How Does Divorce Work in Texas - An Overview of the Process

If you choose to end your marriage, gather all relevant information regarding the steps you will have to take. So, how does divorce work in Texas? Our overview will provide you with all of the necessary insights. We will cover the crucial matters and guide you through the entire procedure. If you follow the proven tips and reach a mutually beneficial agreement with your spouse, you can save yourself a lot of trouble and reduce costs.

A legal document.
How does a divorce in Texas work? Here's an overview of the process.

What Are the Steps of Divorce in Texas?

According to research conducted across the US, nearly 40% of married couples end up splitting. Family law is different in each state. Because of that, you should be extra careful when gathering facts and taking steps. These are the main stages you will need to go through:

  • The first step is filing for a divorce and paying the mandatory court fee,
  • The next step is providing formal notice to your spouse,
  • Once both parties are informed, a hearing should be scheduled,
  • If everything is settled, the former couple can sign the final decree.

These are the basic steps most people must take when getting divorced. However, there are some more complicated, lengthy, and costly processes.

Two wedding rings on a decree.
If you are getting divorced, follow these basic steps.

File for a Divorce

The first step of your Texas divorce process is filing a petition. The residence of both parties and its duration determine the jurisdiction. In addition to this, the spouse that initialized the procedure needs to present proof of payment for the required court costs. Once all paperwork is ready, the other partner should expect a formal notice.

Person holding a document.
Firstly, you must fill out a form and get your petition filed.

Notify the Spouse

If you want to end a marriage on good terms, you must communicate regularly. Still, having a chat with your (former to be) partner is insufficient. You must serve them with a legal notice as it is required by the law. If serving is unsuccessful for whichever reason, you can request the court to interfere and deliver it.

The Court Schedules the First Hearing

Before making decisions based on divorce laws in Texas for child custody and support, property division, and more, the court must call for at least one hearing. This is the stage when both partners must provide all relevant information and evidence. Still, some partners manage to reach a mutually beneficial agreement without an attorney or judge's interference. In this case, only the spouse who filed the petition needs to be present at the hearing, and this is mostly just a formality.

Courthouse mallet.
At least one hearing is required to decide on some vital aspects.

Signing the Final Decree

Once both sides have reached a mutual understanding and made an arrangement that suits everyone, they get to the final step of the process, which is the signing of the divorce decree, a document that confirms that the procedure has been finalized in the court of law.

However, if you want to get remarried soon after getting divorced, there is one crucial point you must know about. After the judge signs the decree, both parties can file an appeal for 30 days. Neither of the spouses can get married again until the decree is final and 30 days have passed from the moment the judge signed the decree.

Person signing a document.
Once the judge signs the decree, the whole thing is officially over.

How Long Does a Divorce Take in Texas?

Determining exactly how long it takes to get divorced in Texas is a bit tricky. There can be a huge difference between the duration and cost of the uncontested and contested divorce process. If there's no marital fault and both parties have reached an understanding regarding vital questions, they'd only need to wait until the cooling-off period is over. On the other hand, complicated cases can last as long as several years.

Couple getting divorced.
Every case is different and there is no way to know for sure how long it will take.

Uncontested (No-Fault) Divorce

If both sides essentially agree on all issues, you can file for an uncontested divorce. In this case, you don't have to visit the courthouse or get a lawyer who will prepare the documents and run the process on your behalf. This option is cheaper, less stressful, and much faster. If you are getting divorced during Covid, it means a lot to be able to file for divorce online, which is only possible in the uncontested scenario.

Cases When There Are Legal Grounds for Marital Fault

Lack of commitment, infidelity, and unresolvable conflicts are the most common issues that cause spousal break ups. On the other hand, the most common denominators among divorced people were marrying young, having limited education and low incomes, and premarital pregnancy.

Learn to spot the warning signs and be sure to know when to get divorced. Here are some legal grounds you must know of:

  • One party has a problem with alcohol or drug abuse,
  • Adultery, cheating, and bigamy by either of the spouses,
  • Mental illness or incapacity,
  • Facing psychological or physical abuse,
  • Impotence and sexual dysfunction during the marriage,
  • Imprisonment and other types of criminal conviction over the course of the marriage.

If you spot any of these red flags, you should file a petition which will include the reasons to get divorced as part of the mandatory Texas divorce requirements.

A judge's mallet.
You can legally file a petition based on marital fault.

How Long Do You Have to Be Separated Before You Can File for Divorce in Texas?

As we mentioned, almost every state has a different perspective and a different law for this particular matter. As for the state of Texas, you don't need to worry about how long you have to be separated before getting divorced because separation is not a requirement. One of the spouses should be a resident of the state for at least six months and a county resident for a minimum of 90 days. Still, every process that leads to getting divorced has the same waiting period. Here, the cooling-off lasts for 60 days. However, it might be necessary to consult an attorney regarding property division.

What Is a Wife Entitled to in a Divorce in Texas?

Property division is oftentimes a bit of a challenge. Many recently separated Texans choose to hire an attorney for this crucial matter. This is one of the 50/50 states, or in other words, a community property state. This means that all property obtained during the marriage belongs to both parties equally. All earnings made by either partner should be split evenly in case of no-fault divorce.

Woman taking the wedding ring off.
In every community property state, all assets should be split equally.

Get the Right Legal Help and Learn How Does Divorce Work in Texas

If you still have some doubts regarding how divorce works in Texas, contact some reliable legal services and make sure to gather all information you need. Having the right (and unbiased) attorney by your side is especially important when you must deal with child support and child custody matters. And if you've managed to reach an agreement, you likely even qualify to get a divorce online.