Category Archives: Divorce

Uncontested Divorce – What is it?

In my previous post we have discussed the basics of an uncontested divorce in Texas, and the Texas divorce forms that are typically used.

But what exactly is an uncontested divorce in Texas?  An uncontested divorce in Texas means that you have agreed on:

If all of the above are not agreed upon, then you may not have an uncontested divorce.  That doesn’t mean you have to give up on the agreed divorce, but it means you may need some help getting there, for instance mediation.

You may ask what the Court will accept as agreements.  The answer is just about anything you can come up with as long as it does not break the law, or is not totally crazy.

If all of the above are agreed to, then you are ready for an uncontested or agreed divorce.  You have a few choices:

  • A forms divorce or online divorce; or
  • A flat fee divorce

I will discuss the pros and cons of each of those in a later post, but typically an online divorce (or e-divorce) in Texas means you get your divorce papers online.  There is no attorney representation and it is up to you to get the papers filled out and filed with the Court.  This type of uncontested divorce will work anywhere in Texas.

On the flip side of that is the flat fee uncontested divorce.  In this case you are represented by an attorney who charges a one time flat fee.  Typically these fees do not include the filing fees.  The attorney will handle all the paperwork and accompany you to court to finalize your case.  This type of uncontested divorce will only work with attorneys in the counties around where you reside.

In my next post we will talk about the pros and cons of each type of uncontested divorce discussed above and answer a few more questions which may arise.

Talk to you soon!

Uncontested divorce in Texas documents

In my last post, we discussed the general outline for an agreed or uncontested divorce in the State of Texas.  There was the Original Petition for Divorce, the Waiver of Service (or Waiver of Citation), and the Final Decree of Divorce.  We will discuss each of these documents in this post.

The Original Petition for Divorce begins the agreed divorce process. It is filed with the clerk of the court in the county in which you reside.  It contains the necessary information to obtain your uncontested divorce.  Think of it like a statement being made to the judge; “our marriage is over, and this is what I want”.

There are statements in the petition that must be in there to satisfy requirements of the Texas Family Code in obtaining your agreed divorce.  Other things are optional and are simply requests.  An example of one requirement is a statement that you have lived in the   State of Texas for 6 months and the county in which the divorce was filed for 90-days.  An example of a request would be a request to change your last name.

As discussed in my previous post, the Waiver of Service is used to tell the Texas judge that the spouse has notice of the lawsuit.  Again, there are certain requirements that must be included and others which are not. By example, the waiver must state that the spouse received a copy of the Original Petition for Divorce.  A request would be statements needed to get a name changed.

Additionally, the waiver tells the Texas judge how much the person signing the waiver wants to participate in the divorce.  Some waivers will state that that the Respondent (person being sued, the spouse) requires no further notice of the lawsuit, meaning that the person who filed the petition can get the divorce without any further notice to, or the signatures on the decree of, the spouse.  This is in contrast to a statement in the waiver which says that the spouse wants to either sign the decree or be notified of the final hearing.  Big difference.

The last document is the Final Decree of Divorce which is used to complete or finalize your agreed divorce.  This document must contain all the agreements of the divorce.  Most of these will be discussed in a later post in more depth, but in general, it must divide all property and debts and reflect the agreements as far as any children of the marriage, including child support, visitation and conservatorship (custody).

Again, ALL these items must be agreed upon for your case to be an uncontested or agreed divorce in Texas, and that will be discussed in my next post.

Later!

Uncontested divorce Texas how to…

This post will be the first in a series of posts on agreed or uncontested divorces in Texas.  Everything in here applies anywhere in Texas.  Since we will be addressing agreed divorces, I am going to keep it very basic.

However, before beginning a discussion on an uncontested divorce there needs to be a focus on the basics of a Texas divorce.

The agreed divorce process begins by filing an Original Petition for Divorce.  This begins the process and starts the 60 day waiting period required in Texas.  The person who files this is called the Petitioner.

After the “petition” is filed, and ONLY after the petition is filed, the Petitioner can present the Respondent (the other spouse) a Waiver of Service.  Anytime someone is sued, including uncontested divorces, they are entitled to notice of the lawsuit.  The Court will require proof that spouse has received a copy of the petition.

In comes the Waiver of Service.  This document is signed and notarized by the Respondent and filed with the Court.  This tells the Court that they have received the Petition and advises the Court how much they want to participate in the lawsuit.  A Waiver of Service is sometimes called a Waiver of Citation.

Since this is an agreed or uncontested divorce, I am assuming that the spouse agrees to sign the waiver of service.  If they do not, you may not have an uncontested divorce.

Once the petition and waiver are filed, all that remains is the Final Decree of Divorce.  This is the order of the Court in a divorce and is the final document.  It resolves ALL of the divorce issues and is typically signed by both the husband and the wife. Again, this series on agreed divorces in Texas assumes that everything is agreed.

Once the sixty days waiting period has elapsed, the Petitioner will appear before the Court with the signed final decree and prove up or finalize the uncontested divorce.

In upcoming posts I will discuss:

  • Each document in more depth;
  • The meaning of an agreed divorce in Texas;
  • The different types of uncontested divorces in Texas;
  • The benefits and disadvantages of each type of agreed divorce in Texas;
  • A brief description of property and child related issues in the divorce;
  • Mediation for an almost agreed divorce, what it is and how it helps; and
  • Agreed Modification of Texas divorce decrees or orders.

Talk to you soon!