|How long does it take to get a divorce in Texas?|
|Under Texas law, the quickest a divorce can be finalized is 61 days from the date you filed.|
|What are the Texas residency requirements for filing for divorce?|
To file for divorce in Texas, either the Petitioner or the Respondent must: (1) have lived in Texas for at least six months before the divorce is filed and (2) have been a resident of the county in which the divorce is filed for at least 90 days before the filing date.|
Additionally, if one spouse has been living in Texas for at least the last six months, then the other spouse, even if he or she lives in another state or country, may file for divorce in the Texas county where the Texas resident spouse is living at the time the divorce is filed.
See Texas Family Code Sec. 6.301 and 6.302.
However, choosing to have a non-Texas resident spouse file for divorce in Texas may complicate matters. For example, if the non-resident spouse intends to file by mail, he or she must first confirm that this is acceptable in the county of filing. If not, it will be necessary to travel there to file in person. Also, the spouse that files for divorce (the Petitioner) is required to attend a court hearing in the county of filing. Thus, it is often easier for the spouse that resides in Texas to file for divorce.
|Can my spouse and I get a divorce if we are still living together?|
|Yes. You can divorce while still living in the same residence with your spouse.|
|How much is the filing fee in Texas?|
|The filing fee charged by the Court is NOT included in the DivorceWriter price. The divorce filing fee varies from county to county, but typically ranges between $250-$350. The DivorceWriter paperwork is designed to minimize the fees. For instance, DivorceWriter provides a Waiver of Citation, which saves money by eliminating the need pay for a sheriff to deliver the divorce Petition to your spouse.|
|What are the basic steps to getting a divorce in Texas?|
1) File the Petition for Divorce with the District Court Clerk, pay the filing fee of approximately $250.00-$350.00, and schedule the final hearing.|
2) Give your spouse a file-stamped copy of the Petition for Divorce.
3) File the Waiver of Citation signed by your spouse with the Clerk.
4) Approximately 61 days later, the filing spouse (Petitioner) attends the final hearing and files a Final Decree of Divorce signed by both spouses, which the Judge will sign to finalize the divorce.
|How do I serve my spouse with the divorce papers?|
When spouses both want to end their marriage and are in agreement on all issues, the Petition for Divorce tells the court, among other things, that the non-filing spouse will waive his or her right to personal service. Then, the non-filing spouse signs a Waiver of Citation that tells the court that he or she has received a file-stamped copy of the Petition and has signed the Final Decree of Divorce.|
If it's not possible to file the Respondent's notarized Waiver of Citation within the time allotted in your county, hire a certified process server to serve your spouse either in person or by certified mail. If your spouse is incarcerated, the certified process server must serve your spouse in person only--not by certified mail. Note: Even if you use a certified process server, your spouse's notarized Waiver of Citation still needs to be filed with the Court Clerk's office as quickly as possible in order for your case to proceed.
|What are the grounds for filing for divorce in Texas?|
While there are several fault-based grounds for divorce in Texas, insupportability is considered the "no-fault" grounds for divorce. Generally, if insupporability is the grounds alleged in the Petition for Divorce, the court will grant a divorce as long as both parties agree that the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.|
For additional information on grounds for divorce in Texas, see Texas Family Code Sec. 6.001-6.007.
|Will either of us be required to attend a court hearing?|
|The spouse that files for divorce (Petitioner) will be required to attend a court hearing. The Respondent is not required to attend, although he or she may do so if desired. The hearing can take place as early as 61 days after the Petition for Divorce is filed.|
|How long does it take for a divorce to be finalized in Texas?|
|The minimum time that it takes to finalize a divorce in Texas is 61 days after the date the divorce is filed.|
|What documents are included in the self-prepared Texas DivorceWriter package?|
In addition to Texas filing procedures, your self-prepared Texas DivorceWriter package will include:|
|Which spouse can file for divorce?|
|The spouse that files for divorce is the Petitioner. The other spouse automatically becomes the Respondent. The spouse that files for divorce has to have lived in Texas for the past six months and in the county where the divorce is being filed for the past 90 days. The Respondent does not have to live in Texas.|
|Where are the divorce documents filed?|
|In Texas, divorces are filed at the County District Court Clerk's office. DivorceWriter will provide you with contact information for the District Court Clerk in your county.|
|What is considered to be the date of separation in Texas?|
|The term "separation date" sometimes refers to the date when the spouses stopped living at... more|
|How do I serve my spouse if he/she will not sign the Waiver of Citation?|
You may wish to file a Motion for Substituted Service along with an Affidavit in Support of Substituted Service, which asks the judge to issue an Order allowing the Respondent to be served by one of the following alternate methods:|
|How do I get my uncontested divorce documents reviewed in Bexar County?|
All pro se Bexar County filers must have their documents reviewed by the staff attorney's office located in the Bexar County Courthouse, 100 Dolorosa, 2nd Floor Suite 2.16, San Antonio, TX 78205. Their office phone is 210-335-2123. However, due to minimal staffing and high call volume they will not answer the phone or accept voicemails. E-mail inquiries may be sent to the staff attorney's office at email@example.com, but they recommend people come to their office to arrange to have documents reviewed or if they have questions. Their office is open 8 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays and from 8 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Their office is closed on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and on Fridays.|
Once the staff attorney has reviewed your documents for legal sufficiency, they will set your case for the final divorce hearing. As of May 2018, the staff attorney's office estimates that their office takes 8-12 months to review pro se divorce filings. Any concerns with this delay should be directed to the Bexar County staff attorney's office.
