Uncontested Divorce in Texas

Divorce is the legal end of a marriage. It is a serious and complicated process that marks an end to a relationship causing huge emotional and monetary stress on both the partners. The types and processes of ending a relationship differ in each country according to the state laws. It is estimated that over 95% of people in the U.S. end their relationship on mutual agreement. Uncontested divorce in Texas is one of the most popular options for ending a relationship. In this case, both the parties agree to settle (with or without the help of lawyers/mediators, consultants) all concerned issues surrounding the end of marriage.

Other key terms used for this type of option are:

  • No-fault
  • Low-cost
  • Agreed

Residency Requirement

To file for an agreed way of relationship end in Texas, one must be a resident of the state for six months and a county resident for 90 days. In addition, there is a 60-day waiting period after filing, before a decision regarding the case is granted.

Grounds for Disillusionment

In this low cost method, the petitioner has to mention the grounds for breaking the relationship as per the state rules. It may either be based on ‘fault’ or ‘no fault’ way of dissociation. Insupportable marriage is the main ground of conflict in a ‘no-fault’ case. However, the number of reasons in ‘at fault’ cases are more including extramarital sex, abandonment, separation and so on. All these grounds are valid under the law of the state.

Process of Filing an Uncontested Divorce in Texas

An agreed marital break-up is filed by the petitioner with or without hiring a legal representative. The procedure is mainly based on whether the couple has minor children or not. If a couple have minor children, then they need to use specific Texas forms. However, if the couple doesn’t have any children, it is relatively easy to file and finalize the process.

The steps to be followed to complete the process are:

  • One of the parties (the petitioner) files an ‘original petition’ with the district clerk of the county court in the county.
  • Give a legal notice to the respondent by either way – waiver of citation, answer, official service in person or by mail, official service by publication. The respondent has 20 days to file an answer to the petition.
  • The case cannot be finalized until after 61 days (waiting period) have passed from the date that the petition was filed at the district clerk’s office.
  • If the case is uncontested, schedule the final hearing date by calling the clerk of the court in the district.
  • Prepare the final decree of parting ways, which the judge signs after granting the decision. It includes a detailed information on the agreements the couple will settle on issues like child custody and support, alimony and the division of the couple’s property and debt.
  • On the date of the hearing, visit the court to get all paperwork signed.
  • To finalize the entire process, the filing party must file the signed final decree with the clerk’s office and get a certified copy of the decree. The certified copy must be mailed to the other party as well.

Cost Involved

When a couple can settle all issues amongst themselves, it becomes the most cost effective option for them. The fees for filing and completing the relevant paperwork varies from one county to the other in the state. The average cost for filing for a case ranges between $250 and $350. The cost also depends on the nature and duration of the case.

Advantages of Texas Uncontested Divorce

  • Cost effective and less painful
  • Faster and quicker method of completing the process of parting ways
  • Friendly and respectable relation can be maintained
  • Privacy and confidentiality are maintained

Situations when Agreed Divorce is Not Recommended

  • There are less negotiation options.
  • The parties have an extreme hostile relationship and one of the spouses has a tendency to dominate and exert powers.
  • There’s a history of domestic violence or any other forms of tortures.

Points to Remember in an Uncontested Divorce

  • It is advisable to consult a lawyer for court proceedings. Without a lawyer’s help, the chances of errors are much higher that could cost in legal penalties. However, if desired, this can be done without a lawyer’s help too.
  • Be aware of the state laws and guidelines
  • Always provide relevant and right information in all paperwork during the process to avoid complexities
  • Cooperation and respect between the petitioner and the respondent is very important for smooth functioning of the process.
  • Be sure to know the list of all assets and properties
  • Research your spouse’s financial accounts – income and credit records

Every couple ending their marriage should try to mutually come to an agreement to make the process easier and stress-free. Uncontested divorce in Texas is a simple procedure which gives a chance to save lots of time and potential legal expenses.