8 Steps in a Texas Divorce
- Stage One of a divorce in Texas: The Planning Phase/Gathering Info for a Divorce
- Stage Two of a divorce in Texas: Filing & Requesting for Services
- Stage Three of a divorce in Texas: Wait For An Answer/Counter Petition
- Stage Four of a divorce in Texas: Mediation
- Stage Five of a divorce in Texas: Temporary Orders Hearing
- Stage Six of a divorce in Texas: Discovery
- Stage Seven of a divorce in Texas: Final Mediation
- Final Trial
When you are learning or even thinking about getting a Texas Divorce it’s best to know as much as you can about the steps needed to get you out of the situation you’re in. If you aren’t doing anything to prepare for your case, or learn about what you may possibly going through it could hinder you even if you have an attorney to represent you. Even if you just want to get your case done and over with there are potential potholes and problems that can arise without your knowing. Once you have problems on your hands in a divorce they rarely go away on their own. Rather, you need to be able to take the necessary steps to do something about those problems to eradicate them. This page is designed to help you not only handle problems once they confront you but to understand what the process you’ll be going through comes with.
1. The Planning Phase/Gathering Info for a Divorce
Planning includes Inventory (Assets, 401ks, Debts, Taxes), as well as — work schedules, medical insurance, possession and access if there are children involved.
If you have an attorney, you would meet about the Divorce and establish what you’re asking for clearly.
2. Filing & Requesting for Services
This includes drafting the petition for the Divorce, Filing the petition with the District Clerk, Getting Stamps and Returns and Issuing the Citation. You must wait for an answer to be filed after service is completed.
3. Wait for an Answer/Counter Petition
Now you will revisit step 1 and provide financials, inventory, tax returns, and medical insurance in the initial disclosures.
Once there’s an answer, you file the required initial disclosures 30 days after an answer is filed.
If you agree at mediation for temporary orders you get an agreed temporary orders filed. A Discovery would be requested for issues left unresolved after mediation. If you don’t agree at mediation it goes to a temporary orders hearing and a discovery would follow. If the parties agree on all circumstances at mediation the decree could be made final here.
5. Temporary Orders Hearing
The judge decides how things will be temporarily managed based off evidence or info provided by the parties. This includes Child Custody Rules, Conservatorship, Financial Orders, and Child Support.
6. Discovery Includes:
7. Final Mediation
Once you have discovery completed, final mediation would be requested to discuss the unresolved issues from the prior mediation. Final Mediation has two Roads as follows:
a. Trial-This happens ONLY if the mediation process was not successful and the Judge will Decide what happens in this case.
b. If you agree on the Final order, you file the divorce decree and it will end there.
You will gather evidence & any info that you gathered throughout the case to support your claims. You can request in your petition for a bench trial or a jury trial. A bench trial will happen in front of a judge and a jury trial would be in front of a jury. This can often be costly and add one more step to the divorce process if you can’t come to an agreement in final mediation.