In the age of the Internet, many states now allow you to file for divorce online, and they make it easy to do so. Texas is one of them, but not every court in every Texas county is on board with the program. Most circuit courts, which usually handle divorces in Texas, accept e-filings, but some county courts that oversee divorces in less populated areas, don't. You must file for divorce in the county where you’ve resided for the last three months, so check with that court to make sure e-filing is an available option for you.
Create a petition for divorce. You can access a form from your county courthouse or from various websites. Either retype the document into a word-processing program, fill it in by hand or -- if you use the Internet option -- save it on your computer as a PDF file.
Print out a copy of your petition when you’ve completed it. Sign it where indicated and scan the finished petition, with your signature, creating a PDF file. Save the PDF file.
Register with an electronic filing service provider. Texas’s official website gives a full list of acceptable providers. If you register with any one of them, it will automatically register you with Texas’s electronic filing system also.
Log on with the service provider you’ve chosen. It will ask you for identifying information about your case and which court and county you want to file with.
Upload your divorce petition to the service provider and click “submit.” Your service provider will probably ask you to submit credit card information to cover the fee, unless you’ve set up an account that allows for periodic billing. After you arrange for payment, you should receive an email confirming that your provider has the petition for filing. Texas’s electronic filing system will also send you an email when your provider submits your petition to the state.
Save your filed petition when Texas’s electronic filing system returns an emailed copy to you. This will have the court’s stamp on it. Print it out and use it as the official copy for service on your spouse.
- Word-processing program
- Adobe Reader software
- Credit card
Tips & Warnings
- After you file your petition, you can continue to use your service provider and Texas’s electronic filing system for all additional documents the court might require of you. If any of these do not call for your signature, you don’t have to scan them into a PDF file for submission. You can submit a word-processed document and Texas’s system will convert it to PDF format for you when it receives it.
References & Resources
- Allan Danahar/Valueline/Getty Images