Texas Divorce Process

Overview of the divorce process in Texas

Prior to making the decision to proceed with a divorce in Texas, it is a good idea to become familiar with the divorce basics and the key issues that must be addressed in the divorce process.

Texas Divorce Basics

Names of the Parties: The spouse that files the petition for divorce (i.e. initiates the divorce with the court) is known as the "Petitioner". The other spouse is known as the "Respondent".

Jurisdiction: Texas courts only have jurisdiction to grant divorces for Texas residents. So, one of the spouses must be a Texas resident for 6 months prior to the date the petition for divorce is filed in Texas.

Venue: At least one spouse must reside in the county where the divorce is filed for at least 90 days prior to the filing of the divorce petition.

No Fault: Texas is a No Fault Divorce State. "No Fault" means that one spouse DOES NOT have to prove the other spouse has done anything wrong in order to obtain a divorce. You CAN NOT be held in a marriage if the other spouse does not want to sign or refuses to participate in the divorce process.

Cooling Off Period: Texas courts cannot grant a divorce until 61 days have passed from the date the petition was filed. This cooling off period supposedly helps couples who change their mind.

Appeal Period: After the divorce decree is signed by the judge, each spouse can technically file an appeal for 30 days. As such, neither spouse can get married until the divorce decree is final (30 days has elapsed from the date in which the judge signed divorce decree).

Grounds for a divorce in Texas

  • Adultery
  • Abandonment
  • Confinement for incurable insanity for three years
  • Conviction of a felony and imprisonment for over one year
  • Cruel and inhuman treatment.
  • Insupportability - This is the catchall that almost all divorces are filed under. Insupportability means “discord or conflict of personalities” that has prevented any “reasonable expectation of reconciliation.”

The 6 Step Texas Divorce Process:

Comments 511

  1. If temporary orders have been put in place and your spouse files a Request for De Novo Hearing, can you and your spouse come to an agreed upon settlement before the De Novo Hearing? or Before the final Hearing without using our attorneys?

  2. On the Original Petition for Divorce, Section 4 – Dates of Marriage and Seperation. The question of “We stopped living together as sppuses on or about….. is that in reference to the date we decided to divorce or the date that any party moved out of the home?

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      Serve him and get a default judgment if he does not file a response. If he files a response, you will likley need to go to trial.

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      Uncontested divorce means both sides agree to all of the terms of the divorce. If only one side signs, the judge will assume the non-signing party does not agree to the divorce (or the terms of the divorce).

  4. We filed for divorce through lawyers but agreed to a separation that we did on our own. Do you have to do something through the lawyers to stop the divorce process or with it die on its own with the court without any action after so many days?

  5. Ok 2 ?’s sorry. But once the divorce is finalized how long does the other party have to start paying child support? My husband told me 6 months yesterday?? And 2, does Texas still have orders of alimony/spousal support?

  6. Hello, my spouse in the USA filed for divorce after I left the abusive marriage. I left the USA and have no intention of returning nor any means of traveling. I signed the original divorce petition (that my spouse sent me) and agreed with everything. Recently, I learned that a final divorce decree hearing – in-person – has been scheduled!!! I called the court coordinator to advise that I cannot attend and how do I go about attending via phone or Zoom. She was unable to give me any advice and says that all court cases are happening in person. I asked her what will happen when I don’t appear in court, she could not say. I cannot afford an attorney. I have had no contact with my spouse since I left, but it’s obvious that the case is now being contested. What should I do, seeing that I don’t want the judge to issue a default judgment for whatever it is that’s being contested.

  7. My wife has filed a Petition for divorce and I just received the petition today. The petition states that if the petitioner and respondent do not come to an agreement that the judge will immediately make the decision concerning division of property, Is this the case or must we both get a lawyer if we cannot agree. Plus my wife works in around all the judges attorneys etc.. shouldnt a change of venue be requested

  8. Hi! My wife filed for divorce and I wanted to know under what grounds, how can I find that out? I love in Nevada and was curious, Thank you

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      You would need to view the Petition for Divorce. There should be a section in the Petition that states the grounds for divorce.

  9. My husband is in prison and is charges are from him betting on me and we can’t have content with each other and he been in prison sent 2015 and might get out 2024 I just want a divorce and get married to the man God sent to me going on 4 years

  10. my husband filed a contested divorce and jumped state. today was another status conference and he was supposed to be there , they threw it out, and i dont know what to file contested or non contested because he wants my ssi check and i have no children with him and he wants my check, and i dont want anything from him. I dont know what to file or what to do.

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      Uncontested divorce is only complete when the spouses can agree on everything (i.e. the spouses are not asking the judge to decide for them).

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