If you're planning on filing for divorce, and your spouse contests it, chances are you need a lawyer. However, divorce lawyer fees in Texas are typically about $200 per hour. However, if your divorce is uncontested and no-fault (you and your spouse are in agreement about how it should proceed), chances are you can file your divorce without a lawyer. This is true even if you have children. There are divorce kits and divorce services that can guide you and your spouse through the process of filing the paperwork in a Texas court quickly and smoothly, without a divorce lawyer.
Sit down with your spouse and discuss how you plan to divide your property. Decide who should get the house and primary custody of the children. If you decide against joint custody of the children, work out a schedule for visitation. Decide together whether one of you should pay child support or alimony to the other, and how much the amounts should be. Write everything down and ensure that both of you understand what you are agreeing to.
Go to a website such as DivorceLawTexas.com to purchase a divorce kit with the forms and instructions you need to file for divorce without a lawyer in Texas if you feel that you can handle filing the divorce yourself. This website also offers a divorce service in which paralegals fill out the divorce forms for you, which is much cheaper than having a lawyer file your divorce. If you don't feel confident about filing your own divorce and feel that you need help, this is probably your best option. If you feel that you can fill and file the divorce yourself but need support, visit a website such as 3StepDivorce.com to sign up for their online divorce service.
Fill out the divorce forms according to the instructions in the kit or service. Keep in mind that Texas law requires that one spouse file the Original Petition for Divorce and have the Sheriff, Constable or a private process server serve the petition to the other spouse, unless you obtain a waiver of service from your spouse ahead of time.
Specify the reasons you are filing for a no-fault divorce. Texas recognizes only two reasons for granting a no-fault, uncontested divorce. You must either have found that your marriage is unsupportable due to discord or conflict between your personalities that has destroyed the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship and which is beyond any hope of reconciliation, or you must have been living separately without cohabitation for at least three years.
File your Original Petition for Divorce with the District Clerk in the Texas county in which you reside. If a different procedure is necessary in your Texas county, follow the instructions provide by your divorce kit or service. Fill out the Final Decree of Divorce, which details your agreement about how to divide your property and who will receive custody of the children. Sign this document and have your spouse sign it as well. There is a 60 day waiting period before you can file the decree in the court in your Texas county.
- To file for divorce in Texas without a lawyer, either you or your spouse must have lived in Texas for at least 6 months. Either you or your spouse must also have lived in the county in which you plan to file the divorce proceedings for at least 90 days.
- Keep in mind that filing your divorce without a lawyer increases the chances of errors that could cost you in legal penalties.
- The filing fee for a divorce in Texas typically costs between $200 and $250.
- The information in this article is for your information only and does not constitute legal advice.