Petition for Divorce
The initial step in filing for divorce is to file an Original Petition for Divorce. If you are trying to get a divorce and minor children with your current spouse then you could file with the enclosed Petition for Divorce. This is the introductory document for your divorce. You would introduce yourself and your spouse to the court by providing your names and the last four digits of your Social Security numbers.
Importantly, you will need to provide notice to your spouse that you have filed for divorce. Otherwise, your divorce cannot proceed, There are three basic ways that your spouse can be notified of your filing for divorce: 1) by process server 2) by constable/law enforcement 3) by substitute method of service. Additionally, if your spouse chooses to he or she can waive their right to be personally served by signing a waiver of service and filing that with the court. A waiver of service is attached to end of this form.
Establishing jurisdiction within the Petition for Divorce is also important. To do so, you will need to choose from a number of options provided for in the enclosed form. Most typically, you will have been a resident of the State of Texas for at least the past six months and the county where you are filing for at least the past 90 days. Doing so allows the court to not only accept the filing of your case but eventually make decisions and issue orders related to your marriage.
You will be required to disclose the names and identifying information for your minor children in the Petition for Divorce. Specifically their names, dates of birth, places of birth and the state of their residence, currently will all need to be included. Your requested orders regarding custody, visitation, child support and possession will need to be included, as well. This does not mean that what you ask for will be granted. It only presents the judge with basic information about what your wishes are at this time.
The grounds for divorce asked for in this form relate to the reason(s) (if any) why you are filing for divorce from your spouse. Please note that you do not have to specify a specific ground or basis for your divorce. Texas is a “no fault” divorce state which does not require you to do so in order to get divorced. However, issues like abandonment, abuse, and adultery may be relevant to your case and pertain to other matters in the case in various ways. If so, you are provided an opportunity to specify those grounds in the Petition for Divorce.
Finally, you will be presented with an opportunity to present to the court how you anticipate community property will be divided. Homes, other real estate, money or property should be disclosed in the Petition in order to allow the judge to gain an understanding of what property may be relevant to your case.