Many people who file for divorce in Texas never see the inside of a courtroom. A lot of couples can settle their differences through informal settlement negotiations with their attorneys or mediation. You do not always have to separate with bitterness, anger, or drama, there are ways to compromise and solve problems so the separation is quicker and easier.
An easy, simple, and quick divorce that is typically a pain-free experience in the State of Texas is an uncontested one. An uncontested divorce is when you and your spouse can communicate and agree on the division of property and debt and to what is in the best interest of your children.
What is an Uncontested Divorce in Texas?
If you and your spouse can come to an agreement that a divorce is the answer and there are no significant issues you cannot settle, you can file for a divorce that is uncontested.
When there are children involved, divorce becomes more complicated and it will often require some form of negotiation or mediation to settle the issues. All issues whether regarding children, property, or debt can be resolved without going to court if both sides come to an agreement. Sometimes it is better to give a litter here and there instead of paying for a more expensive contested divorce and risking the outcome with a Judge or jury.
Filing a Divorce in Texas that is Uncontested
Before you can file for a divorce in Texas, you must have lived in the state for at least six months. You must also have been a resident of the county you are filing in for at least ninety days before you can file for the divorce as well. If these two conditions are not met, your spouse could argue the state doesn't have the jurisdiction required in the proceedings.
It is better that you and your spouse have discussed and settled all issues between the two of you before filing for divorce. This can be critical when trying to have an uncontested divorce. Even though you and your spouse are agreeing to divorce, and there are no major or significant issues between the two of you, having an attorney is still important to protect your interests and future.
The agreement to divorce is still a legal matter, and it has to be put into writing so a final Decree of Divorce can be issued. For some, this is a straightforward process, but if you have no legal experience, it can be challenging. The Decree of Divorce has to be drafted, and generally cannot be signed by the Judge until at least sixty days have passed.
After sixty days, you and your spouse will present the Decree of Divorce to a judge in a 'prove up' hearing. The judge will then review your case, and make sure the decree is following Texas law. If there are any issues discovered by the judge, you may have to re-draft the decree and wait for your court time again. Having an attorney help with this document will reduce your risk of having to re-draft and wait for your divorce to be final.
There are other documents an attorney can help you complete that are necessary in Texas when filing for a divorce. Each county in Texas may have specific local rules and requirements for documents that must be filed in a divorce proceeding. It will be to your advantage to have legal counsel to ensure these are all in place before you appear before the judge at your 'prove up' hearing.
If you and your spouse agree this is the path for dissolving your marriage, you should have an experienced attorney work with you through this process to ensure you meet your goals and there are no issues left out or forgotten to be handled before the divorce is final. Remember, no attorney can represent both sides in a case. An attorney can only give legal advice to one party in a divorce.