Before filing for divorce in Harris County, you need to make sure you are eligible to do so. There are two main requirements that either you or your spouse should meet:
Live in the county for at least 90 days.
Live in Texas for at least 6 months.
As long as any of you meets both of these requirements, you may divorce in Harris County. Otherwise, you will not be considered a resident, and the local court will not review your case. It would be necessary to either wait or get divorced in the county where you or your spouse live.
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How to File for Divorce in Harris County?
To file for uncontested divorce in Harris County, you may:
Find and fill out forms relevant to your case.
Bring your paperwork to a divorce court.
Pay the filing fee and take the copies of the documents.
Give a copy of the paperwork you filed to your spouse.
Ask that your spouse signs the Answer or Waiver and a Decree.
Get a hearing date after a state-mandated 60-day waiting period.
Take the final paperwork with you to the court and attend the hearing.
File the Decree with a clerk after the judge signs it.
If you have children who received Medicaid or TANF, you will also have to mail the copy of the Petition you filed to the Child Support Division of the Office of Attorney General. You will have to prove you did it when finalizing your case, so request a return receipt when mailing the form.
You will need a lawyer to represent you if you are filing on a fault basis, such as adultery, cruelty, or abandonment, for instance. The same goes for a no-fault marriage dissolution when you and your spouse do not blame each other for the breakdown of your marriage but are not in agreement on how to divide your assets and take care of your children.
Harris County Divorce Forms
The package of documents you will need for a Harris County divorce will mainly depend on whether you have children under 18 and whether your spouse will contest the case.
If there is a chance you can come to an agreement or you have already reached it, here are some of the Harris County divorce papers you may need:
Original Petition for Divorce in Harris County.
Civil Case Information Sheet.
Answer or Waiver of Service.
Information on Suit Affecting Family Relationship.
Standard or Modified Possession Order if you have children.
Divorce Decree for Harris County.
Note that the forms you require will vary depending on what you would want a court to do and the family circumstances. For example, if you or your spouse would like to get back to using the maiden name, you will have to file an Order with a request to restore it.
To fill out divorce papers correctly, you will have to read each question to make sure it applies to your case before you answer it. It is worth paying special attention to sections with numbers and calculations, as they are the easiest to make mistakes in.
Signing the forms right after you are done filling them in might not be the best option. Taking time to review them and checking whether you should sign them in front of the notary might save you from having to refill the paperwork.
Harris County Divorce Filing Fees
The Harris County clerk filing fees are around $350. There might be other court fees, such as those for making copies or serving your spouse, if you need it.
As the rates are susceptible to change and vary across the state and counties, it might be worth knowing the exact sum before bringing your case to court.
To inquire about the fees, contact the clerk of the district court where you plan to file. You may also want to ask about the means of payment they accept and whether their work hours remain the same.
If you cannot afford to pay the fees, you may request relief from court by filing a Statement form. The judge will review it to decide whether your financial situation is dire enough to grant relief.
Divorce Courts in Harris County Texas
Deciding where to file for divorce in Harris County, you need to understand that not all courts review marriage dissolution cases. Therefore, it would be necessary to find a family law courthouse and submit your paperwork there. Here is a divorce court in Harris County that you may bring your case to:
Court Name: 245th District Court · 246th District Court · 247th District Court · 257th District Court · 280th District Court · 308th District Court · 309th District Court · 310th District Court · 311th District Court · 312th District Court · 507th District Court
Clerk Name: Marilyn Burgess
Court Address: 201 Caroline Houston, Texas 77002
Phone: (832) 927-5800
Clerk Hours: 8am-5pm
Cities: Aldine · Atascocita · Barrett · Baytown · Bellaire · Bunker Hill Village · Channelview · Cinco Ranch · Cloverleaf · Crosby · Deer Park · El Lago · Friendswood · Galena Park · Hedwig Village · Highlands · Hilshire Village · Houston · Humble · Hunters Creek Village · Jacinto City · Jersey Village · Katy · La Porte · League City · Mission Bend · Missouri City · Morgans Point · Nassau Bay · Pasadena · Pearland · Piney Point Village · Seabrook · Sheldon · Shoreacres · South Houston · Southside Place · Spring · Spring Valley Village · Stafford · Taylor Lake Village · Tomball · Waller · Webster · West University Place
Need help filing your uncontested divorce in Harris County? Contact Ready Divorce Service at: (832) 463-0300.