The Guide to Start the Divorce Process in Texas
No one gets married with the intent to divorce. Divorce, however, is sometimes the only solution that some couples are left with. Going through a divorce with your spouse is a difficult time for everyone involved.
There are lots of aspects to consider such as splitting assets and property, custody plans for children, and how to get the process started in the first place. Divorce isn’t an easy process to go through either emotionally or in general. There’s a lot that goes into the process, which is why you should know how to get a divorce in Texas.
Each state has different laws regarding divorce and all of the steps required to start and finish the process. If you’re ready to divorce your spouse, then we recommend reading the guide below.
Here’s everything you need to know about filing for divorce in Texas.
Are You Eligible?
Before you get into the finer details of the Texas divorce process, be sure to confirm your eligibility. Not everyone is eligible for divorce in Texas. Residency plays a big role in your eligibility factor.
To be eligible for divorce in Texas, you or your spouse must have been a resident for at least 6 months prior to the divorce. When filing in a specific county in Texas, you or your spouse must have been a resident for at least 90 days prior to filing.
If you don’t meet these requirements, then you’ll need to file in a different county or state, depending on your situation.
Is It a No-Fault Divorce?
Texas does recognize no-fault divorces. No-fault divorces mean that the person filing for divorce won’t have to prove any wrongdoing by the spouse to qualify for a divorce. The judge, however, will take fault into consideration when dividing your assets and other property.
If you have any proof of wrongdoing by your spouse, then it’s best to gather all of this evidence. It can be beneficial to have when the judge is dividing property. Some common fault in divorces include the following:
- Cruel treatment
- Abandonment for over 1 year
- Incarceration or confinement to a mental institution for 1 year
- Living separately for 3 years
Provide all of this information to the judge.
What’s Uncontested vs. Contested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce is when you and your partner both agree to how property will be split, custody of the children, and to end the marriage. If you and your spouse both agree to these things, then your cause won’t need to go to trial.
A divorce in Texas will cover all three of these things. If you don’t want to go to trial, then these are the things that you and your spouse need to come to an agreement on now.
If there isn’t an agreement on these three things, then the divorce is contested and will go to trial.
How Do I Draft and File the Petition?
Your first step is to file your divorce petition. You can do this by filing it yourself or by having your lawyer file it with you. Once you’ve completed all of the paperwork, the divorce will then be filled with the District Clerk’s office.
The day that the paperwork is filed with the District Clerk’s office is the first day of the divorce process. In Texas, there is a 60-day waiting period that must take place before you’re seen in court. Your divorce will not be granted before these 60 days.
During these 60 days, be sure to gather all the important information, which includes the following:
- A copy of the original petition
- Medical support order (when children are involved)
- Income withholding order (when children are involved)
- Waiver of service
- Texas family code 105.006 form
- Final Decree of Divorce
- BVS form
These forms are needed for those filing a contested divorce. Keep in mind that there may be other necessary forms as well depending on your individual case.
How Long Is the Granting Period?
Divorces can’t be granted before the 60-day waiting period. This doesn’t mean that it’ll be granted on day 61, however. There are some factors that could contribute to a longer granting period.
If your spouse or another mandatory party isn’t legally notified of the divorce within the 60 days, then this could push the divorce date back. The divorce will also take more time when you and your spouse have disagreements within the divorce process.
What Is Legal Notice?
A legal notice is either a waiver of citation or service of citation. If you and your spouse can sit down together in front of a notary and sign an agreement, then this will hold in court. If you’re asked to sign a waiver of citation, then do have your lawyer look over it first.
If this is not something that can be done, then you can have a service of citation delivered to your spouse. These citations are delivered typically by a sheriff or by a process server.
When Is It Finalized?
The divorce is finalized when you and your spouse come to an agreement on property, children, and marriage in court. Both parties will need to sign an agreement on all three things before it’s finalized.
Your appearance in court is necessary, so do be sure to arrive for each court date given to avoid any delays.
Learn How to Get a Divorce in Texas Today!
A divorce is a lengthy and complicated process and one that shouldn’t be done without the help of a divorce lawyer in Texas. Use this guide above to learn how to get a divorce in Texas.
Keeping this guide in mind will ensure a smooth process during a difficult time. If you have any questions, you can contact us here.