Overview of the Divorce Process

Overview of the Divorce Process

To file a divorce in Texas, one of spouse must have resided in Texas for 6 months prior to the filing and in the county where the divorce is filed for 90 days prior to the filing of the petition.The Petition for Divorce serves several purposes. First it begins the legal divorce process. Second it gives notice to the other party of the divorce and basic details of the case. Last it acts as a guide the trial judge for the purposes of admitting evidence, and if necessary, the process of charging the jury. The petition must state the facts and support a cause of action. The Original Petition for Divorce is filed with the district clerk of your county and you should receive a copy marked “filed” from your attorney.The party that files for the divorce is called the Petitioner and the other party is called the Respondent. Notice must be given to the Respondent in order to give that spouse notice of the pending suit, and to give the Respondent reasonable time to appear or to take appropriate action. A divorce cannot be granted in Texas, unless the Respondent has filed an answer, signed a waiver of citation or has been validly served by a sheriff, constable, or other person authorized by law. The Respondent has until 10:00 a.m. of the Monday next, after the expiration of twenty days from the date the Respondent was served with the citation to file a written answer with the district clerk of the county in which the petition was filed.The most common ground for divorce is in supportability. The sole allegation necessary is that the marriage has become insupportable because of personality conflicts that have destroyed the marriage relationship. This is the no-fault ground for divorce in the State of Texas.In the state of Texas, you cannot finalize a case until the case has been on file for 60 days. The divorce may take longer if the parties are trying to work out the terms of the divorce such as property division, custody, child support or other issues. Additional time may be necessary if the divorce is contested, and especially if discovery is in process. If the parties do not reach an agreement before the sixty day point, either party may schedule a hearing at any time after the sixty day waiting period; however the party scheduling the hearing must give the other party 45-days written notice of the final hearing.You should be aware that even though the relationship between you and your spouse has changed and you may no longer be living together, until you are legally divorced you are still married. The legal ramifications of being married vary, but generally speaking, until you are divorced you and your spouse have certain rights to each others money, deferred compensation, pensions, insurance benefits, real estate, and other property.