When there is no contest with respect to child support, visitation, property division, fault in the breakup, the legal term which is used is uncontested divorce. The case can be completed in sixty days. The law of Texas says that you must wait for a period of sixty days before you can prove up or complete the divorce, so as to prevent the situation where many couples after the divorce get married again a few months later. To file for divorce in Texas, one spouse must be a resident of the state for at least six continuous months and in the county of filing at least 90 continuous days. Uncontested divorce tends to be the quickest, least expensive, and least complicated way to get divorced in Texas.
An uncontested divorce exists when: (1) your spouse agrees to the terms of the divorce decree (this is accomplished by obtaining his/her signature on the actual divorce decree that will be presented to the court at the prove-up hearing); or (2) your spouse fails to file a written response during the divorce proceeding.
Our fee for uncontested divorces starts at $1000 of which you are required to put down $500 upfront and the remaining amount could be paid out via a payment plan over a period of 45 days. We will pay the filing fee out of this $500 and do all the forms. Either myself or one of my attorneys will take you to the court to complete the case at the “prove up”.
PROCEDURE FOR UNCONTESTED DIVORCE IN HOUSTON, TEXAS
You must first petition the court to dissolve the marriage. In Harris County, Texas, the divorce files are confidential for 30 days. After this 30 day period, they become public records. Once the case is filed, you will consequently need a final decree of divorce, waiver, and a bureau of vital statics form if there are no children involved. If you have children, you may also need a wage withholding order and a medical support order. For property that is to be transferred such as the house, it is recommended that the special warranty deeds and also deeds of trust required to secure assumption be completed. If you have a retirement plan, a specific order known as a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), is required to be issued by a court. Once all the paper work is signed, then a court appearance is necessary for the spouse who filed the divorce. A series of questions are asked which typically are as follow:
- Please state your full name
- Are you married to your spouse?
- Prior to filing the original petition for divorce were you domiciled in Texas and Resident of the Harris County for the preceding 6 months?
- Where you married on this date and did you cease to live as husband and wife on this date?
- Has your marriage become insupportable because of a discord or conflict of personality that has destroyed the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship?
- Were there any children born or adopted during this marriage?
- Is your wife (to husband) pregnant or are you (to wife) pregnant right now? If children are present, you could be asked following questions also:
- Prior to today, is it true that there were no court orders affecting your child relationship from another court?
- Do you and your spouse have an agreement on all the issues regarding the children?
- Do you think this agreement is in the best interest of your children?
- Have you and your spouse entered into a property settlement?
- Does this property settlement resolve all of the property issues?
- Is the agreement reflects a just and right division of the marital property?
- Are you or your wife is asking for a name change to avoid criminal prosecution or creditors?
- Have you seen your spouse’s signature before?
- Is that your spouse’s signature on the last page of the final decree of divorce?
- Are you asking the judge to sign this agreed decree of divorce today?
If judge approves the forms, then the divorce process will be complete and binding on both spouses. The time period after which this judgement becomes final is 30 days. This is because either spouse could file a motion for a new trial and challenge the judgment within this time period. We will monitor for the signing and indexing of your decree of divorce and send a copy promptly to you with a letter indicating the close of your case with our firm. Real property documents that transfer titles will typically need to be recorded at 201 Caroline 3rd Floor in Stan Stuart’s office. If you have divided retirement, then a Qualified Domestic Relations Order will likely be needed. The Qualified Domestic Relations Order is a separate document that judge signs and it goes with your decree to the retirements account administrator who then divides the account.