A divorce is a lawsuit which can entail several lawsuits in one. First, there is the divorce itself - the termination of the marriage relationship.

Second, if you have children, there is the Suit Affecting Parent-Child Relationship, abbreviated "SAPCR" and pronounced "SAP-sir" by most attorneys and judges in El Paso and throughout Texas. The SAPCR will decide the most important issues in a divorce involving children, including:

  • How will custody rights be decided?
  • What will the visitation schedule be?
  • Who will determine the primary residence of the children?
  • Who will pay child support and how much will that be?
  • Who will pay for medical support for the children?

When getting a divorce with children in El Paso, Texas, the divorce court must have jurisdiction over the SAPCR. In order to have jurisdiction over the SAPCR, in most cases, the children must have lived in El Paso County for six months before the SAPCR was filed.

Temporary absences from El Paso do not count against this six-month period.

There can sometimes be cases in which the El Paso divorce court will have jurisdiction over the divorce, but not the SAPCR. Consult your lawyer if you have any questions or doubts about the divorce court's jurisdiction.

Jim K. Jopling
Attorney at Law
747 East San Antonio, Suite 103
El Paso, Texas 79912

(915) 541-6099

Toll Free Facsimile:
(866) 864-6854