Begin your Texas Divorce OnlineBegin Divorce
Texas Divorce Online is a service created in Texas that allows you to complete your official Texas Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, commonly known as divorce, online.
How Do I?
Texas Divorce Laws
In order to be granted a divorce in Texas, you must be legally married. Legal marriages in other states and countries are recognized as valid in Texas. However, the following situations are not recognized as valid marriages in Texas due to the divorce laws in Texas. These situations are:
- When a person gets married when they already have another spouse, then the second marriage will not be considered valid.
- When two people who are close relatives marry, that marriage may not be recognized in Texas.
- Unless you have a court order finding that you have been declared ”Common-Law” married, you may not file for a divorce of a common-law marriage in Texas.
What are the grounds for divorce in Texas?
Texas is a "no-fault divorce" state. This means that the only requirement for a divorce is for one spouse to declare that the marriage is insupportable, meaning it is no longer workable and there is no chance of reconciliation. There is no need to assign blame or prove that the other spouse is at fault for the failure of the marriage.
Who can file for a divorce in Texas?
Under Texas divorce laws you can file for a divorce in Texas if you or your spouse has resided in Texas for the six months leading up to the filing of Petition for Divorce.
Where do I file?
Once you have established the six month in-state residency requirement, then you may file for your divorce in the county that either you or your spouse resides and have resided for at least ninety days. Typically, the divorce is filed in the county where the Petitioner (the one who files) resides.
How long is the divorce process?
The waiting period for the finalization of a divorce action in Texas is sixty (60) days. This is the minimum period required before the court will finalize your divorce. The "sixty day" clock begins running after the Petition for Divorce is filed. After sixty days has passed, then you may finalize at any time that the court is available to hear your case, as long as you and your spouse have signed off on the Final Decree of Divorce (the final document granting your divorce and outlining all of your agreements).
Some courts are very busy, so they cannot finalize a divorce immediately after your sixty days has lapsed. This is something you will find out when you commence your action. When you file your case you can ask the Clerk what the approximate wait time is for finalization of agreed/uncontested divorces in their county.
What is an uncontested divorce?
If you and your spouse agree on all issues in your divorce, then your divorce will be considered an uncontested or agreed divorce. The basic issues that make up a divorce are: 1) division of property and liabilities; 2) alimony (also called maintenance or spousal support); and if there are children, 3) the visitation schedule and 4) child support.
If you and your spouse can agree on all issues, then you will be making the best out of a bad situation. By agreeing on all issues, you're more likely to get along better after the divorce – something that is very important, especially if you are have children together. Additionally, you save money. The cost of an uncontested divorce is significantly less than the cost of a contested one.
If you've agreed on some issues - but not all - but you want to work together to try to achieve a resolution efficiently and without fighting, then mediation may be an option for you and your spouse.
What is divorce mediation?
Mediation in divorce requires a mediator or a trained neutral, often a lawyer or mental health professional, to help divorcing spouses reach agreement. While divorcing spouses routinely participate in mediation when they are represented by attorneys, it is not uncommon for spouses to participate in mediation with a trained mediator and without their own attorneys. This is a good option for spouses who want to work together to create a resolution that is best for them, and who both feel as if they are well able to present their side of the story and their requests to the mediator.
Can I change my last name back to my maiden name?
Yes. If you are wanting to change your last name back to your last name prior to your marriage, you will be able to have this court-ordered in your Final Decree of Divorce.
How much child support will be paid?
In most circumstances, the court will order child support amounts in accordance with the Texas Child Support Guidelines. This is essentially 20% of the non-primary parent’s (the parent with whom the child(ren) reside the least) net income per month for one child, 25% for two children, 30% for three children, and so on. Additionally, the non-primary parent is expected to pay the health insurance costs for the child(ren) and 50% of any medical costs not paid by insurance.
What will the court do in granting a divorce in Texas?
- The court will divide all assets and liabilities "fairly and equitably" (which does not necessarily mean equally);
- The court will determine whether one spouse will pay alimony (also called spousal maintenance or spousal support) to the other, if requested by one spouse. This determination is made based on many factors but it is not typical for spousal maintenance to be awarded in Texas;
- The court will name conservators of the children. (who gets what type of custody);
- The court will establish a visitation schedule for the dependent children, and will also set an amount of child support. In Texas, child support is based on guidelines set by the legislature as determined by the noncustodial parent’s income and the number of children. Only in very unusual circumstances will a court deviate from these guidelines.
What won't a court do in granting a divorce in Texas?
- The court will not resolve the frustration or anger you may feel toward your spouse.
- The court will not be able to increase the assets that you and your spouse have, so that there is more money to go around. In fact, litigating a case with attorneys will most certainly cause you to spend a large amount of money and end up reducing the total amount that remains to be divided between you and your spouse.
- The court will not cut the other parent out of your children's lives (except in very extreme circumstances), so learning how to work with your spouse to make decisions for your children is best for your children and for you and your spouse.