Texas is a no-fault state which means that grounds are not necessary to qualify for a divorce. Here’s what you need to know about understanding divorce laws in Texas.

There are both fault-based and no-fault-based types of divorce. A fault divorce places blame on a spouse while a no-fault divorce refers to spouses who no longer get along and find themselves with irreconcilable differences in their marriage.

Is Texas a No-Fault Divorce State?

Since Texas is a no-fault state, spouses do not have to prove fault. Should they meet residency requirements, they may file the no-fault divorce for any of the following reasons:

  • Insupportability
  • Living apart
  • Confinement to a mental hospital

Understanding a Fault-Based Divorce

Although spouses do not need to assign fault in a divorce, the wronged party may want to point blame. In the state of Texas, grounds for a fault-based divorce include:

  • Adultery
  • Abandonment for one year or more
  • Abuse of all types
  • Domestic violence
  • Felony convictions
  • Mental incapacitation
  • Mental or physically cruel treatment

Those looking to file a fault-based divorce must provide evidence of fault to the court. By providing fault, the judge’s decision may be influenced and a higher proportion of community property may be awarded.

Filing a no-fault Divorce

1. Make sure divorce is the right choice

It is a life-changing choice so make sure it is the right one. For those seriously considering, begin to prepare. Prepare finances, living arrangements, lifestyle changes, and a plethora of other important life-changing decisions because divorce will most definitely be a change.

2. Meet Texas Residency Requirements

All states require those seeking a divorce, first meet the residency requirements of the state. Either the petitioner or respondent must have lived in the state of Texas for at least 6 months, as well as in the county where filing for divorce for a minimum of 90 days.

Related: Grounds for Divorce in Texas

3. Get a Petition of divorce

This document will formally begin the process of divorce and can be obtained through one’s local county clerk’s office in the Texas county district where the filer resides. In some countries, this can be found online.

4. Sign and Submit the Petition

The petition should be filled to completion and filers should expect to provide the following:

  • Spouses’ contact details
  • Financial information
  • Debts and property
  • Proposed settlement arrangements
  • Reasons for requesting a divorce

5. Pay the Filing Fee

At the time of submission of the petition, filers should pay the required filing fee. After which, they shall be assigned a case number and the petition will be stamped as received.

6. Deliver a Petition Copy To the Spouse

The Petition should be copied and the second copy should be served to the spouse. Proof of service must be obtained and filed with the county clerk’s office. Texas allows the following to deliver the petition to a spouse:

  • Spouse filing
  • County sheriff’s office
  • Private party

7. Finalize Settlement Agreement

After completion and filing of papers, the clerk’s office will set a date for the court hearing. There is a mandatory waiting period of 60 days to which spouses should utilize finalizing any remaining documents such as a settlement agreement or finalizing the divorce decree.

Related: Contested and Uncontested Divorce: The Difference

8. Attend Divorce Hearing

After 60 days, spouses must attend the divorce hearing where a judge reviews all filed paperwork and confirms both parties are in agreement on all aspects of the divorce. At the end of the hearing, the judge will sign the final divorce decree.

9. File the Final Decree

The finalized and signed divorce decree should be taken to the county clerk’s office to be filed. It is recommended that parties ask the clerk for two or three certified copies of the decree. One for each spouse and another with a safe third party.

10. Cost of a no-fault Divorce in Texas

Uncontested divorces are often the cheapest option when it comes to divorce. They average between $300 and $5,000, depending on the complexity of circumstance and the involvement of lawyers.

11. Waiting Periods for no-fault Divorces

Spouses must wait 60 days from when the suit was filed for it to be finalized and may not remarry before the 31st day after the decree has been signed. In some cases, this may be waived by the court.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one would like to learn more about Understanding Divorce Laws Texas, get your free consultation with one of our Divorce Attorneys in Texas today!