You may have some questions about divorce in Texas. Below I have provided answers to some common questions.
If you have any additional questions about divorce or need more information, please call me today at 682-234-2006 or email me to schedule your free initial consultation .
What do you mean by “uncontested divorce?”
When I say “uncontested” or “agreed,” I mean that you and your spouse agree to be divorced and agree to every single term of the divorce, including, for example, how you are going to divide property between yourselves, who will be responsible for what debts you owe, who the children will live with, who will make decisions regarding the children, who will pay child support and how much. Agreeing to every single term is, of course, easier if you have no children and very little property.
How long does the process take?
At minimum, slightly more than two months. It will usually take approximately two to three business days to draft your Original Petition and Waiver of Service. From the time, your Original Petition is filed, Texas law requires a 60-day “cooling off” period. Of course, if the parties can’t agree on the terms of the divorce, the process may be more detailed and, as a result, will take longer.
I live in another state, but my spouse lives in Texas (or I live in Texas, but my spouse lives in another state). Can I still file for divorce in Texas?
Yes, as long as one of the two of you have resided in Texas for the last 6 months or longer.
We’ve been separated for years, but never bothered to get legally divorced. I don’t know where my spouse lives now. Can I still get a divorce?
Yes. If you do not have children, as legal counsel, I can request that your spouse be served by posting. If you do have children, the court must appoint an Attorney Ad Litem for your children to perform a diligent search for your spouse. Attorney Ad Litem fees are in addition to any fees you pay to the Law Office of Sandra Thompson. I highly encourage you to attempt to locate your spouse’s address yourself before pursuing a divorce.
Can my spouse and I agree that neither of us will pay child support?
Yes. Texas law requires a withholding order be entered with the court, but you may choose not to enforce this order.
Will one of us be served citation by the constable?
Not always. Often I can send your spouse a Waiver of Service. If your spouse signs this document in front of a notary and returns it, he/she will not need to be served.
Do I have to show up in court if we agree on everything?
Most likely. You will be listed as the petitioner on the divorce petition; therefore, you will have to show up in court for the “prove-up” hearing, although a few courts don’t require such a hearing if there is a signed Agreed Final Divorce document. For an uncontested divorce, this hearing should be relatively short and easy.
Does it matter which spouse files for the divorce?
Probably not. Except for some slight procedural advantages (the person who brings the case first gets to talk first), there is usually not much advantage to filing the divorce papers.
Do I have to prove fault of the other spouse to get a divorce?
No. You do not have to show fault to get a divorce in Texas, but if there is fault (e.g., adultery), it can sometimes be a factor in court, depending on the circumstances.
How is property divided in Texas?
The starting point is that the court presumes that all the property of the marriage is community property, and if you have separate property, you have to prove it by tracing it with “clear and convincing evidence.” The court divides the property in a “just and right manner.” What does this mean?
In most cases, it means a 50/50 split. In other cases, factors such as unequal earning power and fault in the marital relationship can affect the division of property. There is a reported case where a 90/10 split was deemed a just and right division; this case was upheld at the appellate level.
Can I get alimony?
Although getting temporary spousal support (while the divorce is pending) is very common, it is unusual to get post-divorce alimony. You can get post-divorce alimony only if you qualify, and an attorney’s advice would probably be necessary.