The following are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about uncontested divorces. Please keep in mind that these answers are general and designed to help you better understand uncontested divorces in Texas. The law, when applied to the specific facts of your case, may vary and may affect the results in your case.
Because each case is unique, you should consult the advice of an attorney to review your specific circumstances.
What is an uncontested divorce?
An uncontested divorce means that both parties are in agreement regarding the following:
- Agreeing to be divorced;
- Parental decision-making responsibility for such things as medical, educational, and psychological issues;
- Parental access and visitation;
- Amount and duration of child support;
- Amount and duration of any spousal support (aka alimony)
- Division of marital property and debts.
Do I need my spouse’s consent to begin divorce proceedings?
No, you are not required to get your spouse’s consent before filing for a contested divorce in Texas. To get an uncontested divorce, however, your spouse will need to sign all the relevant documentation once they have been served. This is what makes the divorce uncontested; both parties are in agreement with the divorce. If you and your spouse are not in agreement on certain aspects of the divorce, then you and your spouse do not have an uncontested divorce and you may be required to attend court hearings to resolve these issues.
What if my spouse does not want the divorce?
If your spouse does not want the divorce, you can still pursue the divorce on your own without your spouse’s consent. A default judgment can be pursued if your spouse decides to completely ignore the petition for divorce after they are served with said petition.
Often, when one spouse does not want the divorce, they will try and extend the process as long as possible by creating various issues. To mitigate this problem, the case can be set for hearings and/or final trial to try and move the case along to a resolution.
Can I get divorced in Texas if I was married in another state?
Yes, you can obtain a divorce in Texas as long as one party meets the residency requirements. Pursuant to Texas Family Code Section 6.301, for a divorce action to be commenced in a Texas Court, one of the spouses must have been:
- Domiciled in Texas for six months or more, and
- A resident of the county in which the suit is filed for the preceding 90-day period.
Can I still get divorced in Texas if either my spouse or I no longer live in Texas?
Texas law does not require both parties to meet the residency requirements. If one party meets the residency requirements, a divorce may be filed in Texas.
Can I get my spouse to pay for the attorney in an uncontested divorce?
Yes, if both parties agree, one spouse can pay for an attorney. This is what is known as an “agreed” divorce.
Keep in mind that an attorney can only represent one party in a divorce, regardless of whether the divorce is contested or uncontested. However, if you and your spouse agree on all aspects of the divorce, the attorney for the party who is represented can prepare papers for the client based on that agreement. The other party does not have to get a separate attorney.
What are the grounds for divorce in Texas?
As a general rule, a person does not need a particular reason to file for a divorce in Texas. However, to obtain a divorce, the requesting spouse must plead and prove at least one ground for granting the divorce. There are seven grounds for granting a divorce. Six are fault grounds and one (Insupportability) is a no-fault ground. Those grounds include:
- Living apart
- Confinement in a mental hospital
- Conviction of a felony
Must fault be found against a party?
No, Texas law does not require a finding of fault. Therefore, a divorce may be granted without either party being at fault. Texas law does, however, allow for a divorce to be granted when one party is found to be at fault in the break-up of the marriage.
What happens if my spouse and I reconcile?
If you and your spouse reconcile, you may dismiss your divorce proceeding by filing a request for nonsuit. Generally, we suggest making sure the reconciliation is going to last before you and your spouse make a request for nonsuit. Your attorney can simply put the case on hold for a few months.
If you have any questions about obtaining an uncontested divorce in Cooke or Denton County, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.