The divorce process can be arduous and expensive, regardless of the plan used to achieve it. An uncontested divorce, however, can make getting a divorce a whole lot smoother. In Texas, an uncontested divorce, devoid of any other issues, can be done in a more convenient way – through an online divorce without a lawyer service.
SO how to file for divorce in Texas without a lawyer? By going through the frequently asked questions below, you can analyze your situation and better determine if a quick online divorce without an attorney in Texas is the right choice for you.
What are the requirements for filing for divorce in Texas?
To qualify for a DIY divorce in Texas, you need to meet the same basic divorce requirements used in every case.
First, you must meet the residency requirements. To qualify for a divorce in Texas, one of the spouses must live in the state for at least six months. Additionally, the spouse filing for divorce, known as the petitioner, must live in the county being used for the proceedings for at least 90 days before filing. You don’t have to divorce in the place you were married, you just have to live there for the necessary amount of time.
The Texas Family Code also indicates that if one spouse is currently stationed in Texas as part of the US armed forces, then he/she can have the status of Texas domiciliary.
If you meet the residency requirements, you will next need to be aware of what documents are needed to initiate your dissolution of marriage.
What grounds of divorce are acceptable in the state?
Before you decide to apply for a divorce, you have to consider your particular situation. Is it a no-fault divorce or a fault-based one? If your goal is an uncontested divorce you will have to choose a no-fault ground. The state of Texas has two no-fault options:
- The marriage is “insupportable” meaning that both parties feel that the marriage is not working and cannot be fixed.
- The spouses have lived separate and apart for at least three years.
Fault-based grounds, which will need proven in court with a the help of a lawyer, include:
- Child custody battle
- Felony conviction and/or imprisonment for more than a year
- Institutionalization for mental problems for three or more years
Divorce Without a Lawyer in Texas
Fault-based grounds require court hearings and can affect spousal support/alimony, property division, and/or child custody. A fault-based divorce can understandably cause notable friction between the spouses.
In cases of abandonment and cruelty, the petitioner may want justice to be served. With adultery, there may be a lot of bitterness still attached that makes coming to a reasonable agreement impossible. You should not just sign papers when you do not fully agree with what they say. This is what lawyers are for.
Fault-based cases should not be filed online because of the complexity and legal ramifications of such cases, especially in instances of criminal activity or child endangerment.
What will the process be like?
If none of the complications listed above are present in your case, using a no-fault ground and going through the proceedings without a lawyer is manageable and affordable. And here is the answer of how to file for divorce in Texas without a lawyer.
Filing a petition:
After meeting all the requirements for divorce, you can start a petition. This is what you submit to the court that initiates the proceedings. If your case is uncontested, you can do this on your own without a lawyer or using an online divorce service. With reputable online divorce companies, you can be sure that your paperwork will be prepared correctly based on the specific details of your case.
No matter which way you choose to have your paperwork completed, you will still have to choose a reason for the divorce and provide contact details for you and your spouse as well as information about joint and separate assets, debts, property, and more.
Signing and submitting the petition
If you are doing it online, you merely have to provide basic information about your case and make a quick payment. It is fast and inexpensive. The completed papers will be made available in as little as 2 days or less. You just print them, sign them, and take them to the county clerk’s office for filing. You will pay the court a filing fee and be given a case ID.
Texas Online Divorce prepares your divorce documents packet for just $139 and assures you that your completed papers will be accepted by the court with delays. Phone and email support is available if you have questions. The whole online process is quick, easy, and affordable.
Some couples may choose the assistance of lawyers, which is the most expensive option. Their hourly fees which usually range from $400 – $700 can quickly sky rocket when they are involved, but in complicated or contested cases, this can be the best choice.
Deliver a copy to your spouse
A copy of the divorce papers will have to be sent to your spouse. If your divorce is uncontested, then this part will be easy. The recipient should have no problems accepting it and providing proof of service.
What happens next?
In an uncontested case, you are already most of the way done. All you have to do at this point is wait. The state of Texas has a 60 day mandatory waiting period before the judge will sign your divorce decree. The clerk’s office will set a final court hearing date for the judge to go over your paperwork and sign the final order. Ensure that all your paperwork has been completed and submitted so that you are actually waiting for something.
This 60 day waiting period, also called a “cooling off” period, is provided for you and your spouse to come to a settlement agreement. This settlement agreement has to be completed, signed by both parties, and submitted during the 60 day period if you want your divorce completed in the shortest possible time.
You have to attend your final divorce hearing. The judge will go through all the paperwork that you have filed. The paperwork will have to include the divorce petition, the settlement agreement, as well as the divorce decree. The judge will assess if both parties are in full agreement. If so, then, he/she will sign the finalized divorce decree.
This final decree will be sent to the clerk’s office to be filed. Make sure that both you and your spouse get a certified copy on how to file for divorce in Texas without a lawyer.
Now you see that the steps towards finalizing an uncontested divorce are straightforward.
- You don’t need a lawyer.
- You can apply for a divorce online.
When there is no doubt that the marriage is over, and your case will be uncontested, it is easier to simply formalize your divorce using an online divorce service. You have already gone through even heartaches. Why suffer financially over something that can so easily be settled?
If you and your spouse have amicably ended your relationship, the whole process should be straightforward and inexpensive. Of course, before this can ever happen, a deep self-examination should be the very first step. Once you are sure of everything, just go online and start your fast and easy divorce.