Are you in the process of seeking a divorce, and know that you and your spouse agree when it comes to the terms? If this is the case, you will be pleased to know that you can acquire a cheap uncontested divorce in Texas. The process involved in getting a divorce is much simpler when it is uncontested, because this means you will be able to represent yourself. You do not need to hire a lawyer in order to assist you with the sticky details that would be overwhelming if you were to have a disagreement on various terms. There are many reasons and benefits to filing an uncontested divorce.
How to Start Your Uncontested Divorce in Texas
First it is necessary to be clear on the residency requirements for getting a cheap uncontested divorce in Texas. It is required that you live in Texas for the last six months, and that you file within the county in which you or your spouse have resided in for at least 90 days prior to you filing your divorce. Next, there are some crucial terms to have in mind with any divorce case. The individual who files is known as the Petitioner and the other party (spouse) to the suit is called the Respondent. You will need to draft an Original Petition for Divorce and then file it with the District Clerk’s office to start the divorce process. When you go to file your Petition, take three extra copies with you to the District Clerk’s office and pay the fee to file the Petition. The clerk will take your Petition and provide you a case number for your case. This is the number you will use to reference your case from that day forward as you move through the divorce process.
Notifying Your Spouse
After you finish filing your divorce, it is important that you notify your spouse right away that you have filed for divorce. You should provide your spouse a copy of the petition that you filed so they will have notice that you’ve filed. This process is important, because the Court requires that your spouse be notified that you are suing for them divorce. This can be done in several ways as listed below:
- Waiver of Citation
- Process Service
- Posting or Publication
Waiver of Citation
Your spouse can sign a Waiver of Citation in front of a Notary Public. The signed Citation is an official notice to the Court that your spouse has received a copy of the petition that was filed with the Court. When this is done, no formal citation is necessary to be issued by the Court.
If you decide to go this route, you will have to formally request that the Court issue Citation and attach the Citation to the Petition that you filed with the District Clerk’s office. The official name of the form is “Civil Process Request“. The form is the same or similar in every County throughout Texas. Once the Petition and Citation are ready, you can either pay a “private process server” to deliver the documents to your spouse or you can have them delivered by the “Sheriff or Constable” in your County. Usually the fee to have these documents delivered is about $75.00, and can be paid at the time you file your Petition with the District Clerk’s office.
Posting or Publication
If you can’t locate your spouse because you don’t know where they live and have lost contact over the years, then you can use this form of service. You will first have to get permission from the Court before moving forward with this type of service on the respondent. You will have to decide which of the two methods you want to use before asking the Court for permission. If you decide on service by publication, then you will have the notice published in a local or legal newspaper. If you decide to use posting as a method of service, then notice will be published somewhere at the Court house where notices are usually posted.
Playing the Waiting Game
Once your spouse is notified that you are suing them for divorce by Waiver of Citation, Process Service, or by posting notice in the Court house or by publication in a local newspaper, you will have to wait a mandatory period of sixty days. The waiting period starts the day you file your Petition with the District Clerk’s office. During this time, you will work through any details that you do not perfectly agree upon with your spouse. This includes matters that deal with property division and/or child custody, or anything else that comes up that the two of you cannot agree about.
Final Decree of Divorce
After a complete agreement has been reached between the two of you, it is time to draft the Final Decree of Divorce. Both you and your spouse will need to sign this document before you are ready to submit it to the Court. This document does not require your spouse to sign in front of a Notary. The next step you should take is schedule a final Court hearing for the uncontested Court docket. The Court’s Coordinator can help you get your case scheduled on the Court’s docket. At this point, all you have to do is attend Court and go before the Judge and have the Judge hear your case and sign the Divorce Decree which officially grants you a divorce.
The Cost of Uncontested Divorce in Texas
If your reasons for seeking an uncontested divorce centers around cost, then you can be assured that your cost will be minimal if you go this route. The only cost you have to account for is the filing fee to file the Petition unless you have the Petition served on your spouse. You should expect to pay a filing fee between $265 to $295 when you file the Petition. If you have the Petition served on your spouse you will have to pay a fee of approximately $8.00 for the Citation to be prepared plus approximately $75 to the process server, i.e, Sheriff, Constable, or private Process Server. If for some reason you have to have the Petition published in a newspaper, this fee is going to vary depending on the newspaper you use. When compared to the cost of hiring an attorney, the costs to do it yourself are relatively inexpensive because these costs would still be absorbed in addition to attorney fees.
If you are able to work out an agreement with your spouse, I highly recommend you file an uncontested divorce. The only thing you have to decide is if you should do it yourself or hire an attorney to file it for you. If you choose to do it yourself, make sure you understand the process and the local rules of your particular County. To learn everything you need to know about doing it yourself, visit DIY Texas Divorce to get the legal forms, video tutorials and other documents you need to avoid any complications or hiccups during the process. If you need attorney assistance and have further questions, please feel free to reach out to me by sending me an email to email@example.com and share any questions or concerns you have.