|Is e-filing required in Texas?|
No. E-filing is optional if you file for divorce without an attorney.|
The first step in e-filing is to select an electronic filing service provider (EFSP) here.
Each EFSP has varying features which may or may not be relevant to your divorce case. If you would like more information on the features offered by each EFSP, please contact that provider directly. DivorceWriter cannot assist you in selecting an EFSP. Once you have selected your desired EFSP, you will be prompted to register for an e-filing account.
Once you have registered, you may begin the filing process by following the instructions provided at your EFSP's website.
|There was an error on one or more of the documents that I filed with the Clerk. Now that I have fixed the error(s) on the document(s), is there anything else I have to do to it before I file the corrected version with the Clerk?|
Generally, if an error has been made in a document that was filed with the Clerk, the corrected document needs to be retitled as "Amended" before it can be refiled. This can be done by either downloading the document in Microsoft Word and typing in "Amended" in front of the document title or by handwriting it if the document cannot be revised in Word. For example, if there was an error in the Original Petition for Divorce that was filed with the Clerk, before filing a corrected Petition, the document should be retitled Amended Petition for Divorce. Additionally, when you file the amended version of the document, you need to bring the same number of copies of the amended document to the Clerk's office as you brought when you filed the original document.|
Be certain to provide the other spouse with a copy of the amended copy of the document(s) you have filed. If the original version of the amended document required a certain procedure for service, be sure to follow that same procedure when serving the amended document.
|CUSTODY, VISITATION, SUPPORT|
|How is child support calculated in Texas?|
Based on the information provided by the customer when completing the online interview, a computer generated Child Support Worksheet for Texas is automatically created and sent to the customer as part of the DivorceWriter package.|
Additional information on the calculation of child support can be found at: Texas Family Code Chapter 154.125.
|When is spousal support typically granted in Texas?|
In uncontested divorces, spouses reach their own agreement regarding the amount of spousal support/alimony, if any, that one spouse will receive from the other.|
In Texas divorces where spouse are unable to reach an agreement on their own, courts generally consider awarding alimony to a spouse in situations where the couple has been married at least 10 years, as well as situations where one spouse has been convicted of a family violence crime in the last two years. In addition, the spouse receiving alimony must lack the property to provide for his or her own reasonable needs.
|What if my spouse and I have agreed to a child support amount that is different from the standard amount?|
A Texas court may order child support payments in an amount other than that established by the guidelines if it is in the best interest of the child(ren) to do so. To review the 17 factors the court must consider in deciding to allow a support amount different than the guideline amount, see Texas Family Code Sec. 154.123.|
The DivorceWriter online interview shows you the child support calculation under the guidelines. Then, the customer chooses whether to use the guideline calculation or to deviate from that calculation by entering a different child support amount as well a reason for using a different amount.
|Is child support required in Texas?|
|Yes. Even when parents agree to very little or no child support, courts may reject the terms because parents have a duty to support their children both before and after a divorce.|
|Does the Court always require child support to be withheld from the income of the parent that has to pay?|
|Although the court must order that support be withheld from the income of the parent ordered to pay, it will suspend the withholding as long as the child support payments remain current. The support order contains a provision for income withholding to begin if a support delinquency occurs. Additionally, regardless of whether the withholding is active, Texas requires that all support payments be made to the Child Support State Disbursement Unit before being distributed to the recipient. For more information, see Texas Family Code Sec. 154.007.|
|What is the parenting time schedule under the Standard Possession Order?|
|To view the parenting time schedule under the Texas Standard Possession Order, see Texas Family Code Sec. 153.312-153.315. Note: There is one schedule when parents live within 100 miles of the child(ren) and another schedule when parents live more than 100 miles away from the child(ren).|
|How are child support payments made in Texas?|
|In Texas, the court must order the payment of child support to the state disbursement unit where it is then distributed to the party receiving the support payments. See Texas Family Code Sec. 154.004.|
|When can a child support order be modified in Texas?|
In Texas, the court may modify an order that provides for the support of a child if:|
(1) the circumstances of the child or a person affected by the order have materially and substantially changed since the date of the child support order;
(2) it has been three years since the order was rendered or last modified and the monthly amount of the child support award under the order differs by either 20% or $100 from the amount that would be awarded in accordance with the child support guidelines.
