Uncontested Divorce tends to be the quickest, least expensive, and least complicated way to divorce in Texas. To qualify, both parties must meet all three of the following requirements:
- Agree to be divorced
- Reach an agreement on all issues
- Voluntarily sign all papers, including waiver of citation/service
A contested divorce when either party cannot or refuses to agree to all four requirements above. Texas is a no-fault divorce state, meaning people can get divorced simply because discord or personality conflicts have destroyed the marriage. Other grounds for divorce in Texas include cruelty, adultery, a felony conviction, abandonment, or commitment to a mental institution. A divorce petition may be filed in any county in which the husband or wife has resided for 90 days before suit is filed. One of the spouses must have lived in Texas for six months before suit is filed. If a divorce petition is filed in the wrong county, the respondent must file a motion to transfer venue before filing any other legal pleading.
Usually, your first court appearance will be a hearing on temporary orders, which is also called a "show cause hearing." What happens at a hearing on temporary orders? If the parties cannot agree, a judge will decide how the parties are to live while the divorce is pending. The judge or an associate judge will conduct these hearings and decide:
- Who gets to live in the family home
- Who gets exclusive use of various property (like cars)
- Whether temporary spousal support will be paid
- Temporary custody arrangements and visitation schedules
- Temporary child support
- Which spouse will be responsible for bills and debts
- Temporary injunctions
Each spouse must fill out a financial information sheet that summarizes expenses, income and sources of ready cash at or before the hearing and is supposed to have his or her last two pay stubs and income tax returns for the last two years.
Annulments — There are extremely limited circumstances in Texas where a litigant can obtain an annulment. Such examples are:
- Concealed pre-existing marriage
- Under the influence of narcotics or alcohol
- Fraud, duress or force
- Mental incapacity
- Marriage occurs less than 72 hours after the marriage license has been issued
The information presented here is a general guideline and should not be interpreted as a guarantee. Results may vary from case to case depending on the facts and circumstances of your case.