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Houston Divorce: What Does Uncontested Mean in Legal Terms?

When you file for an uncontested divorce, the meaning in legal terms is that you and your spouse don’t disagree about any matter that the divorce covers. This can happen when you and your spouse agree on all issues that the court must address in its divorce decree (agreed divorce).  

If you seek an uncontested divorce, our experienced family law attorneys can help you obtain one. Ramos Law Group, PLLC, is a top-rated family law firm that has received high honors from the legal community and high reviews from our clients. We can guide you through any family law issue you face. 

What Does Uncontested Mean in Court?

You can avoid a lot of court time in an uncontested divorce, meaning you don’t have to attend a trial before a judge finalizes your divorce. But you must still file paperwork with the court and potentially attend a hearing before the court will grant your uncontested dissolution.

Filing for an Uncontested Divorce 

An uncontested divorce begins with you or your spouse filing a divorce petition in a county that has jurisdiction. You can file for an uncontested divorce in Texas if you or your spouse has lived in the state for at least six months, and you can file in whatever county where you or your spouse has lived for at least 90 days.

When you file your petition for divorce, you must typically personally serve your spouse with the petition through a process server, sheriff, or constable. However, if you and your spouse agree on everything, you can avoid the personal service requirement by having your spouse sign a waiver of service. Spouses who have children who have received Medicaid or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits must also send a copy of their petition to the Attorney General.


Once your spouse is served (or officially waives service) and you have provided any required notice to the Attorney General, your divorce case is open. You will be assigned a court and a case number. 

After your uncontested divorce case is open, you and your spouse must fill out a final divorce decree that includes your agreed-upon terms for your split. When this document is complete, you must attend a quick hearing to give statements about the terms of your divorce agreement. The judge can sign your divorce decree and finalize your dissolution if 60 days have passed since you filed your petition.

Agreements You Must Make with Your Spouse 

In Texas, a divorce is uncontested when both spouses agree on all legal issues related to the dissolution of their marriage. These issues typically include:

  • Division of Property and Debts—Both spouses must agree on how to divide their marital property and debts.
  • Child Custody and Support—If there are any minor children the spouses share, the couple must agree on custody arrangements, decision-making rights, visitation schedules, and child support.
  • Spousal Support—While spousal support is not required, any agreements on alimony or spousal maintenance must be settled.

An uncontested divorce is generally easier, faster, and less costly than a contested divorce because it avoids the need for lengthy litigation and court battles. 

Uncontested Divorce by Default

A default divorce starts the same way as a contested or agreed divorce. You must: 

  • File your petition;
  • Have your spouse personally served; 
  • Notify the Attorney General, if applicable; and 
  • Fill out the final decree with your information and divorce terms covering property and debt division, child support, child custody, and spousal support. 

Your spouse has 20 days to answer your divorce petition from the date they are served. If there is no answer from your spouse and it has been 60 days since you filed your divorce petition, you can finalize your divorce by default. To finalize a default divorce, you must complete a certificate of last known mailing address for your spouse and a military status declaration, if applicable. 


You must also attend a hearing in court. During the hearing, you must make statements about your marriage, the nature of your divorce, and the fairness of your requests. If the judge agrees to grant your divorce, they will sign your final decree. You must then send a copy of the final decree to your spouse. 


An uncontested divorce may be less stressful than a typical divorce, but the process still requires plenty of paperwork and legal know-how. Consulting an attorney can ensure that your uncontested divorce moves forward without a hitch and its terms protect your interests.

We Can Protect and Support You

Ramos Law Group provides award-winning advocacy to individuals with family law needs in Texas. We focus exclusively on family law matters, and our firm is led by a board-certified family law attorney. If you need help with an uncontested divorce or any other family law issue, we are ready and able. 


Please contact us online or call us to schedule a consultation. 


Last Updated on July 3, 2024 by Mary E. Ramos

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Mary E. Ramos

Mary E. Ramos is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She is recognized and respected throughout the Houston legal community for dedication in effectively representing clients’ rights and interests. Mary understands the emotional side of divorce and brings a special compassion to each and every case.

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