Uncontested Divorce in Texas : Important Things To Know
Getting divorced isn't always a fun process. You're dealing with emotions, finances, and sometimes children. And while there are many different ways to go about doing it, one thing is certain: it won't be cheap. In fact, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, filing for divorce costs around $2,800 on average.
But what if you could avoid those fees altogether? What if you didn't have to hire a lawyer or fight a long, drawn-out court case? What if you could just file the paperwork and walk away?
The answer is yes. There are ways to end your marriage without having to take part in a lengthy court proceeding. This includes uncontested divorces.What Is An Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce is when both parties agree to the terms of the divorce. They don't want to fight over things like child custody, alimony payments, or property division. Instead, they come up with a settlement agreement and sign it. Then, they simply file the forms required for an uncontested divorce.How Can I Get A Quick & Easy Divorce?
If you live in Texas, you might be able to get an uncontested divorce. To find out whether you qualify, contact us today. We'll give you some information about how to prepare the paperwork needed for an uncontested divorce and help you decide if it makes sense for you.How to Qualify for an Uncontested Divorce in Texas
If you want to file for a dissolution of marriage in Texas, you must qualify under one of four categories: state residency, agreement, consent, or court approval. In most cases, you cannot obtain a court order unless there is some sort of agreement between the parties. However, if you are filing for an uncontested divorce, you do not need to agree on anything except the reasons why you want a divorce. You simply need to show that you live apart from your spouse, that you have been married for two years or longer, and that you wish to dissolve the union.Agreement on the Legal Reason for Divorce
In a nutshell, there are three ways to obtain a legal separation in Texas. You can either file for divorce yourself, ask a friend or family member to file for you, or hire a lawyer to do it for you.
The first option is called a "divorce petition." A divorce petition must include a statement explaining why you want a divorce. This statement is known as a "legal reason for divorce," and it needs to be approved by a judge before he signs off on the paperwork.
If you decide to file for divorce yourself, you'll need to prepare a written document outlining what happened during the course of your relationship and how you think it led to irreconcilable differences. Your divorce attorney will help draft this document.
Your divorce attorney will also help you identify whether your case qualifies for a "no-fault divorce." A no-fault divorce is one where you don't accuse your ex of being at fault for ending the marriage. Instead, you simply say that it's not feasible to continue living together.Agreement on the Issues in Your Divorce
Before you file for an uncontestable divorce, you and your partner will need to work out the issues in your case. These include:
- How to divide assets such as real estate and personal property;
- Which debts are yours and which ones belong to your spouse;
- Whether either party owes alimony or child support payments;
- Who pays for certain things like healthcare coverage and dental care for dependents;
- What happens to your retirement accounts and pensions;
- How to handle any debt obligations, such as credit card balances;
The Texas Law Help website offers a step-by-step guide to help people prepare the necessary documents to initiate a divorce proceeding. You'll need to fill out one form per party involved in the case, and each person must sign and date both forms. If you're married with minor children, you'll also need to provide information about how many children there are and what school districts they attend.
If you've been separated for less than six months, you'll need to include your address and phone number for the clerk to mail you the forms. Otherwise, you'll need to pick up the forms in person.How Long Does It Take to Get an Uncontested Divorce in Texas?
Texas law requires couples filing for divorce to wait 60 days before getting their divorce decrees. This waiting period gives both parties enough time to file paperwork and prepare for the upcoming hearing. If one party doesn't want to go through with the divorce, they must file a motion to dismiss within that same 60-day window.
After the 60-day waiting period ends, couples can request a prove-up hearing. A prove-up hearing is typically scheduled within 30 days of the original filing date. During the prove-up hearing, the couple's attorneys present evidence regarding whether or not grounds exist for the divorce.
If there are no issues with the proof presented during the hearing, the judge will issue the divorce decree. However, if the judge finds that either party did not comply with certain requirements, he or she may deny the divorce and require the couple to attend mediation or counseling sessions.How Much Does an Uncontested Divorce Cost in Texas?
As mentioned above, the filing fee for an uncontested divorce in Texas is $350. This includes costs such as filing fees, deposition transcripts, and copies of documents. However, there are some exceptions. For example, if both parties agree to waive the filing fee, it can be waived. Also, if one party cannot afford to pay the filing fee or needs help paying, they can file a statement saying that they cannot afford the payment.
The next step is to go to the courthouse where the paperwork must be filed. Once the paperwork is completed, the clerk sends the paperwork to the judge. After the paperwork is reviewed by the judge, he or she will issue a final decree of divorce.
An experienced divorce attorney in Harris County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Houston, Sugar Land, Missouri City, and Stafford, Texas at Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC, can provide guidance and offer advice throughout the entire process. Contact us today at www.thorntonesquirelawgroup.com for a free consultation.