A divorce is always a traumatic event. Especially the condition is aggravated when spouses begin to quarrel in court because of the division of property and custody of children. Nevertheless, a marriage termination does not always have to turn into a war. In Texas, as in other states, the uncontested divorce is especially popular, in which spouses can peacefully, quietly and relatively quickly dissolve their marriage.
Overview of Uncontested Divorce in Texas
An uncontested divorce is what comes to replace the contested one. Simply put, when an uncontested divorce takes place, the spouses must agree with everything. Due to this, they do not have to attend court cases, and a divorce can be completed in just a couple of months. In a contested termination, the judge will issue a decree only after all disputed matters are resolved. In an uncontested divorce, the spouses simply do not have controversial subjects. That’s why an uncontested dissolution is much cheaper, and you can get the final decree in 60 days (in some cases longer, depending on the workload of the court).
An uncontested divorce means a lack of controversy. That is, the spouses must find a compromise on all disputable issues, such as the division of joint property, the separation of custody of common minor children, the parenting plan, the amount of financial support, the grounds for divorce, and any other issues that may arise during termination. In order to show the judge that the couple has no disputes, the spouse must provide the Settlement Agreement. This document contains a conflict resolution. A judge will grant a divorce based on this agreement.
Residency Requirements for Divorce in Texas
To claim for divorce in Texas can only residents of the state. Therefore, to file the petition with the court, one of the spouses must have been residing in Texas for at least the past six months. As well as leave at least 90 days in the county where the plaintiff wants to file for divorce.
Ground for Divorce in Texas
To file for divorce, the claimant must state the reason that led to the intention to dissolve the marriage. The reasons can only be that which are established by law. The most common grounds for an uncontested divorce in Texas are no-fault. They state that marriage has become unbearable because of many conflicts, and there is no hope for reconciliation. These grounds are characterized by the fact that none of the spouses is to blame for the collapse of the marriage. In other words, the plaintiff will not have to prove the defendant’s guilt in court and show all dirty laundry.
There are also fault reasons in Texas. Even though they are mainly used in contested divorces, they can also be used for uncontested, provided that both spouses agree with these grounds. The fault reasons are adultery, cruelty, abandonment for a minimum of one year, imprisonment in a psychiatric hospital, conviction for a crime, living separately for three years.
Pro Se Divorce in Texas
Spouses applying for an uncontested divorce can get it without the participation of a lawyer. By and large, attorneys are needed in cases where it is required to protect the interests of the petitioner and the respondent before the court. This is the case when a contested divorce is being considered, and spouses have something to share and fight for. In an uncontested separation, the spouses agree with all the controversial issues; therefore, the protection of their interests is not needed. Also, spouses have the right to fill out all the necessary documents independently. This is what is called Pro Se divorce, or in other words, a divorce without a lawyer.
Divorce Forms in Texas
The list of primary forms consists of:
- Original Petition for Divorce – the form in which spouses indicate primary information about their marriage.
- Citation – in other stated it’s called Summons. This form indicates the respondent that a divorce case is filed.
- Information Re Minors Required under 152.209, Texas Family Code – this form contains information about common children. Must be filed only if spouses have minors.
- Final Decree of Divorce – this form makes a divorce final when the judge signs it.
- Military Affidavit – a form that confirms that the defendant is or is not in the military on active duty.
- Financial Information and Proposed Support Decision – a form that confirms the financial status of the spouses. Is used when it’s needed to calculate any financial support.
- Affidavit of Inability to Pay – the form with which the petitioner asks to remove the court fee for him because of poverty he’s unable to pay.
It is worth paying attention to the fact that, depending on the circumstances of the marriage or county, the court may require additional forms. Therefore, if you fill out the forms yourself, you should check with the clerk exactly which papers are needed in your case.
All forms are freely available; they can be downloaded from the Internet or obtained from the county clerk. You can also fill the forms out yourself according to Texas law or use the Online Divorce service. When they say Online Divorce means a website that prepares papers for dissolution. The system works quite simply: you need to register on the site and answer all the questions about your marriage which are offered by the platform. After that, you will receive forms completed following the peculiarities of your termination.
Besides, forms for an uncontested divorce can be prepared with the help of a lawyer.
Cost of an Uncontested Divorce in Texas
The cost of uncontested divorce largely depends on how you are going to prepare the documents. If you complete them yourself without any help, then you will only need to pay a court fee, which on average is $ 300, and pay a small amount for copies of documents.
If you want to get an online divorce, then in addition to the court fee, you still need to pay for the services of the company. Price varies depending on the organization and ranges from $ 139 to $ 400.
If you want a lawyer to prepare all the documents, then you will need to pay for his services. On average, lawyers take $ 300 per hour; the court fee is not included in this amount.