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 411

  1. I filed for divorce on October 30, 2019 but now I want to have it dismissed as we have decided against obtaining the divorce. How do I proceed to cancel this?

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    How can I find out if my spouse filed for a divorce in Texas? He said that he filed in May. We are now in October and I haven’t received any filing paperwork. We are not in speaking terms.

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      You would need to search for the case in the District Clerk’s records of the correct County. If he filed, he likely filed in the County where he resides.

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    My husband and I are in the divorce process. We do not have child and we are uncontested divorce. I am the respondent. Can I file “Answer” instead of “Waiver of service”?

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      In an uncontested divorce (one where both spouses sign the Decree of Divorce), the Petitioner normally goes to court alone (handles the prove up hearing alone). The Respondent may attend the prove up hearing if he/she desires, but is not required to even if the Respondent files an Answer.

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    My husband is a convicted felon and is in TDC, I support my self i don’t have the finances to pay for a divorce.He will not contest a divorce but im unsure how to do a online interview to see if im eligible for any help.My husband has been incarcerated for over 6 yrs. Is there anyway to get a divorce at little to know cost?

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      Tracy, you can get a divorce even if your spouse is incarcerated. A divorce attorney can handle for you or you can use a divorce form provider to generate customized divorce forms. You can use this link to read more about Texas divorce forms. You’ll file the initial paperwork (the “Petition for Divorce”) and then you’ll eventually need to get your spouse to sign the Decree of Divorce. The warden should be able to coordinate getting your spouse to sign the decree.

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    my daughter and her boyfriend have been living together for 5 yrs, and they have a1 yr old daughter. HEe is wanting my daughter to have another child but she cant with the weight of him still being still married. The problem is her boyfriend was married 9 yrs ago and him and his wife have been separated for 7 or 8 yrs. They have no children or any thing to divide. The woman has been in relationships with other people over the yrs they have been separated. I am trying to figure out how much around about would a divorce cost if they both agree to iT. My daughters boy friend . is living pay check to pay check. i see all the addS online but not sure if they are legal. Can you head me in the right direction? Thank you for your time and hopefully you can help. we live in Texas.

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      Hello Kathy. This would a straightforward uncontested divorce. There are many uncontested divorce form providers that charge $150-$300 and they will provide customized divorce forms along with instructions on how to use them. Read more about Texas divorce forms.

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    so, my ex-wife and i have the final decree of divorce notarized. what do i do now? ive been told many different things. as far as i know, do i just submit the paperwork to the court i filed through? or is there another step im missing? thanks in advance! im not very sure on what im doing here, so all the info given would be deeply appreciated!

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      Most courts will require you to present the fully executed divorce decree at a “prove-up” hearing. You typically have to provide testimony about the decree when you present to the judge. You’ll want to call the court clerk and ask how your particular judge handle’s “uncontested prove up hearings for divorce decrees”. You can find a script template to read to the court here:

      Hearing Script Without Children
      Hearing Script With Children

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    I filed my petition for divorce 10 months ago with the court. My spouse claims to to have signed the paperwork but has not sent it back to the court. Is there a time limit in which the court will push it through without her consent?

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      Each court handles a little differently. If the petitioner wants to proceed without the respondent’s reply, the petitioner must file a motion for default judgment. If no action is taken by the petitioner, the court should eventually dismiss the case.

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