You must first file a petition for divorce with a bureau of vital statics form, Civil Case Information Sheet, and a Harris County Civil Process Request Form. The clerk will require that a filing fee be paid. It may be that you are stating that you are eligible for a fee waiver. Most of the fee waivers in this region are denied. Pay your filing when the case is filed or you may subject yourself to dismissal. The clerks in the past have not allowed the cases to be served out if the constable fee and the citation fee is not paid. Thus, you have three court fees to pay in order to get your divorce served out on your spouse. Filing fee, must always be paid, civil process server or constable fee of about $65, and the citation fee of $8. Texas has a 60 day waiting period before you can complete your divorce. If you serve your spouse, then there is an additional window of 20 days, specifically, the first Monday following 20 days that you would be able to default but the 60 days must also run, thus they may run concurrently or at the same time. You will need to get divorce certain form, if children are involved, best to check Harris County District Clerk, for your wage order, bureau of vital statics form, Section 105.006 form. You will also need a medical support order, final decree of divorce, proposed property division and inventory, certificate of last known address, and affidavit with an attached search from the service members database, that you spouse is not in military service.
QUESTIONS ANSWERED IN FRONT OF JUDGE FOR THE DEFAULT
This line of questions assumes you have had your spouse personally served in Texas.
o Please state your full name.
o You are the [Petitioner/ Movant] in this case?
o You are currently married to [Name of Spouse]?
o Were you a resident of Harris County for at least ninety days and domiciled in Texas for last six months?
o You filed this [name of petition/ motion] on [date of filing]?
o [Name of respondent] is the respondent in this case?
o What is [name of respondent]’s last known residence?
o What is [name of respondent]’s last known place of employment?
o Was [name of respondent] personally served with the [name of petition/ motion]?
o One what date was [he/she] personally served?
o To the best of your knowledge, has [name of respondent] filed any type of response to your petition?
o Your spouse is not currently in the armed forces of the United States?
o You and your spouse were married on or about [date of marriage]?
o You ceased to live together as husband and wife on or about [date of separation]?
o Has this marriage become insupportable because of a discord or conflict of personalities between you and your spouse that destroys the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship?
o Is there any reasonable expectation of reconciliation?
o (If applicable) You have [#] [child/children] born of this marriage who are not now emancipated?
o [Name of Child], a [girl/boy] born [date of birth] in [place of birth]?
o (If applicable) You have [#] [child/children] adopted of this marriage who are not now emancipated?
o You and your spouse are not expecting a child at this time?
o Have you filed with the court a proposed division of the assets and liabilities that were accumulated during the marriage?
o Do you believe that the proposed divorce decree contains a just and right division of those assets?
o Does the decree contain conservatorship, possession and support of your minor child that are in that child’s best interest?
o You are asking your name to be changed to [requested new full name]?
o Is this your [maiden/former] name?
o You are not requesting this name change to avoid criminal prosecution or the threat of criminal prosecution, are you?
o You are not requesting this name change to avoid creditors, are you?
o You are not requesting this name change to commit fraud on any person or entity, are you?
o Are you asking the court to grant your divorce?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael Busby Jr. is a divorce & family law attorney, who practices in Harris and Fort Bend Counties, Texas. He has been in practice for over 14 years and has tried over 300 cases. He is familiar with the policy and procedures of the Harris and Fort Bend County Texas family law courts. Our office is open until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for working folks. Michael Busby Jr. 2909 Hillcroft Suite 350 Houston, Texas 77057 (713) 974-1151 Visit me on the web at www.busby-lee.com