There is a step-by-step divorce process in Texas.
For those who are considering ending their marriage, the question of where to start and the sheer gravity of the decision often make divorce a difficult decision. Add to that a belief that children might be negatively impacted, and many put off an inevitable decision to separate.
Nonetheless, some marriages are headed for divorce regardless of how long that decision is put off.
The Texas family law attorneys at the Tidwell Law Firm can help you untangle your finances, create a visitation schedule, and hammer out child and spousal support payments.
Here is everything you need to know about the process for divorce in Texas.
Before You File for Divorce
Before you file for divorce in Texas, you should have some idea of what your ideal post-divorce future looks like.
- Do you want to go back to school?
- Do you plan on working?
- What will child custody arrangements look like?
- Will you need spousal and/or child support?
- Do you believe the other parent is fit to have access to the children?
- Do you believe the other parent should have decision making powers over the children’s educational and health care needs?
- Do you have access or copies of all significant personal financial records?
You may not know the answers to these questions, but once you have considered them, you should then proceed to step one.
The First Step in the Process of Divorce in Texas
You can find Texas petitions for divorce on official Texas government websites.
There are some services that may charge you a fee, but there’s no reason to pay for forms that you can access for nothing online. Those filing for divorce will fill out different forms for different situations. Below is a list of the forms you may need.
- Original Petition for Divorce (No kids)
- Original Petition for Divorce (With kids / No prior orders)
- Commonly requested divorce forms
You will fill out the appropriate original petition for divorce form and then file it with the county clerk. There will be a filing fee of around $300.
Giving Legal Notice
You will need to give legal notice of the divorce to the spouse you intend on divorcing.
This means delivering the notice in person using an official server. Your spouse then confirms receipt of the notice or waives their right to be formally served by signing a notice in front of a notary public.
Will Your Divorce be Contested?
Texas allows couples to file no-fault or fault-based grounds for divorce.
Almost all fault-based divorces will be contested. But also, some no-fault divorces are contested as well. Contesting means that the respondent does not agree to the terms of the divorce – division of property and debts, conservatorship and possession of the children, or the amount of child support. In this case, a judge will intervene and, in some cases, juries will get involved.
Contested divorces are much more expensive that uncontested divorces. However, even an initially contested divorce may be settled at mediation without proceeding to the final step of trial.
Talk to a Texas Divorce Attorney
While many “divorce” or “child custody and support” forms are available, attorney representation is often more than filing forms for the parties.
Generally, when it comes to negotiating child custody, spousal support, child support, and the division of community property, the process can get a little tricky.
When the spouses come together to make decisions on their own, they may only need a lawyer to facilitate the process and file the appropriate forms. If you need the court to intervene, then you will need experienced representation to ensure your interests are seen to.
schedule your free consultation.