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How to File for Divorce in Texas

Knowing how to file for divorce in Texas is crucial if your marriage is ending. You want to file correctly in the proper court and request all the necessary relief. Today, we’ll dive into some specific aspects of divorcing in Texas that we hope will guide you on what to do next.

As a top law firm in Texas, the Ramos Law Group, PLLC, leaves no stone unturned in our clients’ divorce cases and can safeguard your rights in any family law case. We are 100% focused on the family law needs of Texas residents. So, contact us if you have questions or concerns about your divorce case. 

Determine Why You Are Filing for Divorce

Every divorce starts with a reason. What is your reason for divorce? This is an answer you need to know before you file. In Texas, couples can divorce using the following grounds:

  • The marriage has become insupportable because of conflict, and there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation;
  • One spouse has engaged in cruel treatment toward the other spouse;
  • One spouse has been convicted of a felon, resulting in incarceration of one year or longer; 
  • One spouse has abandoned the other spouse;
  • The spouses have been living separately for at least three years;
  • One spouse has committed adultery or
  • One spouse has been confined in a mental hospital for at least three years.

If neither you nor your spouse desire to assign fault in your divorce, then insupportability is your no-fault ground for divorce. Once you’ve established your reason for filing for divorce, you must ensure you file in the proper jurisdiction.

Figure Out Where You Should File

An essential part of knowing how to file for a divorce in Texas is knowing where to file. The court where you file may have specific instructions for filing your divorce petition that differ from another court’s requirements.

You or your spouse must have lived in Texas for at least six months to file for divorce in the state. And you can only file for divorce in a Texas county where you or your spouse has lived for at least 90 days. Our attorneys at the Ramos Law Group, PLLC, can help you choose the correct forum for your divorce case and adequately file your court documents to start proceedings.

Decide Whether You Need Temporary Orders

When you and your spouse receive your divorce decree, you receive orders regarding the division of your property, support payments, and child custody. But you don’t have to wait until your divorce ends to receive relief. When you submit your petition, you can ask the court to make temporary orders that provide you with the following while your divorce is pending:

  • Support payments,
  • Exclusive occupancy of the family home,
  • Payment of attorney fees and expenses,
  • Appointment of a receiver to protect the marital property.
  • Production of financial documents,
  • Limitation on your spouse’s spending before the divorce is final, and
  • Protection from a spouse who threatens you or engages in misconduct,

You may want to consider whether you need any of the above relief before you file. Receiving a temporary order can reduce stress while you wait for your final decree.

Filing the Divorce Petition

Once you know where to file, the grounds for your divorce, and your need for temporary orders, you can file your divorce petition. When you submit your petition in court, you will likely have to pay a fee of $400 or more

After filing your petition, you must serve it on your spouse according to Rule 106 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure (unless your spouse waives service). Having your spouse served means that your divorce petition and citation must be:

  • Delivered to your spouse in person, or 
  • Mailed to your spouse by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested.

You might wonder how to file for divorce in Texas with children–or if the process is any different. However, the same process applies whether you have children or not. When you have children, you’ll want to address custody and child support in your petition and property division. If you filed and served your petition correctly, you have opened your divorce case. But remember that getting a final decree will likely take at least 60 days or longer. 

How to File for Divorce in Texas with No Money

You can still file for divorce if you don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend on a divorce filing. Spouses who cannot afford filing fees can ask the court to waive the fees by submitting an affidavit of indigency. In your affidavit, you must provide a detailed statement regarding your assets and debts.

How to File for Uncontested Divorce in Texas

You and your spouse can file for uncontested divorce if you agree on all matters relevant to the divorce, including:

  • Child custody,
  • Child support payments,
  • Division of marital assets, and
  • Payment of marital debts.

Before filing for an uncontested divorce, you both must agree on handling the abovementioned matters. You must still have your spouse served with the petition and citation, or they can waive service. 

Typically, you write your agreement terms in a divorce decree form that the court signs off on to finalize your divorce. If there is any disagreement, the divorce is contested, and you must resolve your differences during a hearing or other form of dispute resolution. 

An uncontested divorce can be a more straightforward route to dissolving a marriage, but you should still consult an attorney. An experienced divorce attorney from the Ramos Law Group, PLLC, can ensure that your divorce agreement is comprehensive and adequately protects your interests.

Contact the Ramos Law Group, PLLC

We are award-winning family law advocates and are here to protect your best interests. Our firm was founded by Mary E. Ramos, Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. In addition, each of our attorneys is committed to giving the best family law representation to Texas residents in Harris, Galveston, Brazoria, and Fort Bend. 

To help ensure you get what you need out of your divorce case, you should give us a call or contact us online to schedule a consultation. 

Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Mary E. Ramos

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