Marriages do not always last, no matter how fervently a couple believes in the vows they take. When couples decide to split in Texas, there are a number of ways they can proceed, depending on whether there are grounds for divorce, if there are property division or spousal maintenance issues, or if there are children involved.
For people living in Hidalgo County and throughout the Rio Grande Valley, sometimes the best way to go is also the fastest and most affordable dissolution. Divorce laws in the United States differ greatly from those in Mexico and other countries, so it is important to know how to proceed once the couple decides to split.
How do I begin the process?
While one spouse may file for divorce in Texas based on such grounds of adultery, cruelty, or abandonment, the simplest procedure is an uncontested divorce. Also called a no-fault divorce, the grounds are insupportability due to discord or conflict as the cause preventing the continuance of a marital relationship.
For couples who do not have children, this is often the easiest and least costly method for ending the marriage. Although community property laws guide the courts, in an uncontested divorce the spouses are in agreement on property division, and where there are no demands for alimony, the issuance of the divorce decree is straightforward as long as the parties submit the proper forms within the required deadlines.
What is the procedure?
To file for divorce, one spouse must have been a resident of Texas for a minimum of six months prior to filing. The spouse must first file a Petition for Divorce through the district court of the county in which they reside and include both spouse’s contact information, financial details, grounds for divorce and an agreed-upon settlement arrangement.
Once the clerk’s office has received the petition, the other spouse must receive a copy, either hand-delivered by the filing spouse or sent by the clerk’s office with a proof of service. The clerk’s office will then schedule a hearing that must take place after 60 days. During this time the two parties may finalize the settlement agreement.
At the hearing, the judge will review all filed documents, including the settlement agreement, and ask questions to verify that both parties are in agreement of all details of the divorce. Once this is done, the judge will sign the final decree, which the parties then file with the clerk’s office. The date of the marriage is required in the divorce decree.