Filing for Divorce in Texas
There are specific steps that need to be properly taken to successfully file for divorce in Texas.
The process of filing for divorce in the State of Texas will vary slightly depending on the particulars of your situation. Overall, however, the process will definitely involve a substantial amount of paperwork and procedural hurdles that need to be overcome to successfully complete the process. First and foremost, the residency requirement needs to be met. If the residency requirement is not met, you will not be able to even begin the divorce process. In Texas, you or your spouse must be a resident of the state for at least 6 months before filing. You must also be prepared to show that you and your spouse have been living apart for at least 2 years.
If you meet the residency requirement, a Petition for Divorce must be filed with the clerk of court’s office to start the process. This form must include the grounds for divorce and other basic information relating to the marriage. It must be signed and notarized prior to filing. The Petition must be filed in the county where you and your spouse lived when you separated or the county where you or your spouse live.
There are two types of divorce in Texas, fault and no-fault divorce. With a no-fault divorce or “uncontested” divorce, the grounds for the divorce are listed as “irreconcilable differences.” In a fault divorced, the divorce is “contested.” This type of divorce requires specific grounds for the divorce and proof of those grounds. Some of the accepted grounds for a contested divorce include:
- Living separately for two years with no minor children
- Habitual drunkenness or drug abuse
- Impotency and sterility
- Willful or malicious desertion for one full year without reasonable cause
- Conviction of a felony.
The Petition for Divorce must be served on the non-filing spouse. In an uncontested divorce, there is no need for a formal process server. The filing spouse, or “petitioner,” can deliver the Petition by hand or mail. In a contested divorce, The Petition and summons will need to be served on the non-filing spouse through use of a formal process server or sheriff’s deputy. He or she may sign a Waiver of Service of Process in which case he or she may be served by mail. The non-filing spouse will need to sign a form stating that he or she received the Petition and will file a response with the court.
You will have to wait a minimum of 60 days after filing the Petition for a hearing with the court. If there are minor children involved, you must wait a minimum of 90 days. If your divorce is uncontested, it is likely that your divorce will be granted at this hearing. If your divorce is contested, the hearing will be the first of many as your case moves toward trial
While an uncontested divorce may be easier to achieve than a contested divorce, both have their difficulties. There will be seemingly endless paperwork that needs to be properly filled out. There will be spouses that switch back and forth between agreeing to and contesting the divorce. Problems arise in either case. Contact the skilled Fort Worth divorce lawyers at the Law Office of Kyle Whitaker, we streamline the divorce process for you and protect your best interests. Going through a divorce is difficult, let us make the legal burden lighter for you. Contact us by calling (817) 332-7703 or contact us online.