Filing for divorce is one of the hardest things a couple will do. It is painful, scary and can be expensive for both parties – whether or not the split is amicable. If children are involved, things can get even more complicated.
If you have made the decision to end your marriage, and you feel your divorce is relatively simple, there are basic steps you can take to legally end the marriage.
The simplest divorce in Texas will usually take a minimum of 60 days to finalize. Here are the basics:
- One party files the Petition for Divorce and provides the other spouse with a copy.
- Both parties should have a full agreement on the distribution of all debts and assets.
- If children are involved, both parties must come to an agreement regarding custody, visitation, medical support and child support.
Never sign a waiver as it allows you spouse to draft the final divorce decree and move forward with the proceedings without any notice to you. Instead, prepare and file an answer with the District Clerk in your county. The clerk’s office will usually have the filing form available at no cost.
Once you have reached a full agreement, all terms of the agreement must be included in the Final Decree of Divorce. In Harris County, Texas the Final Decree of Divorce is available at the Harris County Law Library. However, you should have an attorney prepare the final documents to avoid costly mistakes regarding the distribution of the assets or the custody/child support provision.
Once your final decree is completed, you will need to ‘prove-up’ your divorce in court. Below is a list of typical prove-up questions:
- My name is______.
- Before filing the petition for divorce, I lived in Harris (or relevant Texas county) County at least 90 days and the State of Texas for at least 6 months.
- It is not possible for me and my spouse to stay together.
- There are been ________ children born or adopted to me and my spouse during this marriage who are under the age of 18? If so, does my decree or agreement contain provisions for child custody, child support visitation and health insurance. I believe these provisions are in the best interest of the child(ren).
- I (or wife) is not pregnant a child?
- I (or your wife) has not had a/any child(ren) with anyone else during this marriage?
- There been some property accumulated during the marriage and the decree contains our agreement for a division of that property.
- I am asking the Judge to let you keep whatever you have and your husband keep whatever he has to him. I believe the of the property set forth in the decree is fair and equitable.
- I am asking for a name change. I would like my name restored to ______________. I am not asking for a name change to avoid creditors or criminal prosecution.
- I am asking the court to grant the divorce.
The Davis Law firm is happy to help you legally transition out of your marriage in a way that is most beneficial to you. If you are currently considering divorce and need a lawyer, contact us today to schedule your complimentary case evaluation.
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