How does one file for divorce in court?

Uncontested divorces are those in which there are no disagreements between spouses about what they want to happen. They can be something you can do without the help of an attorney. The following links will help you learn what it means to be pro se, or represent yourself, and what to expect in the divorce process. If you have a child who has ever received certain federal benefits (Medicaid or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), you will also need to report your divorce case to the Child Support Division of the Texas Attorney General's Office by sending a sealed copy of your petition (either by email or by certified mail with proof of receipt).

The Texas Supreme Court also provides a set of approved divorce forms, but only for uncontested cases where the spouses have no minor children and do not own real property (such as a house). First of all, there may be a temporary advantage if you file first, and if your spouse is unaware of your intentions to file for divorce in Houston, you may have the element of surprise, which is an advantage for your spouse. After completing the steps on this page, you should find a neutral third party who will personally deliver a copy of the subpoena and complaint (and anything else you may have filed) to the defendant. Usually, the judge acts quickly to grant the temporary order, which remains in effect until the court orders otherwise or the divorce is finalized.

All assets and debts acquired during a marriage are jointly owned in these states and are divided equally if the couple divorces. Before you file for divorce (also known as “dissolution of marriage”) in Texas, you should find out if you meet the state's residency requirements and if you'll be able to file for a divorce unopposed. To file documentation, bring the original and two copies of all forms (one for you and one for your spouse) to the clerk's office. First of all, there's a time advantage you can use if you want to order temporary orders quickly and you're the first to do so.

You can also ask the judge to issue temporary orders for financial support before the divorce is final. This step can be an easy process if your spouse is willing to divorce and agrees to sign a service receipt. When you file for an uncontested divorce, the forms and procedures are simplified, increasing the chances that you'll be able to complete the process more quickly and without hiring lawyers (more on that later). The last step in the divorce process, whether it's an amicable divorce or one that requires a trial, is when the judge signs the divorce decree.

In addition, when you file for a divorce in Texas, you or your spouse can ask the court to issue temporary orders to preserve your assets during the divorce process. Keep in mind that divorce lawsuits are costly, time consuming, and require a great deal of preparation. An experienced divorce lawyer who is familiar with local laws, processes, and judges can take much of that stress off your shoulders.

Molly Keeny
Molly Keeny

Alcohol practitioner. General coffee fanatic. Amateur introvert. Lifelong social media specialist. Friendly beer advocate. General tv buff.