FAQ’s of Filing a Divorce

If you are considering divorce or have already started the process, you probably have a tone of questions. How long will the process take? How is child custody determined? How will our property be divided?
We will answer the most common questions about Texas divorce and family law matters. We hope this general guide – Top FAQs about Texas Divorce – will provide more clarity during what is probably a confusing and emotional time.

Pro Se means you are representing yourself in a court case and do not have legal counsel.

You can file for divorce in Texas if you or your spouse has lived:

  • in Texas for at least the last 6 months, and in the county where you file for divorce for at least the last 90 days.

If you happen to be serving in the military or other government service outside of Texas, you may still file for divorce in Texas if:

  • Texas has been the home state of either you or your spouse for at least 6 months and the county where you plan to file the divorce has been the home county of either spouse for at least 90 days.
  • The identical rule applies if you accompanied your spouse the one is serving in the military or other government service outside of Texas. If Texas is your home state, time spent outside of Texas with your military spouse counts as time spent in Texas.

Divorce can be a very complicated process, especially if there are minor children involved or if the parties cannot agree on major issues like child custody, support, and property division. In Texas, divorce proceedings begin with the filing of a divorce petition by one spouse and end with a final divorce decree. In contested cases, there are many other steps in between. Below is an overview of the Texas divorce process in contested cases:

  • Filing the Divorce Petition
  • Providing Your Spouse with Notice
  • Respondent’s Answer and Counter-petition
  • Temporary Orders
  • Discovery
  • Negotiations/Mediation
  • Trial
  • Divorce Decree

In principle on all cases, you must wait at least 60 days before finishing your divorce.

When counting the 60 days, find the day you filed your Original Petition for Divorce on a calendar, and then count out 60 more days (including weekends and holidays). If the 60th day falls on a weekend or holiday, go to the next business day.

Note: The 60-day waiting period begins the day after filing the Original Petition for Divorce.

There are two exceptions to the 60 day waiting period.

If your spouse has been convicted of or received deferred adjudication for a crime involving family violence against you or a member of your household, the 60 day waiting period is waived.

If you have an active protective order or an active magistrate’s order for emergency protection against your spouse because of family violence during your marriage, the 60 day waiting period is waived.

If you have been served with divorce papers, you should seek the advice of an experienced divorce attorney as soon as possible. Once you have been served, you only have 20 days to respond. Filing an answer or counter-petition for divorce ensures you will have a voice in the matter. If you do not respond within that time frame, your spouse can proceed with the divorce without your input and you will likely end up with a divorce decree that is not in your best interests.

As long as you meet the residency requirements for divorce, you can get divorced in Texas even if your spouse lives in another state.

You do not have to have a lawyer to file or respond to a divorce case. However, divorce cases can be difficult and your rights as a parent, your property and your money may be at risk.

Your spouse cannot stop you from getting a divorce. Texas is a “no-fault” divorce state. This means that a divorce maybe granted without either spouse being at fault. As long as one spouse believes that the relationship cannot be fixed, the judge may grant the divorce.

No. You don’t have to be separated to get a divorce.

You must still provide notice to your spouse about the divorce if he or she is in jail or prison.

If your divorce is agreed, your spouse can sign the necessary court forms in jail or prison and return them to you.

If your divorce is not agreed (or you don’t want to have contact with your spouse), you must have a constable or sheriff serve your spouse with the initial divorce papers in jail or prison.

If you cannot find your spouse (after looking really hard) you may serve your spouse by publication in a local newspaper or posting by constable.

You must wait 30 days from the date of divorce before you can marry someone else. This 30 day waiting period may be waived by the judge only if there is good reason to do so.

FAQ's of Filing a Divorce