Uncontested Divorce Attorneys serving Denton, Dallas, Collin, and Tarrant Counties and the cities of Allen, Argyle, Carrollton, Colleyville, Coppell, Dallas, Denton, Denton, Flower Mound, Frisco, Grapevine, Irving, Keller, Lake Dallas, Lewisville, Little Elm, Mckinney, Plano, Prosper, Roanoke, Southlake, and The Colony.
While divorce is never happy, spouses who agree on major issues such as child custody and property division make the process easier in many ways. Still, there are legal requirements that must be satisfied even in a Texas uncontested divorce.
Flower Mound Lawyer Assists Couples Seeking an Uncontested Divorce
At Ilarraza Law, P.C., I handle the details and formalize the mutual agreement of the parties.
Compassionate Texas attorney manages legal aspects of marriage dissolution for parties whose breakup is amicable
What is an Uncontested Texas Divorce?
In Texas, an uncontested divorce is a Texas divorce in which both parties have been able to successfully reach an agreement on each family law issue relevant to their specific divorce case.
In most divorce cases, an uncontested divorce is generally also a no-fault divorce. This occurs when both spouses agree to end the marriage on the grounds of “insupportability” meaning “incompatibility” or “irreconcilable differences.” When this happens, neither spouse is responsible for proving that the other did something wrong as the cause of the divorce. In other words, legally, no one is to blame.
Do I Need to Go to Court for an Uncontested Divorce in Texas?
With an uncontested divorce, Texas courts do not require a formal trial. Generally, the judge will grant the divorce based on the terms both parties agreed to in their settlement. However, it is up to the judge whether or not they will grant the divorce so they will seek to confirm that both parties have signed the agreement voluntarily. Despite all of this, there is still a mandatory waiting period of 60 days before the divorce is finalized.
Empathetic counselor who provides comprehensive advice to clients who have reached agreement
Even when couples believe that they agree on all aspects of their divorce, complications can arise. I make sure that you are ready and able to move forward after reviewing issues such as:
- Adherence to state laws on child custody and support arrangements
- State requirements on jurisdiction, divorce grounds, and length of residency
- Whether all relevant financial information is known by both sides
- Potential debts and future obligations that might be covered in the agreement
- Provisions for current and future benefits such as pensions, insurance policies, and retirement accounts
Though many couples are motivated to seek an uncontested divorce to avoid a lengthy legal process, I make sure that no relevant matter is missed as you look to start a new chapter in your lives. Information that gets overlooked when the marriage is dissolved might have negative consequences that cannot be undone.
Agreement on the Legal Reason for Divorce
Texas does require you to list a legal reason for the divorce. While it’s true that uncontested divorces in Texas use “insupportability” as a no-fault ground, there are instances where people may file a fault-based divorce. When this happens, one spouse claims that the other is to blame for the marriage coming to an end, typically through certain misconduct (such as adultery, cruelty, or abandonment). If you or your spouse do file for divorce using one of the fault-based grounds for divorce, then it’s unlikely you’ll qualify for an uncontested divorce.
Agreement on the Issues in Your Divorce
Before filing for an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse must agree on all issues regarding the divorce including:
- Grounds for divorce
- Division of real estate, community property, and personal property
- Allocation of any outstanding personal and marital debt
- Spousal support
- Child support
- Child custody and visitation
- Name changes
- And any other divorce-related issues
If you find that you and your spouse are having a hard time reaching an agreement, then mediation can often help you both find agreeable solutions that work for everyone.
What Are the Benefits of an Uncontested Divorce?
Uncontested divorces are less expensive. Even if each spouse hires an attorney for uncontested divorce, the divorce doesn’t require as much back-and-forth evidence, or time in the courtroom, which will save money. Uncontested divorces also go a long way when it comes to preserving a civil relationship between spouses, which can be important if you are co-parenting minor children. Getting an uncontested divorce is almost always quicker than a contested divorce as well.
When spouses work together to create the settlement agreement, they’re also more likely to follow orders once the divorce is final because they better understand the reasoning behind the decisions.
How to File for an Uncontested Divorce in Texas
There are certain requirements you need to meet in order to file for an uncontested Texas divorce. The following steps must be followed for a successful, legal divorce.
1. Residency Requirements
The divorcing couple must have resided in the state of Texas for at least six months prior to filing for an uncontested divorce. The filing party must also live in the county in which they’re filing for at least 90 days.
2. Petition of Divorce
One party must get an Original Petition for Divorce in the county where they reside. Once filled out, this divorce petition notifies the court and the spouse that they are filing for divorce. The same party will also need to complete a Civil Case Information Sheet. Depending on the county where they live, there may be additional paperwork.
