The state of Texas allows spouses to pursue what’s known as an uncontested divorce if both parties agree entirely on the terms of the divorce.
This option is popular because it’s one of the fastest and least expensive ways to end a marriage. However, there are some very specific requirements to qualify for an uncontested divorce in Texas. Just because you and your spouse completely agree on the terms of the divorce does not mean you automatically qualify.
I’ll review the requirements for an uncontested divorce and help you better understand whether you and your spouse could qualify for amicable dissolution of the marriage.
How Does an Uncontested Divorce Work in Texas?
The Supreme Court of Texas has set clear requirements for how to qualify for an uncontested divorce. It starts with ensuring that you and your spouse will agree on every issue in the divorce proceedings. Alternatively, you could qualify if you do not believe that your spouse will participate in the divorce process. Regardless of which situation applies to your situation, you and your spouse must meet the following requirements:
- You and your spouse cannot have any disagreement about any issue in the divorce.
- You or your spouse do not want to file specific grounds for divorce (e.g., adultery, unfaithfulness, cruelty, abuse).
- You and your spouse do not have a biological or adopted child together who is younger than 18 years old or is older than 18 and still in high school. In other words, if you have minor children or children still in school, then you and your spouse are automatically disqualified from an uncontested divorce in Texas.
- The wife in the relationship cannot be pregnant, even if the husband is not the father.
- You and your spouse are disqualified if the wife has had a child by another man since the date of the marriage.
- You and your spouse cannot have a disabled child together, regardless of the child’s age. Even if the disabled child is an adult, you cannot pursue an uncontested divorce.
- You or your spouse cannot request alimony (known as spousal support or maintenance in Texas). This must be a clean break where neither spouse will financially support the other spouse following the divorce.
- Neither party can own real property. Therefore, there are no real estate assets to divide up (e.g., house, building, land, or other real estate). Also, you or your spouse cannot be in the midst of buying real property during the divorce.
- You or your spouse cannot be involved in an ongoing bankruptcy case.
- You or your spouse has lived in the state of Texas for at least six months. (This is to prevent couples from temporarily residing in Texas to take advantage of divorce laws.) Additionally, you must have lived in the county where you are filing for divorce for at least 90 days.
As you can see, it is very difficult to qualify for an uncontested divorce. If you own property, have children, if one spouse needs to be financially supported after the divorce, or if there are unique circumstances involved in your situation, then I recommend that you pursue a standard divorce. As an expert divorce attorney in Texas, I can help you start that process.
However, if you believe that you qualify for an uncontested divorce, you will need to follow certain steps to complete the process.
Steps to Complete an Uncontested Divorce in Texas
The Texas Supreme Court has a specific set of divorce documents for uncontested divorces. You can find those documents on their website. It is important to follow the steps outlined by the government to finalize the divorce:
- Complete the “Original Petition for Divorce” and file it at the courthouse in your county
- Pay a filing fee with the district clerk in your county
- Provide your spouse with legal notice that you have filed for divorce
- Complete the “Final Decree of Divorce” form and prepare for court
- Wait 61 days since you filed the Original Petition for Divorce
- Present your divorce case to the judge assigned to your case
- Once the judge has signed the Final Decree of Divorce, file the form with the clerk.
- Receive a certified copy of the Final Decree of Divorce, which can be used to change your name or handle other post-divorce business
- If you plan to remarry, then you must wait 30 days until after the Final Decree of Divorce is signed
There are many variables or special situations that could arise over the course of this process. For example, local rules in your county could affect the divorce case. That’s why it’s important to work with a local divorce attorney that knows the ins and outs of how divorces work near you so that you’re not caught off-guard by special rules.
If you live in Brazoria County, Fort Bend County, or Harris County, I can provide you with expert legal support during an uncontested divorce.
Find Legal Support with An Uncontested Divorce
Over the past decade, I have helped many spouses complete the divorce process in Texas. If you believe you qualify for an uncontested divorce, then I highly recommend that you talk to me so that I can provide you support from beginning to end of the process.
Things could quickly become complicated if you try to complete the process on your own. Remember, there is another party involved in the legal proceedings, and the other party could change their mind halfway through. Remember, if there is any disagreement over the terms of the divorce, then an uncontested divorce is off the table.
I’ll help you throughout the process so that you can arrive at the best possible outcome to start your new life after divorce. Talk to me about divorce support in Brazoria, Fort Bend, or Harris County. Call me right away at 281-944-5485 or 979-267-7660 to further discuss an uncontested divorce in Texas. I’m here to help during this difficult time.