Making sense of the uncontested divorce process in Texas.

Service by publication takes a little bit longer than the other methods of service, as there is a longer period of time that must past before the answer is due.

If your spouse does not file an answer by the answer due date, a default judgment can be entered. If your spouse does not want the divorce, you are still able to pursue the divorce on your own. A default judgment can be pursued if your spouse decides to completely ignore the petition for divorce.

Typically when one spouse does not want the divorce, they will draw out the process as long as possible and create issues.

Unlike other state issues surrounding support, custody, alimony and property have to be decided before the divorce is final. In order to file a divorce case in Texas, certain residency requirements must be met. First, a party must be a domiciliary of the state for the preceding 6-month period. The second requirement is that a party must be a resident of the county in which the suit is filed for the preceding day period. If children are not involved in the divorce, then you absolutely do not have to continue to live in Texas.

However, if you are awarded primary possession of the children, the court can restrict the state and counties where you are able to live. When children are involved, it is also important to consider whether you will be able to exercise regular possession and access to your children. Texas residents serving in the military and stationed outside of Texas may still be a considered a Texas resident. Military personnel who have not previously resided in Texas, but have been stationed at one or more Texas military bases for at least the last six months and at a military base in a county of Texas for the previous 90 days, are considered Texas residents and residents of that county for the purpose of filing a divorce.

In order to file a Texas divorce, you will need a Petition for Divorce. The divorce complaint is typically filed with either the county court or the district court in the county where either you or your spouse meet the residency requirements. The divorce complaint is filed by presenting the actual complaint along with the requisite filing fees to the clerk who will then file your complaint, assign you a court and issue citation to the opposing party. Either a private process server or constable will personally serve the divorce petition on your spouse or service by certified mail or publication is also an option.

You will have to wait the day waiting period in order to receive your final decree of divorce. If the terms of the divorce cannot be agreed upon by the parties, then the parties will have to go to Final Trial in which the parties will conduct a full trial calling witnesses, testifying, and presenting evidence after which the court or jury will decide the terms of the divorce.

Texas Divorce - Contested and Uncontested Divorce | Thompson Law

The terms will then be drawn up into a divorce decree that will govern the divorce. If you do not have an attorney to ask the questions at the prove-up hearing, the judge will assist and ask the standard prove-up questions. Fault will typically be proven by the court hearing evidence relating to adultery, cruelty, felony conviction and abandonment.

The court can hear witness testimony and can also consider hard evidence e-mails, documents, print outs of Facebook posts, etc. Yes, a party can be legally married if: they agree to be married; if they live as husband and wife, together in Texas; and if they hold themselves out to be married to others. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. Office in Ridgeland, MS. Offices in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, PA.

Kimberly Lewellen licensed in CA only. Lauren Dabule, Florida Resident Partner. Tampa, FL. Call our office today at. What are the grounds for filing for divorce in Texas? There are seven grounds for divorce allowed under Texas law. What is the cost of divorce in Texas? Can I afford it? Do I really need to hire a Texas divorce attorney? They continued to live together after divorce until the ex-wife died in December The ex-husband wanted to know if there was anything that could be done as he had been paying on the policy for over ten years.

Unfortunately, in his case, the law does not favor him in this case as I will discuss below. It is essential to change the beneficiary on your life insurance beneficiary policy after a divorce in Texas. It is not uncommon for people to forget to change their beneficiary designations after a divorce. For this reason, the Texas legislature passed a law to address the situation.


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An ex-spouse will not be able to collect on the pre-divorce life insurance policy unless they meet one of the three preceding criteria. Keep in mind that if the insurance company is not informed that the parties have divorced and the ex-spouse should not be paid the benefits, it is possible the insurance company may pay the former spouse.

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In such a case, it could be costly and difficult to recover the money. Alternatively, after the divorce, he could have beneficiary re-designated as a beneficiary. The internet is a great source for referencing information, learning a new recipe, and updating your friends on the latest and greatest coffee shop in town. However, it's been my experience that looking for answers to your divorce problems online is not only a potential mistake but a costly one as well. A situation that is familiar enough begins with the parties to a divorce striking a deal between themselves to file for an "uncontested" divorce.