3. Pay Filing Fee
Once the divorce papers are properly filled out, the filing party is responsible to pay the associated filing fees. These fees vary by county but are generally between $150 and $300.
4. Spouse Response
From here, the responding spouse can sign a Waiver of Service before a notary and within one day after the Petition for Divorce is filed. This states that they do not wish to be formally served by a sheriff or process server.
5. Ensure You Agree
While it’s best to reach agreements prior to this phase, this is a good opportunity to ensure you still agree to all relevant issues regarding the divorce. Some couples do this with the help of an attorney or through mediation.
6. Finalize Settlement Agreement
At this time, both parties will fill out and sign the Final Decree of Divorce. The information in this divorce decree addresses property, assets, debts, retirement funds, child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, name changes, and any other relevant information.
7. Wait 60 Days
Both parties must wait the mandatory 60 days.
8. Attend the Divorce Hearing
One or both parties must appear in court before the judge to finalize the divorce. At this point, the judge will review all legal documents and question all present parties. If the judge approves the divorce, they too will sign the Final Decree of Divorce. At this point the divorce is final.
It is important to note that in cases of family violence, your attorney may be able to help you sidestep the 60-day waiting period according to the Texas Family Code.
How can Ilarraza Law help with my uncontested divorce?
Even with uncontested divorces, it’s important to have a qualified family law lawyer to provide legal advice, guide you through the divorce process, answer any questions, and ensure forms are filled out correctly. Self-representation can put you in a difficult situation should anything change prior to the final hearing. Without a divorce lawyer, you may inadvertently agree to something that’s not in your best interest or the best interests of your children.
Texas lawyer enables both former spouses to emerge from divorce confidently
When you and your partner have reached a consensus, I will finalize the marriage dissolution quickly and affordably. Choosing not to haggle over small matters is usually a wise decision, and I can make sure that you are not taking any undue legal risk as you execute your amicable divorce.
Call Ilarraza Law today at (214) 646-3253 to speak with a divorce attorney about your uncontested or contested divorce.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. If at any point during the divorce you end up not agreeing on one or more issues or if conflict arises, your divorce may become a contested vs uncontested divorce.
The court may approve your uncontested divorce if it includes spousal maintenance. In fact, most Texas courts prefer if you agree on spousal maintenance outside of a courtroom trial. This is because there are restrictions on what the court is able to order regarding spousal support and the requesting spouse must also meet certain qualifications. Speak with the qualified divorce attorneys at Ilarraza Law for more information regarding alimony.
Even if you agree on everything in your divorce, it’s always a good idea to hire a divorce lawyer. This allows you to have someone experienced in Texas divorce law to ensure everything is done properly and is legally sound. They’ll be able to provide advice and guidance along the way.
There is no formal trial in an uncontested divorce. Typically, the judge will grant the divorce under the agreed terms. While a judge needs to sign off on you and your spouse getting divorced, if you agree to the terms you will not have to argue your case before a judge.
Even if both parties are amicable and agree on every issue, it still takes a minimum of 60 days before the final divorce decree is entered. This is due to the mandatory waiting period.
After being served with divorce papers by or on behalf of the petitioner, the other party has until the “Monday next following the expiration of twenty days following service of process.”
Divorce can be expensive. However, an uncontested divorce is typically less expensive than others. The actual amount you will pay will depend on a lot of things including where you file if you go the recommended route and hire lawyers, and how quickly you reach your agreements. Online divorce can also help save you money.
It’s not uncommon for couples to go to court for child custody issues and child support payments. However, these things can be agreed upon in an uncontested divorce. But if the couple is not able to solve all issues, then an uncontested divorce can become a contested divorce. If the judge notices a problem with the agreement that isn’t in the child’s best interest, then the court may intervene. By hiring a family law lawyer, you can work on reaching an agreement regarding minor children that the court is more likely to approve.
There are certain circumstances where the state of Texas discourages filing for an uncontested divorce. These include:
- When spouses disagree about any single issue
- When one spouse wants to file at-fault grounds for divorce
- When one spouse is pregnant, even if the husband isn’t the father
- When one spouse gives birth to a child by another person during the marriage
- When the couple has a disabled child of any age
- When the couple has a minor child under the age of 18 or still in high school
- When one spouse is requesting alimony
- When one spouse owns or plans to buy real estate
- When one spouse has an ongoing bankruptcy case
Any of these issues can easily complicate a divorce.