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Navigating Uncontested Divorce in Texas: Court Appearances and Child Custody

Going through an uncontested divorce in Houston, TX, especially when there are children involved, can raise many questions. Is a court appearance necessary? What about child custody? 

Even if you and your partner have decided to end your marriage amicably, handling the legal details and ensuring a smooth transition for your children can be complicated.

Understanding the necessary court appearances and how child custody will be determined is necessary to protect your rights and those of your children. Our knowledgeable Texas divorce attorney explains the process below, specifically addressing court appearances and child custody arrangements in an uncontested Texas divorce.

Understanding Texas Law and Uncontested Divorce

Texas is a “no-fault” divorce state, meaning neither you nor your spouse need to prove the other’s wrongdoing to obtain a divorce. 

In most cases, this results in an uncontested divorce, where spouses agree on key aspects such as property division, child custody, and the reason for the divorce. This streamlined approach is more efficient and cost-effective than contentious divorces.

It’s important to note that there is a 60-day mandatory waiting period before issuing the final decree. This waiting period can be valuable to ensure your decisions are well-considered and discuss future arrangements with your children.

Eligibility for Uncontested Divorce in Texas

The Texas Family Code provides the legal guidelines for uncontested divorces and has specific requirements to file:

  • Residency. At least one spouse must be a resident of Texas for at least six months prior to filing for divorce and a resident of the county in which you wish to file for at least 90 days before filing for divorce.
  • Mutual agreement. Both parties must agree on all relevant issues, including property division, child custody (if applicable), and spousal support (if applicable).
  • Child custody considerations. Even with children involved, uncontested divorces are still an option. However, the agreement must address parental rights and responsibilities, residential restrictions (if any), child support calculations, and a detailed visitation schedule.
  • Financial disclosures. Both spouses must disclose all assets and liabilities in a sworn inventory. Failure to do so may result in the divorce being contested.

Although uncontested divorces appear straightforward, consulting with our experienced family law lawyers is highly recommended to guarantee all documents comply with Texas laws.

Do I Have to Go to Court For Uncontested Divorce in Texas?

While uncontested divorces are faster and less complex than contested ones, a court appearance is still mandatory in Texas to finalize the divorce. During this brief court appearance, also known as a ‘prove-up hearing,’ the judge: 

  • Ensures all legal requirements are met; 
  • Verifies the parties’ identities;
  • Reviews its details; 
  • Confirms the agreement is voluntary; 
  • Establishes that both parties understand the lasting consequences and 
  • Finalizes the divorce.

Despite being less stressful than contested divorce hearings, these uncontested court appearances are crucial in the process of ensuring a fair and legal resolution for all parties involved.

Child Custody Agreements in Texas Uncontested Divorces

The state prioritizes the “best interests of the child” in all custody decisions. When submitting a Texas uncontested divorce decree that includes child, it must include your comprehensive parenting plan that contains the following details:


Also known as decision-making authority, this determines who has the legal right to make significant decisions regarding the child’s well-being, such as education, healthcare, and religious practices. You and your spouse will need to decide between two options: 

  • Joint managing conservatorship or shared decision-making, or 
  • Sole managing conservatorship where one parent has primary decision-making authority. 

Texas family courts typically prefer joint managing conservatorship because it involves parents sharing decision-making responsibilities for the children based on their best interests.

Possession Schedule 

This outlines a clear and detailed visitation schedule, ensuring each parent has quality time with the child. The possession or parenting schedule may include holidays, school breaks, and special occasions to make sure both parents have ample time with the children. 

Child Support Calculations 

Texas Child Support Guidelines establish minimum support amounts based on the supporting parent’s earnings and the number of children. The Texas Attorney General’s Office provides valuable information and resources for those paying and receiving child support in Texas.

Even if you and your spouse agree on these points beforehand, the court has the final say in approving the parenting plan to ensure it genuinely reflects the child’s best interests.

Get Help with your Houston Uncontested Divorce from The Ramos Law Group, PLLC.

Filing an uncontested divorce in Houston, especially one involving children, requires knowledge of local court policies and procedures. Our award-winning family law team, led by Board Certified Family Law attorney Mary E. Ramos, serves Houston and the nearby areas of Harris, Galveston, Brazoria, and Fort Bend counties and is dedicated to protecting your future and your children’s best interests. 

We recognize that going through an uncontested divorce with children in Texas can be a challenging process, both emotionally and legally. Contact us online to schedule a no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced divorce and family law attorneys.

Last Updated on April 18, 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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