Filing for divorce happens all the time, but it is also a complicated legal procedure requiring the advice and representation of a family law attorney experienced with the particular rules and statutes.
Divorce is the termination of a marriage by a legal proceeding or in a court. Divorces are generally categorized as contested or uncontested. In a contested divorce, the spouses cannot agree on at least one issue, while in an uncontested divorce, the spouses agree to all terms.
Each state has its own statutory grounds for divorce. As the laws governing divorce vary not only from state to state but from county to county, it is important to find a divorce attorney with specific experience in your particular jurisdiction.
Texas law does not require divorcing parties to hire an attorney, and while it may be wise to consult with one prior to divorcing, you are free to file for and complete a divorce without one (so called DIY divorce).
So if you have decided to divorce in Texas without a lawyer, just follow the steps below.
Determine if you qualify to file for divorce in Texas. Under Texas law, one of the divorcing parties must have resided within the state of Texas for the previous six months, before a party may file for divorce in Texas.
Determine where to file the divorce. In Texas, state District Courts have jurisdiction over divorces. District Courts that handle divorces are called Family District Courts.
Obtain the proper forms. The forms you use will depend on whether you and your spouse have children together and if you agree on all issues.
Complete the forms. Forms should be completed by typing or printing neatly in blue or black ink. Provide complete information. Be sure to answer each question completely and fill in every blank that applies to your situation.
File the divorce forms. Make the appropriate number of copies and take to the Clerk’s office along with the filing fee, which should be in cash, as the Courts do not accept personal checks or debit cards.
Provide your spouse with notice of the divorce filing.
Prepare for your hearing. If you and your spouse are not in agreement on all issues, you will have a hearing where you will need to convince the Court that the issues should be settled in your favor, or the way you want them to be settled.
Attend your hearing. Whether the divorce is contested or uncontested, the filing party must appear at a hearing.
File your Final Divorce Decree and Information on Suit Affecting the Family form. It is up to you to prepare this document, according to the orders of the Court, and file it for the Judge to sign. The Judge will not sign the Decree until it has been 61 days from the date of filing of the Petition for Divorce.
If you on the other hand, decide that you need an attorney for your divorce, the database of the available attorneys in Houston, Texas can be found on: