Divorce Procedure

How do I prove fault for divorce?

Fault will typically be proved 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.).

How and where is a divorce complaint filed?

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.

What forms do I need to file for a divorce in Texas?

In order to file a divorce, you will need a Petition for Divorce. If children are involved you may also need a Health Insurance Availability Affidavit and if a party is out of state—a UCCJEA Affidavit, which states the last addresses of the children.

What if I am in the military or work abroad?

If you are in the military and out of state, you can file in Texas as long as either you or your spouse meets the residency requirements and if your spouse is out of state, can be served within Texas, has “minimum contacts” with Texas relating to the divorce and/or meets statutory provisions allowing the court to exercise jurisdiction over out of state residents.

After I file for divorce, do I have to continue to live in Texas?

If children are not involved in the divorce, then you absolutely do not have to continue to live in this state. 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, is also important to consider whether or not you will be able to exercise regular possession and access to your children.

What if my spouse does not want to divorce?

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. However, the case can be set for hearings and/or final trial to push the case along.

At what point during the process can a spouse remarry or start dating?

A spouse can remarry as soon as the final decree of divorce is entered and the requisite waiting period (72 hours) for a new marriage license is met. It is recommended that the parties not date during the divorce process. Dating during the divorce process may affect issues surrounding child possession and access. Your spouse may also harbor ill feelings that could potentially create complications during the divorce process.

If attempts to serve my spouse do not work, what is my next step?

If a process server is not able to serve your spouse, you can petition the court to either serve your spouse via certified mail or by publication. Serving your spouse by certified mail means that we will mail a copy of the citation and petition to the last known address of your spouse and that will trigger service. The other alternative is to serve your spouse by publication, which means that notice of the filing of your petition will be published in a local newspaper or newspapers. Service by publication takes a little bit longer than the other methods of Read more

Do I have to go to court for a divorce?

In an agreed divorce, a divorce is granted upon one of the parties showing up at the time set by the court and attending a “prove-up” hearing. During the “prove-up” hearing, either the judge or the attorney will ask the parties standard questions about the decree (i.e. residency, whether the parties agreed, if the terms are in the best interests of the parties, etc.) and the judge will sign the final decree and it will be filed with the court. If the terms of the divorce cannot be agreed upon by the parties, then the parties will have to go Read more