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 I get a post nuptial agreement made in California, then we both move residency to Texas and file there for divorce after a year, will the CA post nuptial hold up in Texas?

  2. My divorce process is already on day 70 and the judge hasn’t signed yet. My wife is the petitioner and also filed for:
    -Final Decree
    -Notice of appearance (I believe this is so her layer will do the appearance for her)
    -Prove Up Affidavit (to prove up agreed final decree of divorce)
    -BVS Form
    We filed for an uncontested divorce. We both signed waivers for evaluation appraisers, and representing that the decree filed contains and express terms that have been agreed upon between us. We have read the Agreed Final Decree of Divorce fully and completely, have had the opportunity to ask any questions regarding the same, and fully understand that the contents of this Agreed FinalDecree of Divorce constitute a full and complete resolution of this case.
    When the judge finally signs the divorce, can my wife change her mind and request changes on the terms?

    1. Post

      Typically, the Petitioner will present the Agreed Divorce Decree to the judge for signature at a “prove-up hearing”.

  3. My husband filed for divorce.(1)Does he have the right to file a divorce lawsuit if he has not lived in Texas for the last 6 months on the day he sued? He has lived in Dallas for 5 and a half months on the day he sued. (2)China is the last place where we lived together as a married couple. Actually, we lived together in China from Sep. 2017 to Mar. 2021. My husband provided wrong information that Texas is the last state where we lived together as a married couple to Taxes District court.(2)My husband wrote wrong dates of separation of Otc.2020, the right date is Mar.2021.
    He provided the above three false information to the court. Is his lawsuit illegal? Is it invalid? Can I ask the court to dismiss his claim?
    I live in China and cannot go to the Texas at the moment. If he comes to China to sue, we may appear in the court at the same time, it will help us to provide the documents needed by the court equally and accurately, making it easier to achieve a fair judgment. We have lived together in China for 3 and a half years, and China is also our last place of residence as a married couple. Can I apply to the court for him to sue for divorce in China?

  4. What happens if spouse does not want to sign divorce decree and submitted answer form and has agreement signed by a judge, can divorce be granted.

  5. My divorce is uncontested. My ex signed the petition, waiver of service, and marital agreement. He is stalling on the decree. What happens if I go to the prove up hearing and the decree is not signed by him?

    1. Post

      The court will assume your spouse does not agree to the terms of the decree and will want you to meditate your difference before setting a trial date.

  6. If I file for a divorce and my spouse is refusing to answer my calls , and I don’t know where he lives now, am I able to send paper work to his employer. It’s the only contact I have for him.

  7. I have had a divorce pending since 2017 when my wife had me served out of the blue. That same year, I moved to another city and in 2019 we both signed an uncontested final decree of divorce in front of a notary and got it notarized to turn in to the court back in the county of the original petition. Due to moving again and Covid these documents never reached the courts and now I am be served again with an “Amended Petition”. In this case, does the original petition and notarized Final decree still stand? Some of the major differences in this is now I’m an “Adulterer” per the new documents and she’s suing for spousal support and putting a restraining order on me as if she needs it.

  8. Do I have the right to request that my spouse still be responsible (even just temporarily) for the mortgage payment, possibly the car note as well? If so, on what document of the divorce papers do I state that request?

  9. I filed pro se but now I’m having issues with my spouse and refuses to sign any response. Can I still be granted my divorce?

  10. How long after the proof hearing will the divorce be signed off by the judge and finalized and how long after it is final to you have to wait to remarry. We have been seperated 18 years so we have both moved on.

  11. I filed a divorce petition EFile and it was accepted in Travis County. My spouse signed a waiver. Three days after petition and it was accepted via EFile. Will the court mail or email a court date? When Do the Final Decree need to be submitted

  12. My wife said she would cooperate and sign divorce papers so I recommended that she complete an answer after I filed my petition for divorce. Now she has changed her mind and doesn’t want to sign the final decree or be involved with the divorce in any way–she does not want to divorce. My understanding is that the divorce is now contested and that I have to request a contested final hearing. What will happen when she does not show up for the hearing? Will the judge consider the final decree I’ve already completed or rule independently?

