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How to File for Divorce


Filing for divorce in Texas requires a very specific process. Our Woodlands divorce lawyers explain these steps in the following guide.

The Steps of Filing For Divorce in Texas

First Step

Texas has several courts, but you will need to find the family court that is located in the county where your spouse currently lives. He or she must have lived in that county for at least 90 days before you will be able to file a petition for a divorce. The state will only have jurisdiction in your divorce if you or your spouse have been residents of Texas for at least six months. Once you locate the correct court, you may initiate divorce proceedings.

Second Step

Next, you must prepare the divorce petition that you are going to file with the court. This will be an original petition in which you will state the reasons that you wish to dissolve your marriage. The petition will list the children that you and your spouse had during the marriage along with the property. You will file the original divorce petition with the county's District Clerk's office, along with two copies. This will require that you pay a fee.

Third Step

The next step is to contact your spouse and let him or her know that you filed a divorce petition with the court. You may do this by hiring a process server to serve the papers on your behalf, but you can also get a waiver of citation that will allow the Respondent to confirm that he or she received the petition. This eliminates the need for a process server to provide an affidavit for the court that confirms that the papers were delivered to the Respondent.

Fourth Step

There will be a waiting period in which you will be able to agree on the terms of your divorce. In Texas, the judge is required to wait two months before he or she can intervene in the negotiation process. This is the time when both parties will split their assets, decide how much alimony one spouse deserves, child support, and child custody. All issues will be resolved at this time, if possible.

Fifth Step

After the negotiations are complete, the couple can draw up the "Final Decree of Divorce." This document will contain the agreements negotiated during the waiting period. The court may not be required to review the decree, but the parties to the divorce will meet with the court's administrator to determine whether or not this will be necessary.

Sixth Step

The last step in the divorce process is scheduling the final hearing. The district clerk's office will be the one to schedule this hearing that will be held before a judge. If both spouses agree on the significant issues, the judge may only need to ask each person several questions before he or she signs the divorce decree.

Requirements for a Divorce

Before you can file for a divorce in Texas, at least one spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least six months. The Petitioner must have been a resident of the county in which the petition will be filed for the past three months. In addition to that, the last home that the married couple shared must have been in Texas. They must also file for divorce before the second anniversary of the date that they moved out of their shared home.

If one party is in the military and stationed outside of the state of Texas, the other spouse may still consider his or her spouse to be a Texas resident. Members of the military would be considered to be Texas residents if they were residing on a base in Texas for the past six months. They must also have been living in a Texas county for the previous 90 days before they may file for divorce.

Pregnancy requires that the couple waits until after the baby is born to file for divorce. This will be the case even if the husband is not the father of the baby. The courts in Texas do not finalize divorces if the woman is expecting a baby. This will make it possible to add the baby to the final divorce decree.

Sometimes, the Respondent does not respond to the petition for divorce. If the Respondent fails to respond within 21 days of receiving the petition, the court will consider the case to be in default and may complete the process without the participation of the Respondent.

The court may waive the 60-day waiting period if the Respondent is convicted of domestic violence against the Petitioner or another member of the household. This will also be the case if there is an active protection order or an active magistrate's order for emergency protection against the Respondent because of domestic violence that occurred during the marriage.

Each party must wait 31 days after the divorce has been decreed to marry again. This rule will not apply if the two former spouses decide that they want to get married.

Contact Us

Filing for divorce can be a stressful and challenging thing to do. If you don't feel as if you can do this on your own, please contact us at the Parchman Law Group if you have any questions or need any help.

Call us today at (713) 364-0777 to learn more about how Parchman Law Group can help you through the process of filing for divorce.