They've agreed to their terms and just want to make things official with the court. What often ends up happening is that the parties fail to consider a potential issue with custody of their child ren , or a debt that is not transferred correctly to the other spouse. Being able to get some advice from an attorney on these sorts of subjects has the potential to impact you and your spouse in a positive fashion.

A lot of times, these quick and easy divorce websites are selling you the same forms you may be able to get for free from your local district clerk. That's not even considering the advice and counsel that a licensed and experienced attorney can provide you on completing the initial court filings. Another near-universal truth of these websites that offer quick and easy divorces is that they puff their chests about customer support and service. However, there is no guarantee that the person on the other end of the phone or chat screen is an attorney. Quite the contrary, it's likely not a lawyer at all, and it's even less likely that they're a lawyer licensed in Texas.

Not Helpful 9 Helpful Yes, although this may slow the divorce process down, resulting in more court expenses and a longer process. As such, this is not recommended. Not Helpful 2 Helpful My daughter was left at my home two years ago by her husband, saying he couldn't support her and their child. He never did anything, and now that my daughter has filed for divorce, he says he will never pay child support.

What can I do to help her? Take it to court and they will order him to pay child support after a paternity test confirms he is the father. If you cannot afford to take it to court alone, seek help from the financial aid office through your local district attorney's office. They will do the dirty work for you. Not Helpful 1 Helpful 9. What can I do if I want a divorce but I don't know where my spouse is? If you do not know where your spouse is, you will need to give legal notice by posting posting the paperwork at the courthouse or by publication publishing a legal notice in the newspaper.

Go to TexasLawHelp. Do I need to file online first, or can I go to the clerk's office and file everything together? You cannot file online in Texas. If you have an attorney, she can e-file for you.

Pro Se Divorce Handbook

But you will have to physically go to the county clerk's office, or someone can carry the papers and file them for you. Not Helpful 4 Helpful No, Texas does not practice common law marriages. If you have kids, you will need a custody hearing, even if you do not have to file for divorce.

Not Helpful 16 Helpful My spouse inherited royalties while we were married set up as a trust. Is that considered community property? Inherited property or any type of inheritance is not considered community property. However, if the inheritance is taken out of it's original form when inherited such as inherited stock sold and used to purchase something else , then the item or investment purchased becomes community property. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 2. A house was purchased in my spouse's name 6 months prior to our 23 year marriage - do I have any entitlement?

That depends on whether you signed a prenup. If not, then you have very little way of gaining access to the house. If you did, however, and you have kids with him and have rights to the kids, you stand a fighting chance. If no kids are involved it's up to the judge, but he most likely will keep the house since he bought it before the marriage.

Not Helpful 0 Helpful 0. Unanswered Questions. How do I proceed with filing for divorce if my spouse has abandoned the marriage? Answer this question Flag as Flag as How do I stay living with my spouse for the children when we've gotten a divorce? Do we have to decree that in the divorce papers? My husband was from South America.

He went back there in How do I file for a divorce? When should I file a divorce decree when filing for divorce in Texas without a lawyer? Will my spouse having debt affect me if we're getting a divorce? Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.

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The handbook provides detailed information on divorce in Texas and representing yourself in court. Related wikiHows. Article Info This article was co-authored by Clinton M. Did this article help you? Cookies make wikiHow better. By continuing to use our site, you agree to our cookie policy. Co-Authored By:. Co-authors: Updated: March 29, How specific each step was, how detailed each step's explanations were, including all of the great examples given, and even the pictures showing what the forms look like.

And I am very pleased with the additional support websites given. RV Rigoberto Valdez Feb 22, Been separated for 4 years and would like to get divorced. No children, no properties. MH Michael Harmon Jan 6, Lots of good, free resources. CN Cindy Neros Aug 9, It made the process easy and I was able to understand it. ML Mike Livingston Aug 7, ND Nita Dulany Apr 25, AK Abe Kab Sep 14, WV William V. Sep 23, JC Jacqueline Craig Mar 7, LH Lola Harris May 11, Share yours! More success stories All success stories Hide success stories.