Texas Divorce Process Overview
Navigate Your Divorce the Easy Way
Before you can file for a divorce in Texas, you or your spouse must have lived in the state of Texas for at least 6 months AND in the county where you will be filing for at least 90 days. Once you file your petition, there is a 60-day waiting period from the date of filing before the divorce can be finalized.
Petitioners and Respondents
The party who files the petition is called the petitioner, and the other party (your spouse) is called the respondent. Once the petition has been filed, the respondent needs to sign a Waiver of Service, or they will have to be formally served with process (meaning being served by a sheriff, constable, or private process server with a copy of the petition). If the respondent has been served with process, they will have limited time to file a response. If they do not, they risk defaulting and losing all say in the divorce terms.
Divorce Prove-Up Hearings
After the 60-day waiting period, if both parties have reached an agreement or if the respondent defaulted (in other words, never responded to your petition), you can “prove up” the divorce.
So what is a prove up hearing? In divorce cases, a Texas prove up is a simple court hearing where each party presents their testimony for the uncontested divorce before the Judge. If all parts of the divorce have been agreed upon, then the divorce can be finalized.
This process varies from county to county, but for the most part, you will need to appear in Court at a set prove-up time. The Court often blocks off time specifically for prove-ups.
At this time, you will present the Judge your final divorce decree and other paperwork that needs to be signed, such as a wage withholding order for child support. You can also choose to have the prove-up hearing recorded by the court reporter.
The Judge may ask you a number of prove up questions about:
- Your name
- Your county of residence and how long you’ve lived there
- Your children’s ages and if any are from a previous marriage
- Your marital property and plans to divide it
- If you plan to change your name
Once the hearing is over, the Judge will sign all orders and finalize the divorce, making it official.
It’s a good idea to bring at least two copies of each of the documents so that the Judge can give you copies of the signed paperwork for your records.
Have questions about the divorce process in Texas? Call Simple Texas Divorce at (940) 236-0972. We serve all of Texas, including Collin, Cooke, Dallas, Denton, and Tarrant Counties.