How Does an Uncontested Divorce Work In Texas?
An uncontested divorce is the quickest, most affordable, and least stressful way to get a divorce in Texas. In a nutshell, an uncontested divorce involves both sides working together rather than pitting against each other.
Below, Tycha Kimbrough of Kimbrough Legal, PLLC, an uncontested divorce lawyer in Austin, TX, explains how uncontested divorce works and what you can expect during the divorce process.
Uncontested Divorce Requirements in Texas
Texas spouses interested in an uncontested divorce, aka “dissolution of marriage,” must meet the following requirements:
- State Residency. Couples can get a divorce in the state if at least one of the spouses has lived in Texas for a minimum of six months and in the county of filing for at least 90 days before they file for divorce.
- Agreement on the Reason for Divorce. Uncontested divorces are “no-fault” matters, but spouses still need to provide “grounds,” or a legal reason, for divorce. The most common reasons for no-fault divorces are incompatibility or irreconcilable differences.
- Agreement on Core Matters of Divorce. An uncontested divorce requires the spouses to agree on all critical issues in divorce, to include: property division, debt allocation, spousal maintenance, child support, and a parenting plan. If the spouses face conflict while discussing the above, mediation can help them reach a workable compromise, but mediation is not part of an uncontested matter..
Preparing Divorce Forms
As you prepare to file for divorce, your attorney will draft the relevant documents, depending on whether you or your spouse is initiating the divorce and whether you have children under 18. Couples with no minor children or jointly owned real property will have simplified divorce documents.
The documents to be filed may also depend upon which county in Texas you live, so consult with your uncontested divorce lawyer. Typically, your attorney will prepare:
- An Original Petition for Divorce - a document that starts the divorce process
- An Out-of-State Party Declaration - if you or your spouse live outside Texas
- Local Standing Orders - these orders keep the status quo regarding property and children—e.g., preventing spouses from selling assets or taking minor children out of the state. Standing Orders apply to all Travis County divorces.
Filing Divorce Paperwork
After drafting the relevant documents, your attorney will file them. Filing for divorce involves a county filing fee of about $350.
The standard divorce procedure involves “serving” or delivering the documents to your spouse (the “respondent”). In uncontested divorces, the respondent should sign a Waiver of Service and return it to you or your attorney and your attorney will file it with the court. Your attorney will then prepare the Final Decree of Divorce according to the terms you and your spouse have agreed upon. You and your spouse will then sign the Final Decree and supporting documents in preparation for submission to the court.
How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Case Take in Texas?
After filing the divorce petition, you must wait 60 days before presenting the final divorce decree to the court. Once this mandatory waiting period ends, your attorney will submit your agreed final decree to the court or request a court date to “prove-up” the divorce.
An uncontested divorce prove-up hearing is typically short and straightforward. The judge will ensure that all legal requirements were followed and approve the divorce decree.
Do You Need an Uncontested Divorce Lawyer?
Even if you and your spouse agree to dissolve the marriage and foresee no major conflicts about core matters like asset division or child support, it is better to retain a divorce lawyer. A family law attorney understands the court process and can easily prepare the appropriate documents and navigate all requirements. You may not plan for a contested divorce, but things can turn ugly when significant issues like money and child custody are at stake. An attorney can protect your rights and help you navigate any unanticipated disagreements.
Working with an uncontested divorce lawyer is especially important if:
- You and your spouse have a high net worth estate or multiple and complex assets
- You and your spouse co-own a business
- You have minor children
- You suspect that your spouse is trying to conceal marital assets
- You know your spouse has already hired a divorce attorney
At Kimbrough Legal, PLLC, we always encourage our clients to work out their differences with their spouses through negotiation or a mediation process. However, we may take legal steps like requesting a temporary restraining order or proceeding to divorce litigation when necessary. Our modern, innovative law firm offers ongoing legal support and constant communication in all divorce cases.
Kimbrough Legal, PLLC: Uncontested Divorce Attorney Near You in Austin, TX
Even if you and your spouse strive for an amicable divorce, you will need trusted legal advice during this challenging time. The knowledgeable family law team of Kimbrough Legal, PLLC, can help you make better decisions throughout the divorce and achieve an optimal settlement agreement.
Divorce is always difficult, but your new life awaits on the other side of the bridge. Call us at 833-553-4251 or fill out our online form to consult Austin’s uncontested divorce lawyer Tycha Kimbrough.
The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
Kimbrough Legal, PLLC
5920 W. William Cannon Dr., Bldg 3, Ste 400
Austin, TX 78749