Sometimes divorce is the best option for both parties involved. You may be a candidate for an uncontested divorce if you and your spouse have both considered other options, and regardless of which angle you approach the situation, divorce remains the most reasonable option. The uncontested divorce process does not have to resemble divorce scenarios you see on daytime television. There is a simple, cordial way to divorce your spouse without it being one big mess, and it is to get an uncontested divorce.
Who is a Good Candidate For an Uncontested Divorce in Texas?
An uncontested divorce may suit you if
- You do not want to spend a lot of money
- You and your spouse both agree to divorce
- There is no animosity between you and your spouse
- You wish to keep most of your assets
- You want as much privacy as possible
When you and your spouse get along, more opportunities are available to both of you. If you and your spouse can come to terms with
- Dividing debt
- Child custody
- Child support
- Division of property
You are the ideal candidate for an uncontested divorce in Texas if you and your spouse can agree in these situations.
Texas Uncontested Divorce Process Timeline
Let’s take a closer look at the things you should be doing and thinking about if you’re considering an uncontested divorce. The following steps give you a general guideline or road-map of what this process looks like in a Texas Court. It doesn’t matter what County you live in, the process in going to be the same or similar.
1. Agree On Important Issues
Important matters, such as spousal support, should be discussed first in the divorce process. Both you and your spouse need to make sure you both know, understand and agree to what the other needs in order to move forward in this process.
2. Create A Parenting Plan
If you have children, you need to create a reasonable parenting plan. You and your spouse should consider a plan that works best for both of you, and the child. Sometimes a child will live with one parent for a specific period of time, and visit the other for holidays, and other celebrations.
3. Decide If Child Support is Necessary
You and your spouse may be able to figure out a system that works for child support payments. Whatever the both of you decide, put it in document form, both you and your spouse sign it, and notarize it. The document should disclose who will be the custodial parent, and who will be the non-custodial parent.
4. Draft Divorce Settlement Papers
All agreements you and your spouse make should be compiled and incorporated into your divorce settlement. If you made a parenting plan, it too should be included with the settlement papers, unless you would like to submit these papers separately.
5. Consult A Lawyer
Although you can represent yourself, it’s not always in your best interest to do so fully. If children are involved it might be a good idea to at least consult with an attorney to help you draft the Possession Order. A lawyer can help you sort through any issues that arise as you work through child support, medical insurance credits, etc., if they occur. Lawyers have extensive knowledge of Texas divorce laws and can help you cover all of your basis during this process. Hiring a lawyer will help you determine what you need and want and advise you on the best way to get it. Even if you have most of this situation figured out, it’s good to have a lawyer in your corner to look over the paper and make sure the entire process goes as smoothly as possible.
6. File Your Paperwork
When you’re ready to file your paperwork, you will Petition the court for a divorce. when you go to the courthouse, tell the clerk you are getting an uncontested divorce. Fill out the divorce forms completely and accurately otherwise you will have to amend your Petition and this will slow down the process. In addition to these forms, other forms may need to be completed.
7. Submit Your Paperwork
You should make several copies of the completed paperwork before filing your Petition with the District Clerk’s office. Once copies are made, submit the Original Petition for Divorce with other required paperwork. Once the paperwork is submitted, you will pay the necessary filing fee according to your County’s fee schedule. After filing the paperwork, notify your spouse so they can sign the Waiver of Citation and any other forms that are required. After your spouse gives their notarized signature, the papers are filed with the Court.
8. Schedule Your Court Hearing
After you file your paperwork, you will schedule your Court hearing so you can appear before a judge. The best way to schedule your hearing is first, check with the Court’s Clerk to see if the Court has predetermined days they hear uncontested divorces. If they do not, then contact the Court’s Coordinator and ask her how can you schedule your case for an uncontested Court hearing.
9. Attend Your Hearing
Remember to wear attire that is as professional as possible. Dress neatly and clean and no shorts, leggings or torn, cut off jeans. Avoid wearing bulky jewelry to look as presentable as possible. Arrive at least 30 minutes early, and wait in the courtroom to get the feel of the Courtroom. If you haven’t already, when the Clerk enters the courtroom and takes a seat next to the bench where the Judge sits, this would be a good time to ask the Bailiff if you can approach so that you can file your Divorce Decree and Waiver of Citation.
When the judge is ready to hear your case, you will be asked a series of questions to determine if you are eligible for an uncontested divorce. This process is known as “proving-up” you case. This process requires you to answer a number of questions before the Judge that he/she may ask or you may be required to recite before the Judge on your own. For a list of such questions and other helpful information visit diytexasdivorce.com to gain the knowledge you need to start and finish your uncontested divorce without any hiccups.
If the Judge grants your divorce, he/she will sign the divorce decree immediately and you will receive a copy of this documentation the same day if you live in a County where they don’t first require the Divorce Decree to be imaged. Otherwise you can have the Court to mail you a copy or you can come back to the District Clerk’s office at a later time. It is wise to check with the Clerk immediately after you finish speaking with the Judge to see what is the policy of the Court with regard to you getting a signed copy of your Divorce Decree. Expect to pay around one dollar per page and more if you get a certified copy. Finally, once you have secured a copy of the signed Divorce Decree make sure you send a copy to your spouse. This is the last and final step in wrapping up your uncontested divorce.
Want More Information?
If you want more detailed information on this process, visit DIY Texas Divorce where you can learn everything you need to know to start and finish your uncontested divorce with confidence.