There are several steps in the divorce process in the state of Texas. The steps are outlined below. The information provided is intended to offer a general overview of the divorce process in the state of Texas, and not all portions will be applicable to your particular situation. Generally, the divorce process takes at least 61 days to complete in the state of Texas although a divorce seldom occurs within that timeframe due to the parties inability to reach a settlement agreement within that time allotment.
Filing of the Original Petition for Divorce
- Filing the Original Petition begins the divorce process. One spouse files the Petition with the court, requesting that the court dissolve their marriage partnership with their spouse. The Original Petition is the document that communicates this request to the court. The spouse requesting the divorce is referred to as the Petitioner and the spouse receiving the Petition is the Respondent. Divorces in Texas may be either no-fault or with fault. If both parties cannot agree on the terms of the divorce, it’s up to the court to divide the assets within the marriage. The court will do so based on a standard referred to as “just and right division” TFC §7.001. Fault assigned within the divorce can affect how the court interprets what is a “just and right division” TFC §7.001.
Service of Petition
- Once the Original Petition for Divorce has been filed with the court, the Reponsdent will need to be notified. The Petition must be officially delivered to them by either a Constable or a private process server. This can be avoided if the Respondent signs the waiver of service.
Filing of an Answer and/or a Counter Petition
- Once the Original Petition for Divorce has been filed and the Respondent has been served, the Respondent has until Monday following 20 days from the date of service, to file an Answer. The Answer will either accept or deny the allegations set forth in the Original Petition. At this time, the Respondent has the opportunity to file a Counterpetition. This is the Respondent’s opportunity to present their requests for the divorce.