How to File for an Uncontested Divorce Without an Attorney in Texas

By Stephanie Kurose, J.D.

How to File for an Uncontested Divorce Without an Attorney in Texas

By Stephanie Kurose, J.D.

An uncontested divorce is one where both spouses are in agreement regarding all the terms of the divorce, such as child custody, division of property, and alimony payments. Typically, filing an uncontested divorce in Texas is an easier process than a contested divorce. An uncontested divorce is more likely to move quicker and be far less costly because there is nothing that the spouses are arguing about, which makes the court's job of issuing a divorce decree easier. An uncontested divorce requires no trial and is often accomplished without an attorney. Filing for an uncontested divorce in Texas is relatively straightforward, especially if there's no involvement with minor children.

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1. Meet Texas's Residency Requirements

Before you can even file for an uncontested divorce in Texas, you or your spouse must continuously reside in the state for the six months immediately prior to filing for divorce. If neither spouse meets this requirement, you cannot file for a divorce in Texas.

2. Get a Petition of Divorce

A Petition of Divorce is the form you will submit to the court that formally starts the divorce proceedings. You can obtain this petition from the county clerk's office in the Texas county district court where you are a resident. You must provide the required information, such as you and your spouse's contact details, information about your finances, debts and property, proposed settlement arrangements, and reasons for requesting a divorce.

3. Sign and Submit the Petition

Once completed, sign the petition and file it with the clerk's office. You need two copies of the form. Once you pay the filing fee, the clerk assigns a case number and stamps your petition as received.

4. Deliver a Petition Copy to Your Spouse

Deliver the second copy of the divorce petition to your spouse. You can either hand deliver it yourself, have the county sheriff's office deliver it, or hire a private party to serve the papers. You must obtain proof of service, which is subsequently filed with the clerk's office.

5. Finalize Settlement Agreement

The clerk's office will set a day for your court hearing after you complete the necessary paperwork. The hearing cannot take place until the 60 day "cooling off" period has passed. You and your spouse should utilize this time to finalize any settlement agreement and prepare the final divorce decree. This document provides the details of the settlement arrangement.

6. Attend Divorce Hearing

After the 60-day period, you and your spouse must attend the divorce hearing. At the hearing, a judge reviews all your filed paperwork—including the Petition of Divorce, settlement agreement, and divorce decree. The judge will likely ask questions to ensure that both parties are in agreement on all aspects of the divorce. At the end of the hearing, the judge will sign the final divorce decree.

7. File the Final Decree with the Clerk

Take the final, signed divorce decree and file it with the clerk's office. You should ask the clerk for two certified copies of the decree; you keep one and give the other to your spouse.

While filing for an uncontested divorce in Texas is fairly straightforward, you may have questions or want further guidance. If so, reach out to an online service provider who can assist you with anything you need.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.