However, if the parties agree to an order under which the amount of child support differs from the amount that would be awarded in accordance with the child support guidelines, the court may modify the order only if the circumstances of the child or a person affected by the order have materially and substantially changed since the date of the order's rendition.
See Texas Family Code Sec. 156.401.
|What if my husband is NOT the father of a child born during our marriage?|
If the husband is NOT the father of a child born during a marriage, an Acknowledgment of Paternity must be completed and signed. The Acknowledgment of Paternity can be signed and completed at:|
To find the closest Child Support office or VSU office that can help you with an AOP, you may call 1-866-255-2006.
Additionally, your husband must complete the Denial of Paternity section on the Acknowledgment of Paternity form. If the Denial of Paternity is not completed, you cannot proceed with the AOP. You still can establish paternity by applying for services at a child support office or by consulting a private attorney.
|Will my support payments reduce when each child becomes an adult?|
If you have more than one child, support payments will automatically reduce ("step-down") as each child reaches adulthood. The reduction is just a recalculation of the standard child support amount taking into account that fewer children are being supported. If you are not using the standard calculation, the child support is recalculated the same way, but is “stepped down” from the child support amount you enter on this page.|
The step-down amount is calculated using the same percentages as a standard support amount is calculated with in Texas, which are as follows:
|What if we already have an existing order for child support, possession, and visitation in Texas?|
The DivorceWriter Texas online interview asks about any existing orders issued by either a court or the Attorney General's office for child support, possession, and visitation for which no changes need to made in the divorce proceedings. Customers with existing orders are able to provide the name of the office or court where order was issued as well as the case or cause number of the order.|
However, even if you have an existing order, you and your spouse can agree to modify the order in the divorce proceedings.
|What if the mother is married to someone else or the baby was born within 300 days of the date of her divorce?|
|If the mother is married to someone other than the biological father or the baby is born within 300 days of her divorce from a man who is not the biological father, the husband must sign a Denial of Paternity. The biological father cannot become the legal father by signing the Affidavit of Paternity (AOP) until the husband signs the Denial of Paternity, which is part of the AOP form. If the husband does not sign the Denial, either biological parent can open a case with the Attorney General or go to an attorney to establish paternity through the courts.|
|PROPERTY AND DEBTS|
|Can we customize our documents to fit our plans for our real estate?|
|The DivorceWriter online interview allows customers to list not only the street address, c... more|
|What if one spouse is in the military?|
If both parties are willing to sign the papers, ending your marriage when a spouse is in the military is generally much like a regular divorce.|
When a Texas resident spends time outside of the state while in the armed forces, he or she remains a resident of Texas. Additionally, a person who was not previously a resident of Texas who is serving in the armed forces and has been stationed at one or more military installations in Texas for at least the last six months and at a military installation in a Texas county for at least the last 90 days is considered to be a Texas domiciliary and a resident of that county for those periods for the purpose of filing for divorce.
See Texas Family Code Sec. 6.303 and Texas Family Code Sec. 6.304
For additional information on residency requirements, the servicemember may wish to contact his or her local JAG office.
|What if one spouse is living in a foreign country?|
|If your spouse is able to receive documents in the mail and is willing to sign and return ... more|
|Are my divorce papers right for a common law marriage?|
Per Chapter 2.401 of the Texas Family Code, a valid common law marriage requires all of the following: |
Common law marriages are not common in the United States. Because the DivorceWriter online interview and forms are designed to address the most common situations, you will need to self-customize your divorce papers if you have a common law marriage. In particular, your divorce petition will need to include a paragraph stating that you have a common law marriage and explaining why you believe that to be so--namely, that your marriage meets the three requirements set out in Chapter 2.401 of the Texas Family Code.
Note: Your DivorceWriter documents may be downloaded in Microsoft Word and self-customized as needed.
|Where can I find the full-text version of the Texas divorce statutes online?|
|The full-text version of the Texas Family Code - The Marriage Relationship - Dissolution of Marriage can be found here.|
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