Ways & How

how to file for divorce in Texas without a lawyer

how to file for divorce in Texas without a lawyer

It is quite beneficial to study how to file for divorce in Texas without a lawyer, especially if you don’t have the money to pay for the divorce lawyer fees. In Texas, you can get a divorce lawyer for around $200 per hour. Filing for divorce without a lawyer means that you and your spouse have agreed on how the case should proceed. This means that your divorce is uncontested and the ground for filing is “no fault.” If you are not sure on what to do next now that you have decided to file for a divorce in Texas, follow the steps below:

  1. Understand the concept of a “no fault” divorce. It is a type of divorce wherein the parties have agreed that no one blames the other for the filing of the case. Since it is basically an uncontested case, the parties can proceed even without a lawyer. Thereafter, the parties shall negotiate on the terms and conditions arising from the dissolution of the marriage.

    Generally, the divorce petition has to specify the appropriate and lawful grounds for filing.

    ground or grounds must be something that both parties have agreed upon such as no fault, or that which the petitioner-spouse would want to establish and prove in the court of law such as adultery, cruelty, living apart, abandonment, confinement of the other spouse to a mental institution, conviction of a felony, etc. Therefore, you have to declare in your divorce petition that your ground for filing is “no fault.”

  2. Call the Office of the Clerk of the Court. This is to verify important details like what you need to do to file for a divorce petition without a lawyer and the amount of the filing fee. Remember, in any jurisdiction there is always a filing fee for a divorce petition. However, you can inquire on how to apply as a “pauper” or indigent litigant so that the filing fee or a part of it can be waived.

  3. Make sure you meet the residency requirements. In order for the Texas court to gain jurisdiction on the divorce petition, the party or parties must meet the residency requirements. The couple need not file a divorce petition in the state where they got married. What is required is that one of them, either the petitioner or respondent, is a legal resident for at least six months in the state where the petition is to be filed and heard.

    Moreover, any person not previously living in Texas but serving in the U.S. Armed Forces and has been stationed for at least six months at one or more of the military camps or areas in Texas is considered a Texas resident or domiciliary and is therefore qualified to file for a divorce petition in Texas.

  4. Secure all divorce forms. You can go to the local library or search on the Internet for the needed forms. You can also buy a do-it-yourself divorce kit at the nearby bookstore. Most of the forms you can find on the Internet are fill-in-the-blank type. These forms, however, do not include all other necessary paperwork. See the Clerk of the Court for further help.

  5. Call the local office of the Bureau of Support. This office can help you on your petition, especially if there are minor children affected and you seeking child support until the divorce is granted. Ask for the necessary forms and fill them out carefully. You may be required to file these forms earlier than the divorce petition. The Clerk of the Court can advise you on this.

  6. Prepare the divorce petition. Fill out the primary and essential documents needed for the divorce case to proceed. These are the verification, marital settlement agreement or division of assets, financial affidavit, and child care and support. Take time in filling out the petition so you can provide the right choices. Also, get a copy of the Proof of Residency.

  7. Secure copies of supporting documents. These are documents that must be filed also along with the divorce petition. These include your assets, liabilities, income tax returns (ITR), etc. Ask help from the court’s legal assistant so you can get the necessary information or forms to accomplish these files.

  8. File the divorce petition. Submit copies of the divorce petition to the Office of the Clerk of the Court. After the papers are date stamped, the presiding judge shall review them for hours or days. Thereafter, the court will serve your spouse copies of the divorce petition with an order to respond within a specific period of time. Wait until the court calls your attention to sit down for negotiations.

Going through a divorce is tough and very draining emotionally, psychologically, and physically. Sometimes, however, there are no more alternatives but to end the marriage. You reached a point that you realized you are better off apart. If you know a friend who has a similar predicament, share these tips on how to file for divorce in Texas without a lawyer.


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