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Ask a Divorce Lawyer: What Do You Need to File for Divorce in Texas?

Are you going through a divorce in Houston, TX? You might be wondering what exactly you need and what you’ll have to do during your divorce. Here’s what you should know and how a qualified divorce lawyer can help.

Ask a Divorce Lawyer in Houston, TX: What Do You Need to File for Divorce in Texas?

If you are going through a separation and are planning on getting divorced, this can be an extremely stressful time. Going through the process of a divorce and having to deal with the court system can make things even more challenging.

You can help make the process smoother by making sure you have all the right information gathered. Working with a top divorce lawyer in Houston can also keep you organized and ensure that you are fairly and accurately represented in court. Here are some of the things you’ll need if you’re getting divorced in Texas.

An Original Petition for Divorce

This is how you start the official divorce process. Your petition for divorce must be filled out carefully and accurately, so make sure that you read over the document before you submit it to the courts.

Your petition for divorce only needs to be filled out by one party. For the petition to be valid, either you or your spouse must have lived in the county for at least 90 days so that you meet the residency requirement. When you file this petition, the court clerk will give you 2 copies. One you should keep for yourself in a safe place. The other will be given to your spouse.

Legal Notice for Your Spouse

If you are the one who filed the original petition for divorce, you are known as the Petitioner. But just filing the petition isn’t enough. Your spouse needs to be provided notice that this is happening.

At this point, your spouse will become known as the Respondent. One of the ways you can provide them with notice is by serving them. That means a legal notice is provided to them. The other option is to have them sign a Waiver of Service, but understand that this doesn’t necessarily mean they agree with the allegations in the original petition.

Prepare Your Divorce Forms

There are different forms that you will need depending on your specific circumstances when you get divorced. Working with a qualified lawyer is a great way to ensure that you have all the forms you need and that they are filled out correctly.

Whether your divorce is uncontested or contested, your lawyer will help you gather all the important documents and files you need to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.

Go to Your Hearing

Most divorces will require at least one hearing to sort out the details of the divorce. There are a few things that will be discussed during your hearing, including property division, alimony, how debt will be distributed, and any child custody arrangement that needs to be made.

Your lawyer will be able to represent you during this part of your divorce. They’ll ensure that you get the fair representation in court that you need to be in the best position after your divorce. You can represent yourself, but it’s probably in your best interest to hire a lawyer.

Sign the Final Decree

The number of hearings that you’ll need for your divorce will depend largely on whether or not your divorce is contested or uncontested. However, once all of these decisions have been made and the details have been ironed out, you and your spouse will need to sign the final decree.

This will finalize your divorce. It might take you as long as several months or as little as a few weeks to reach this point, depending on how amicable your divorce is. In Texas, you will need to wait for a 60-day “cooling off” period before you and your spouse can sign the decree.

What Happens After the Divorce?

In some Texas jurisdictions, you may have to wait a certain amount of time before you can marry again. You should check with your local jurisdiction to see what your specific timeframe is.

As long as both you and your spouse follow the arrangements that were agreed to during your hearings, there is nothing you’ll need to do. However, some people find that their spouses refuse to follow certain agreements. If this is the case, contact your lawyer right away so they can help you with your case.

As stressful as divorce can be, there are ways to make the process easier. Knowing what you need and what you’ll have to do during your divorce will help you stay organized. Working with a qualified lawyer can do even more to help you when you are going through a divorce.

Jeff Campbell