Getting divorced in Texas isn’t more complicated than in other states, but it’s important to understand how the process works before you initiate it. While you can file for divorce on your own, it is wise to hire an attorney to help you through the process if your spouse plans to contest your decision. Here are a few things you should know before getting divorced in Texas.
The first step you should take in the divorce process is locating the court in your area that will have jurisdiction over your case. You or your spouse must be a resident of Texas for at least six months before filing the divorce petition in Texas. At least 90 days prior to filing your divorce petition, you must first initiate the divorce proceedings with your county’s family court.
You will need to file a divorce petition to officially initiate the process. Your divorce petition must include your grounds for divorce and include personal information for both you and your spouse. You must also identify your marital property and children in the petition. You will need to mail or bring the original petition, as well as two copies, to your county’s District Clerk office and pay the specified fee.
Child custody considerations are always included in Texas divorce proceedings and can be very complicated to resolve. Whether you have a Dallas, Houston, or McKinney child custody issue, the courts will thoroughly review every detail to protect the children and provide them with the most favorable custody situation possible. In all child custody cases, it is wise to consider getting the help of a lawyer.
Once you have filed a divorce petition, you will need to notify your spouse that it has been filed. You can do this by having a copy of the petition hand-delivered to your spouse or by obtaining a citation waiver. The latter option allows the Respondent (your spouse) to confirm receipt of the petition through alternate means and removes your obligation to confirm delivery of the petition to the court.