Regardless of where spouses marry, they can typically divorce in the state where they live, according to that state’s laws. If you live in Texas, you can file your own paperwork with the clerk of the district court in your county, or you can use an online legal documentation service to prepare and file all your divorce paperwork.
Like all states, Texas permits no-fault divorce. This means neither spouse must prove the other spouse is responsible for the divorce, as is the case with fault-based divorce. Texas’ ground, or reason, for no-fault divorce is “insupportability.” This means the marriage cannot continue because the spouses cannot get along and cannot resolve their differences. It does not matter why you and your spouse disagree or whether you have tried to work out your differences through counseling or other methods.
Your Texas divorce begins when you file a Petition for Divorce with your local district court. This petition must include basic information about you and your spouse, including your names, driver’s license numbers, Social Security numbers, and date and place of your marriage. You must disclose what property you own, including your vehicles and other personal property. Your petition also must explain why the court has authority to hear the case, such as a statement that you have lived in Texas for at least six months. If you want to divorce sooner than 60 days after you file, you must ask for a waiver of the waiting period based on some evidence of family violence.
Your divorce may include other forms in addition to your petition. For example, your spouse may sign a Waiver of Citation indicating that he is waiving his legal right to be served with the divorce papers by official service or know about any orders you have requested from the judge. Alternatively, your spouse can file an Answer, indicating his agreement with the information supplied in your petition and desire to know of any orders you request. You’ll also need to fill out a Final Decree of Divorce for the judge to sign. This must include much of the same information as your petition, along with a specific description of how your marital property is to be distributed. After the divorce is final, you must provide a vital statistics form to report your divorce for record-keeping purposes.
You and your spouse may file a marital settlement agreement during the divorce process if you have property and debts to divide and agree on how to split these items. A marital settlement agreement may also cover other topics, such as spousal support. Your agreement must include identifying details about you and your spouse, along with the background of your divorce proceedings and all the details of your agreement. For example, if you and your spouse agree to sell the family home and split the proceeds, you would describe this in your settlement agreement.