Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide

Texas Divorce Petition

A divorce case in Texas starts when you file the complaint which is also known as Texas divorce petition. This is an important document required when you decide to file for divorce. It is filed with the district clerk. Each county has at least one court deciding Texas divorce cases. Once you file the petition, it must be served to the spouse. Make sure that your spouse receives its copy. When these documents are filed with the court, the clerk will manage these documents.

Texas divorce petition is an appeal made by the parties requesting for granting divorce. When you file these documents, your divorce process will officially start. Once you file the petition, there is a waiting period to get the hearing of at least 60 days. It is compulsory in all Texas divorce cases to file the petition.

The function of divorce petition is to set the legal grounds and terms on which you are filing for divorce. It specifies the reasons why a couple no longer can live together as husband and wife. The legal grounds can be fault or no fault divorce. Texas is a no fault state. It means that the parties have to mention only the reason of breakdown as irreconcilable differences. If you decide to file divorce on fault basis, factors like adultery, adornment, imprisonment, drug addiction or living apart should be considered.

Before filing the petition, make sure you establish Texas residential requirements. You or your spouse must be residing in Texas for six months or more or must be residing in the county for 90 days where the divorce is to be filed. As divorce is a complicated process, you can need a legal advice. For this, it is necessary that you must hire a lawyer who can guide you well in this process. Texas state bar maintains a directory of lawyers practicing in divorce and family law.

Process of Filing Texas Divorce Petition

  • Discuss with your spouse and determine whether you both are ready to settle down the issues and proceed with an uncontested divorce. Uncontested divorce case is faster, easier and less expensive.
  • Identify the jurisdiction where you wish to file the case. According to Texas law, cases of divorce should be filed with the district clerk for the county where either party resides. Most of the counties have at least more than one court making decisions on family and divorce law matters. If your divorce is uncontested, it can be filed where the party resides. If divorce is contested, it must be filed in the county where the respondent will be served with the petition.
  • Prepare the original petition form. You can download this form from Texas law help website providing online resource in civil matters. Fill out the form with the necessary information required.
  • Get the copies of the form and sign it. Serve one copy to your spouse with the help of local sheriff. If the divorce is uncontested, you donít need the help of the sheriff for serving the documents.
  • Once these documents are signed by the court, submit it to the district clerk of the court where you are filing the divorce.
  • Pay the necessary filing fees. The countyís clerk will tell you how much does it cost. Keep one copy of the petition with yourself as well, for the legal records. Get the stamp of the clerk with the same case number given on the original petition.

Fill out the necessary paperwork and the forms that the clerk will provide you with.

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