Getting a divorce in Texas is a legal process that starts with paperwork. However, before you begin the paperwork that must be filed with the court, you must ensure that the court will have jurisdiction over your case. That means you must fulfill the Texas residency requirements outlined under the law. These include the requirement that either you or your spouse has lived in the state for at least six months and has been a resident of the county where you will file for the previous 90 days. If those requirements are met, you can begin.
The first step of the divorce process involves the actual filing of the document that will introduce you and your case to the court. This is called the Original Petition for Divorce. This document must be filed regardless of whether your divorce will be contested or uncontested, whether children are involved, or any other issues to be decided. This document is filled out by the spouse who is originating the divorce, who is called the “Petitioner.” It gives basic information about the Petitioner, his or her spouse (called the “Respondent”) and the marriage.
Need to get started on your Texas divorce? Reach out to O’Neill Wysocki P.C. at (972) 852-8000 to arrange for a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.
The Original Petition for Divorce
Either you or your lawyer can fill out the Original Petition for Divorce, providing all of the necessary information.
That information includes such data as:
- Personal ID information
- Your spouse’s name
- How your spouse will be served with the divorce paperwork so that he/she is informed of the action
- Where you live proving that the court has jurisdiction over your divorce
- The dates of marriage and separation
- Grounds for divorce
- Names, ages, dates of birth, and sex of any children
- Whether a Protective Order is pending or in place
- Information about marital property and debt along with a section outlining any separate property that will not be considered community property
- Whether a name change is requested
Once the Petition has been properly filled out and filed with the court, the date on which it is filed is considered the official start of the divorce process. A 60-day waiting period will then begin from that date. That waiting period is mandated by law; once it has passed, the process can continue. Most divorce cases are not finalized immediately thereafter due to various issues that will have to be determined either by the two parties or through the court. These issues will depend on the unique circumstances of the case.
In an uncontested divorce without children or property, the divorce could be finalized immediately following the waiting period depending on the court’s schedule. In a divorce where community property must be divided and distributed, where child custody and parenting plans must be resolved, and where child support or alimony must be determined, the process obviously will take longer. Other issues that can delay a divorce include failure to notify the other spouse that the Petition has been filed.
The Original Petition is not the only document that may need to be filed. Other documents may also be required.
Start Your Divorce with Guidance From O’Neil Wysocki P.C.
The Original Petition for Divorce is the beginning of the documentation and process that is needed to dissolve your Texas marriage. Ensure that you understand all of the consequences of the decisions you will be required to make regarding all the issues of your divorce. These issues can be extremely complicated, especially in divorces involving children, family businesses, pension plans, complex investments, and other issues. At O’Neil Wysocki P.C., we can provide competent guidance to help you move through the divorce process as smoothly as possible. Our legal team has over 90 years of combined experience and has garnered top ratings from legal industry organizations, such as Avvo, The Best Lawyers in America, and others.
Contact us at (972) 852-8000 for the legal help you need today.