How To

How The Divorce Process Works in Texas

Divorces are hard, and it becomes more challenging if you don’t know about the divorce process. Every state has different divorce processes and guidelines. For example, Texas has different complex legal situations than Louisiana. 

If you’re living in Texas, understanding the Texas divorce laws and the process will help you go through this difficult situation more smoothly.    

We’re here to explain the five main stages of divorce in Texas. We have also described the rules and guidelines for filing a divorce in Texas court. So read all the stages carefully to get all the information and make your decision effectively.   

Let’s begin. 

Stage 1: Grounds for Divorce

Before you submit the divorce petition to the Texas district court, you must know the grounds on which you will claim in the court. Under the Texas divorce laws, you must select at least one ground to grant the divorce from the court. 

There are seven grounds in the Texas Family Code for divorce in Texas:   

  • Separation
  • Cruelty
  • Abandonment
  • Adultery
  • Insupportability (AKA no-fault)
  • Confinement in a Mental Hospital
  • Felony Criminal Conviction

Step 2: Petition for Divorce

After deciding on the grounds, you will mention in your divorce, you can go for the “Original Petition for Divorce.” 

According to the Texas divorce law, to file a divorce, both parties:

  • Should have lived for at least six months in the state. 
  • Should have lived for at least ninety days in the country. 

Stage 3: Legal Notice

The first party who files the divorce is now referred to as the Petitioner, and the other person will be the Respondent. After the petition, the Petitioner will provide the Respondent with a legal or official notice.  

Later depending on the situation, the person (Respondent) who received the notice can either serve-an action or sign a Waiver of Service. 

Stage 4: The Hearing

A petition for divorce in Texas usually requires a minimum of one hearing before making the final decision. This includes all the issues mentioned in the divorce papers, including property and debt distribution, child custody arrangements, etc. During this first hearing, both the Petitioner and Respondent present their sides and evidence to the court.  

If both the parties have already come to a mutual agreement and agree on all of the issues, the Respondent may not need to attend the hearing in court. 

Stage 5: Final Divorce Decree 

The court will decide all the issues mentioned in the divorce papers, and the final divorce decree will be signed. This step is mostly done after the sixty-day waiting period. In Texas, it is known as the “cooling off” period. The final hearing sometimes also consists of a bench or jury trial. 

If you and your spouse agree on a written agreement, this final hearing only consists of answering a few of the judge’s questions, and then the judge will finally approve the agreement.  

This is the final stage of a divorce in Texas. So, you have to take the signed divorce decree, and finally, the marriage will be legally over! 

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