What Is an Uncontested Divorce in Texas?

by Ricardo Barrera

Hands of wife, husband signing decree of divorce, dissolution, canceling marriage, legal separation documents, filing divorce papers or premarital agreement prepared by lawyer. Wedding ring

In certain circumstances, couples may find themselves in a situation where they can agree on all aspects of their divorce without the need for a lengthy legal battle. This is what’s known as an “uncontested divorce.” In the state of Texas, understanding the process and requirements for an uncontested divorce can help couples streamline the dissolution of their marriage. 

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

An uncontested divorce is a divorce in which both parties agree on all relevant issues, including but not limited to:

  • Division of assets and debts
  • Child custody and visitation (if applicable)
  • Child support (if applicable)
  • Spousal support (if applicable)

Mutual agreements on these matters, couples can expedite the divorce process when compared to a “contested” or “at-fault divorce”. It’s essential to note that uncontested divorces are typically more straightforward and less costly than a contested divorce. That being said, there are still parameters that need to be followed to ensure it is completed successfully and without wasting time or money. The law requires that there be no expectation for reconciliation, so if you have consulted your church, your trusted friend or parent, or your conscience, and ultimately you decide it’s time to divorce for the greater good, then you should probably call an attorney with experience in divorce law to do it for you.

Requirements for Uncontested Divorce in Texas

Before proceeding with an uncontested divorce in Texas, couples must meet certain requirements.

Residency Requirement: At least one spouse must have been a resident of Texas for at least six months prior to filing for divorce, and a resident of the county where the divorce is filed for at least 90 days.

Mutual Agreement: Both parties must be in agreement regarding all aspects of the divorce, including property division, child custody, and support arrangements.

No Pending Legal Disputes: There should be no unresolved legal disputes between the spouses, such as pending lawsuits or restraining orders.

No Complex Issues: Uncontested divorces are best suited for couples with relatively simple financial situations and no significant disagreements.

The Uncontested Divorce Process in Texas

Filing the Petition: The process begins with one spouse (the petitioner) filing a petition for divorce with the appropriate court. The petition outlines the grounds for divorce and the agreed-upon terms.

Serving the Petition: The petitioner must serve the other spouse (the respondent) with a copy of the petition and a citation, which notifies them of the divorce proceedings.

Waiting Period: Texas imposes a mandatory waiting period of 60 days from the date the petition is filed before the divorce can be finalized. This waiting period allows for reconciliation or further negotiation between the spouses.

Finalizing the Divorce: Once the waiting period has passed, the spouses can attend a final hearing to finalize the divorce. If the court finds that the terms of the divorce are fair and reasonable, a judge will issue a final divorce decree.

By understanding the requirements and process involved, couples can navigate the divorce process more smoothly and with less stress. However, it’s essential to seek guidance from an experienced family law attorney to ensure that your rights and interests are protected throughout the process. You can contact The Barrera Law Firm for a free consultation on divorce, call  (956) 428-2822, or contact us online.

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