What Steps Do I Need to Follow to File for Divorce in Texas?

The choice to end a marriage through divorce is never a simple one. But how do you legally initiate the divorce process? First, it’s crucial to recognize that every jurisdiction is unique. Different states may have different legal standards. In Texas, for example, the process is usually complicated, rendering it difficult to walk the journey alone. You’ll need a North Texas divorce lawyer at Scroggins Law Group by your side to help you navigate the legal obstacles that lie ahead. But here are the broad guidelines:

Filing the Petition

First and foremost, one of the parties must submit an “Original Petition for Divorce” to the court of law and pay the necessary filing fee. Divorce proceedings formally commence following the submission of the petition. The most suitable jurisdiction to file the petition is dependent on how long either of the parties has been a resident there. After the petition has been submitted, the court clerk proceeds to issue a case number. It’s best to keep these details together so nothing gets lost or forgotten within your petition.

Legal Notice

According to the law, the party submitting the petition is required to issue the respondent with a formal notice. That entails supplying your partner with a copy of the petition bearing the court’s stamp. It serves to inform them that you’ve filed for divorce. Divorce guidelines mandate that you have your spouse sign a waiver or engage a certified process server. If you don’t do so, the court will not recognize your notice as valid. It can be difficult to prove before the court that you have given your spouse enough notice if you’ve no idea where they live. The best course of action in this situation would be for you to speak with a lawyer about your options. Upon the issuance of the notice, it’ll become apparent whether the legal dissolution of your marriage will be disputed.

The Hearing

In most cases, the court will need to have at least one hearing after receiving a divorce petition before making a final determination on the divorce’s many problems, including custody of children as well as the division of marital assets and debts. Each side will have the opportunity to provide evidence and proof before the court to support their position. Nevertheless, the non-filing spouse might be excused from attending the court session if the divorce is uncontested and the couple has come to an understanding on all matters.

Finalizing the Divorce

After resolving all matters, the judge finalizes the process by signing the divorce decree. It’s possible to reach this stage in months or days depending on whether the conflict is amicable. Having said that, it’s essential to mention that most jurisdictions call for a waiting period before the signing of the divorce decree. In Texas, the “cooling off” period lasts for sixty days. Remarrying after a divorce is also subject to waiting periods. You’re required to wait for 30 days unless you wish to remarry your partner.

Bottom Line

The foregoing only serves as a high-level summary of the divorce procedure. There are other nuanced areas and specific procedural requirements. If you’re thinking about filing for divorce, consider talking to an attorney who has a thorough understanding of the applicable laws. They will go through all the steps necessary to build a solid case within your divorce. Keeping track of all the details can be overwhelming which is why it is important to hire a competent legal professional who wants to fight for you.


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