Below is a basic outline of the process for completing an uncontested divorce in Houston, Texas:
1. File an Original Petition for Divorce in the proper county.
Generally speaking, the proper county is the county you or the other party (Respondent) have resided in for at least 90 days prior to filing for divorce, assuming you have been a resident of the State of Texas for at least 6 months.
The petition names the parties to the suit (yes, a divorce is a law suit), establishes the court’s jurisdiction to hear the case, lays out the grounds for divorce and asks the court to grant the divorce.
2. Present a copy of the filed petition for divorce, along with a Waiver of Service, to the Respondent.
The waiver, once executed and filed with the court, tells the court that the Respondent has formal notice of the suit as required by Texas law. Normally, a party to a lawsuit must be served with legal papers before the filing party can proceed. A waiver of service does exactly what it says; it is the Respondent’s method of waiving that service thus allowing the filing party to proceed with the case.
3. File the executed waiver with the Court.
4. Draft a Final Decree of Divorce
The Final Decree of Divorce sets out the agreement of the parties. The decree includes provisions for dissolving the marriage, child custody, child support and property division. It is the document the judge will sign that officially divorces the parties.
5. Go to court after 60 days has elapsed from the time of filing and “prove up” the divorce.
The prove up consists of reciting information about the divorce to the Court so that the Court is satisfied that all of the requirements for a divorce, as outlined by the Texas Family Code, have been met. If the requirements have been met the judge will approve and sign the divorce.
6. Get a certified copy of the Final Decree of Divorce.
Once signed, a certified copy of the Final Decree of Divorce with the judge’s signature is usually available from the Court within a few days. A certified copy is used to complete a name change, establish a child support account or simply prove that you are divorced.
Keep in mind that the outline above for an uncontested divorce in Houston, Texas is just that, an outline. Each one of the steps is more in depth and requires a sound understanding of the laws that govern divorce. It is also important to note that many courts have their own set of requirements or rules that cannot be found in the Texas Family Code.
Contact a Houston divorce lawyer at The Rudisel Law Firm, P.C. today for a complimentary consultation.
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