  13. Can a waiver for the 30 day probation period be presented to the judge with the final decree on the court date? We have a court date. Are there steps to take before court for the waiver? Divorce is uncontested. No children.

  14. My spouse filed in April this year , I have not received any paper work but it said the final divorce decree was signed by me but not the wavier so the hearing was passed as it had not been 60 days in the state of Texas . I live in Alabama so im not sure who signed papers for all this but I know I didn’t.

  15. I talked with my spouse and told him I am going to file for divorce and he said go ahead but he won’t tell me specifically where he is. He gave me the general idea where he is and said that if I file, then he will meet me and sign all the paperwork. My concern is if I mark on my original filing paperwork that he doesn’t need to be served at this time and he decides to ghost me, what are my options?

  16. How do I go on to the next step in getting my divorce finalized as the respondent now that my husband says he can’t write the final decree??? I need this divorce…

  17. My husband has worked in TX and had an apartment here for the last 3 years; however, I have just moved to TX in the last month. Would he be considered a resident of both states? Would I have to wait till we have both had our resident here for 6 months? The other resident wasn’t to establish a home here, just for work.

  18. The final decree of divorce was signed by the judge. Is there anything else I’m supposed to do once it’s signed? It’s been over a month and I haven’t received notice or seen payment of any kind on child support. How soon after the decree is signed does the child support go into effect?

  19. I have efiled for divorce and the court has accepted the filing. How much time do I have to arrange to have papers served?

    1. Post
  20. My husband and I agreed to an uncontested divorce. The original petition has been accepted and I sent him the waiver to sign, but he hasn’t. The 20 days are almost up, what are my options if he doesn’t sign within the timeframe? If I serve him, do the 20 days start over?

    1. Post

      Correct, you would serve your husband and he would have until the Monday following the 20th day from being served to file a response.

  21. What should I do if I filed a petition in the wrong county? Can I transfer the case to the correct county? This is an agreed divorce with no children and no property.

    I filed in Harris County but I live in Fort Bend, and the judge has declined to sign.

  22. I want to cancel my divorce because we reconciled. What is the process if you are 2 weeks over the cool off period.

    1. Post
  23. What happens if the divorce has been filed but the spouse hasn’t been served? Does the 60 day countdown still apply or only once the spouse has been served?

  24. My boyfriend had got married on 08/2010 in another State, they lived together for 5 months & then split up. No kids / No property together. He’s not seen nor heard from her since, nor do we know where she is today. He move to Tx in early 2014 & has live here ever since. We both live paycheck to paycheck & do not have the money for lawyer. It’s very costly to hire someone to nail down her location to deliver an “official” notification. It’s been over 11yrs since their split & they only lived together 5 months after they married. How does one get a divorce from a spouse who plays “cat & mouse” like games or does not want to be found?? Maybe I’m misunderstanding the legal lingo, does Tx law not allow for a cases where 1 spouse just Disappears & Does not want to be found or respond to the other???
    Thank you in advance.

  25. I filed a petition for divorce in Aug. 2020, and the defendant moved out of town and I haven’t been able to contact him. I finally was able to find an address on him and had him served. I found out that I didn’t properly have him served because I didn’t;t first enter a citation of service with the court first. He signed the waiver of service and it has been submitted to the court.I haven’t been able to get him to sign the final decree of divorce, may I move forward with the divorce with ought him signing anything. Also OG has intervened on the case for the child support. How do I finalize this case so I can finally put this behind me.

  26. I’m in desperate need of a divorce. My husband & I got married in July 2005 & were separated by Sept 2005. I tried to get an annulment at the time but the county we resided in stated that I had to file for a divorce. Attempted Legal Aid but was denied due to my income. So I had quiet a few consultations with different attorneys. This was in 2005 not one attorney wanted less than $2500! Grant it we had no assets or property together just 3 sons but I had already was legally established their legal guardian. I couldn’t afford that factoring in that I had 3 sons & was a single parent. Fast forward to roughly 3 years ago I had the forms drawn up for my divorce but since I have not any contact with this man since 2005 & he lives out of state currently. I want a divorce so bad but have felt helpless in getting this resolved. Our children are now adults too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *