Many people living in Texas don’t know about the divorce process until or unless they come across it. Texas allows both fault-based and no-fault divorce. Fault-based divorce cases are rare but exist. In such a divorce case, the filing party has to prove that the other party committed some wrongdoings. Fault grounds can be cruel treatments, adultery, felony conviction, etc. On the other hand, no-fault divorce includes a “no blame game”. You can file a divorce petition by stating incompatibilities between you and your spouse. This article provides some general information about the uncontested divorce process in Texas which can help you to file a divorce in Texas Court.
The uncontested divorce process in Texas
If you are living in Texas and want to get an uncontested divorce in Texas then all steps are simple, especially If you and your soon-to-be X spouse make the decision about the division of property and custody of children. Please note that you can file a divorce in family courts of Texas provided you and your spouse have lived in Texas for at least six months before the filing of the divorce. This is a mandatory residency requirement of filing a divorce in Texas. After fulfilling this requirement, discuss with your spouse how to start proceedings.
Requirements of uncontested divorce in Texas
Following are the criteria for an uncontested divorce in Texas.
- Both spouses agree on divorce
- Both parties agree on grounds of divorce
- None of the spouses have an ongoing bankruptcy case
- You don’t have minor children
- No retirement benefits to be divided, and both spouses don’t own property together
- Both spouses are not seeking alimony
Following are important steps to file an uncontested divorce in Texas.
- Prepare a petition
First of all, you should file an original petition with the appropriate court. You can get all necessary documents and approved forms from Get Divorce Papers. You will be the petitioner and your spouse respondent in the petition. The petition must state the ground. Insupportability is the basis for uncontested no-fault divorce. In other words, you and your spouse have incompatible differences. Your initial filing includes documents like the original petition form for divorce, Citation (waiver), Notice of service process, Decree of divorce, etc. It is also advisable to get Temporary Restraining Order from the court. This order will help both parties by preventing the sale/movement of property.
- File the petition with the appropriate court
Jurisdiction of such cases in Texas is District Courts. Go to the district court clerk’s office for the court in your county and file your original petition along with two copies. The number of courts depends upon the size of the county. The small county may have one court while the larger one may include Family courts. You can get the directory of courts online. You can submit a petition by hand or mail. Self-address envelop and stamped paper must be included if you are delivering petitions through the mail. It is necessary to call the clerk’s office before delivering the petition to know the amount of filing fee and the number of copies.
- Serve the other party with appropriate documentation
After filing the petition, the next step is to inform your spouse that you have filed a divorce petition. This process includes delivering copies of all divorce documents to the spouse. There are several methods available in Texas to do this. This includes a waiver, sheriff/constable service, Process server, and service by publication. In waiver service, signing acknowledgment receipt by the spouse is important. You can use the sheriff service or process server or constable to hand-deliver a copy of the petition to her. Constable Service is cheaper but too slow. A private process server can be the better choice because it is quick. If your spouse agrees to waive service then you can go for hand delivery to your spouse by yourself or mail. After getting a sign-on waiver from your spouse, the next step is to submit it to the clerk’s office.
- Financial disclosure
In some counties, there is a form called Sworn Inventory and Appraisement is used to exchange financial information. In this form, both parties have to give details of bank accounts, retirement account, investment plans, real estate, etc. This form helps both parties in identifying property issues. Please note, not every county requires this form.
- Prepare a final decree of the petition
The time period between file petition and divorce is 60 days in Texas. You can finalize all things between you and your spouse, e.g. property division, child custody, and child support to complete the decree during this mandatory period. For necessary forms and documents check Get Divorce Papers. This is a legal and much-needed document especially when you have children because it provides complete detail of division of property/asset, child custody/support, and visitation. In Texas, the Default court position is that all properties/assets and liabilities should be divided equally as Texas is a community property state. You can counter-check your arrangements either in accordance with the state’s law or not by consulting the Travis Counting Child support calculator.
- Attend an uncontested hearing
After completion of the mandatory waiting period, first of all, go to the clerk’s office to know the date of uncontested hearing dates. You will also know whether you need an appointment or not. Also, get information from the clerk about the judge’s procedure and documents you need to bring to court. After knowing this, you should appear before the court for the hearing. Your spouse does not need to for a hearing. You should expect few questions from the judge during this hearing and then he will sign the final decree.
Uncontested divorce in Texas is easy and simple if you and your spouse agree on all legal issues like division property, child custody, and support, etc. If you both are agreed then it is advisable to follow the legal requirement set by the Texas state. In this way, you can proceed with divorce quickly.
All the contents of the above article are for information purposes only and not offering any legal advice. All words and phrases/statements used in this article are of the author only and not evaluated or corrected by any legal competent authorities. This article also does not grunt completeness, accuracy, and changes in the law.