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Austin TX Family Law Blog

Sunday, July 16, 2017

How Do I File for Divorce in Texas?

What are the steps for obtaining a divorce in Texas?

If you and your spouse have made the decision to file for divorce, you likely have many questions about the divorce process.  Filing for divorce is a complicated procedure that will have long term implications for your future.  You will want to ensure your divorce is completed with the assistance of an experienced Texas divorce lawyer who will protect your legal rights to the fullest extent.  The following is a look at the basics to the divorce process in our state.  Contact Stinson Moyle, PLLC, for individualized assistance with starting your divorce.

Jurisdiction and Venue

Before you file for divorce, you will want to ensure you are allowed to file in Texas and you are petitioning for divorce in the right county.  To file for divorce in Texas, you need to have lived in the state for over than six months.  You will need to file in the county in which either you or your spouse have lived for at least 90 days.

The Divorce Petition

Your divorce petition will open your official divorce file and start the divorce process.  It must be prepared with care.  The petition will alert the court as to your stance on critical divorce issues, such as whether the divorce is no-fault, the existence of separate property, and your custody desires for your minor children.


You will need to notify your spouse that the petition has been filed.  If the divorce is agreed upon, then your spouse can sign a waiver of service.  Otherwise, your spouse will need to be served with a formal citation of the divorce. Service may be achieved by a constable or private process server.  

Temporary Orders

If your divorce is contested, the court may need to issue temporary orders while the divorce is pending.  Temporary orders will likely involve custody of your children, temporary child support, temporary spousal support, and more.  

Settlement Negotiations

Once discovery is completed, you and your spouse should make a good faith effort to settle the divorce.  Your attorney can assist you with negotiating effectively to achieve the divorce outcome you desire.  Often, mediation will lead to a finalized divorce that both parties are happy with.


When mediation is unsuccessful, your divorce will go to trial.  Trial can seem intimidating, but your divorce lawyer will walk you through the process so that you do not feel overwhelmed.  At the conclusion of the trial, the judge will issue a final divorce decree.  

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