Spring Family Law FAQ
Q:How do I file for divorce?
A:An Original Petition for Divorce is the initial filing in a Texas divorce case. Filing this document means that you are asking the family court in your county to legally end your marriage. The Original Petition will refer to you as the “Petitioner” since you filed the Petition and to your spouse as the “Respondent,” since he or she will be responsible for responding to your Petition.
Q:What happens after I file for divorce?
A:Once you have filed your Original Petition for Divorce, your spouse will need to file a response. That response is formally known as the Respondent’s Original Answer. He or she will need to be notified that you have filed for divorce, first, however. Typically, this is done through hiring a private process server to pick up your Petition for Divorce, a Citation, and copies of any other relevant document (such as a Notice of Hearing for Temporary Orders) and physically handing them to your spouse. Your spouse will then have until the first Monday after the expiration of twenty days from the date on which he or she was served to file their Answer.
Q:How long will my divorce take?
A:There is a minimum length of time for a divorce to complete in Texas. From the date on which your divorce is filed sixty (60) days must pass until your case may be finalized. The sixty-day waiting period is intended to help provide you and your spouse with sufficient time to determine whether you want to proceed in obtaining a divorce. This is otherwise known as a “cooling off” period. More typically, a divorce can take anywhere from three to nine months to finish.
Q:How much will my divorce cost?
A:There are so many factors in play when it comes to estimating the cost of a divorce. Whether or not your case will be contested or uncontested is probably the most important factor to consider. An uncontested divorce is one where you and your spouse have settled all issues of your case. Most divorces, however, are not uncontested and have issues that need to be worked on during the divorce. The more outstanding issues in your divorce, and the deeper the divide between you and your spouse, means that your case may end up being more expensive than other divorces. This is especially true if it is necessary to attend a temporary orders hearing, trial, or both.
Q:Can I get divorced without having to go to court?
A:Yes, you can obtain a divorce without ever having to step foot in the courthouse. You can follow the basic steps I laid out earlier in today’s blog post and then work on settling your case outside of court. That means communicating with your spouse, attending mediation and drafting temporary orders and final orders without needing to attend a hearing or trial. In the event that you can follow these steps successfully you may be able to obtain your divorce without needing to see the judge.