To obtain a divorce in the state of Texas, at least one of the spouses must have been domiciled in the state of Texas for the six months preceding the filing of the divorce suit as well as a resident of the county in which the suit will be filed for at least the preceding 90 days. If neither spouse has been a Texas resident for at least six months prior to filing the suit, you have not established jurisdiction and will need to wait until six months have passed until you may file for divorce in Texas. This is a jurisdictional issue, meaning that the Court has no power to grant a divorce until at least one spouse has met the residency requirements.
In Texas, income created during the marriage is considered community property. Community property must be shared with one’s spouse during a divorce. Gambling winnings gained during the marriage are considered community property even if the gambling was funded by one spouse’s separate property. In other words, even if a lottery ticket is purchased with one spouse’s separate money, the winnings must be shared with the other spouse. Additionally, interest payments received during the course of a marriage are also considered community property. If you win big before you are married, your spouse is entitled to share in the interest gained on your winnings from the date of marriage until the date of divorce (unless a carefully drafted prenuptial agreement is entered into by both parties prior to marriage). Winnings received after the marriage, however, belong completely to the spouse who purchased the ticket, even if the ticket was purchased the day after the divorce. In a 2003 Texas case known as In re Marriage of Joyner, 196 S.W.3d 883 a man purchased a winning lottery ticket following the final hearing of divorce and won $2,080,000. The money was held to be his separate property.