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:

Uncontested Divorce Forms

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Am I Eligible?

An uncontested divorce in Texas is an option if:

  1. both spouses will agree to the terms of the divorce; &
  2. one spouse has lived in Texas for at least six months.

Comments 300

  1. Filed for divorce almost 61 days ago. Wife permanently lives in another country, but was able to sign and notarize the Waiver of Citation. Does she have to sign and notarize the Final Decree as well before I call into the court for a court date?

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  2. If it’s a non-contested divorce and we are still working out terms etc. Does the 61 days go in effect when the final decree is ageeed upon and submitted to the court? Can the final decree have Ex-spouse still on health insurance if desired?

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      The 60 day cooling off period starts from the date the petition is filed. In other words, the divorce decree can not be signed by the judge until the expiration of 60 days after filing of the petition. Often times, the spouses will sign the decree well before the judge does.

  3. After the final decree of divorce is submitted how much time more less does it take for court to give me a court date to finalize divorce?

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  4. How long after the final decree is submitted to the associate judge for prove up will a court date be set for the final decree to be signed by the judge?

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      Many associate judges will handle the prove-up hearings and then submit the decree to the judge for signature (w/o another hearing).

  5. I am same sex marriage. Got married in oklahoma and the following year in Texas when it became legal. We both live and reside in texas. If we file for divorce in Texas do we still need to file for divorce in oklahoma. If we stay married in oklahoma are we still considered married in Texas?

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      You file for divorce in only one place. Since you reside in Texas, Texas courts will have jurisdiction to declare the divorce.

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      You’ll need to attend a prove-up hearing (assuming both spouses agree to the terms of the divorce by signing the divorce decree) and ask the judge to sign the decree. Each court is a little different in how they handle these hearings, so you’ll need to call the court coordinator and ask how your particular court handles/sets prove-up hearings.

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