Should You File for Divorce Online in Texas? - The Larson Law Office (2023)

Should You File for Divorce Online in Texas? - The Larson Law Office (1)

The process of getting divorced in Texas can be overwhelming.

This is especially the case when a divorcing spouse decides to go it alone without the assistance of an experienced Texas divorce attorney.

Texas divorce laws are complex. A pro se spouse may find that researching one legal issue only leads to more questions and confusion.

However, with the proliferation of online divorce templates and services, divorcing couples in Texas who are willing to compromise and cooperate may be able to fast-track their divorce while saving money and a lot of grief in the process.

Please contact us online or call (713) 221-9088 today for a free consultation.

Texas Online Divorce Topics Covered Here hide

1What Does It Mean to File for Divorce Online in Texas?

(Video) Do I need to file first for Divorce in Houston

2Who Should Get an Online Divorce in Texas?

3Is an Online Divorce in Texas Right for Me?

3.1Your Divorce Is Contested

3.2You Need Formal Legal Advice

3.3Your Spouse’s Whereabouts Are Unknown

(Video) How long does it take to Divorce in Houston, Harris County

3.4Neither Spouse Has Lived in Texas for at Least 6 Months

3.5One Spouse Engages in Domestic Violence

3.6One Spouse Is Likely to Hide Assets

3.7The Parties Cannot Cooperate

4Questions About How to File for Divorce in Texas Online?

What Does It Mean to File for Divorce Online in Texas?

An online divorce in Texas may refer to one of two different things. One, it may refer to how to file for divorce in Texas online using Texas’s e-filing system.

Most Texas counties permit divorcing parties to upload their paperwork to the clerk’s office inside their local courthouse. However, an online divorce in Texas also refers to document delivery services that provide consumers with templates for filling out divorce paperwork.

(Video) Family takes photo wife files for divorce after seeing this detail

Who Should Get an Online Divorce in Texas?

Online divorces in Texas are not advisable for most couples. However, those who are seeking an uncontested divorce and have few assets to divide may be able to get by with an online divorce template.

An uncontested divorce means that the parties both agree to the divorce, the basis for divorce, and all issues related to the division of community property, spousal support, child custody, and child support.

Uncontested divorces in Texas are quicker than contested divorces.

In the event you cannot agree on all these matters, you will need to seek a contested divorce in a Texas family law court. If that is the case, then the court may need to resolve any contested issues and an online divorce template may be of little use.

Even if you do agree, it’s generally advisable to seek the advice of professional legal counsel if you have children or any significant assets. You may still be able to save money by completing the paperwork yourself with a TX online divorce, but you should at least have a lawyer review the paperwork before you sign and help you check for any errors.

Keep in mind that even if you use online divorce papers, in Texas one of the spouses must still go to court for a “prove up” hearing.

Here, the judge will review the terms of your agreement to ensure the terms are not unconscionable, that the agreement adequately provides for any minor children, and that both spouses signed the agreement voluntarily and not because of fraud or coercion. If the paperwork checks out, the judge will sign off on the agreement and incorporate it into your final divorce decree.

Is an Online Divorce in Texas Right for Me?

Whether an uncontested online divorce in Texas is appropriate for your circumstances depends on an array of factors. It’s important to remember that what you agree to in a divorce will impact the rest of your life, as well as the lives of any minor children you may have.

For this reason, it might be helpful to consult with an experienced Texas divorce attorney to ensure you dot every “I” and cross every “T”. The following considerations should help you determine whether a Texas online divorce is right for you.

Your Divorce Is Contested

A divorce is contested if:

  • You and your spouse don’t agree about getting the divorce;
  • You or your spouse seeks a fault-based divorce;
  • You and your spouse cannot agree on whether a given asset is community or separate property;
  • You and your spouse cannot agree on how to divide up community property;
  • You and your spouse cannot agree on whether one or both parents should be able to make decisions impacting the child’s welfare;
  • You and your spouse cannot agree on a visitation schedule;
  • You or your spouse is seeking to relocate out of state, and the other spouse opposes the move;
  • You and your spouse cannot agree on the appropriate amount of child support; or
  • You and your spouse cannot agree on matters of spousal support.

In sum, unless the parties agree on every aspect of the divorce, the divorce is a contested divorce. This means that the parties must participate in discovery and litigate any unresolved issues before a Texas divorce court.

You Need Formal Legal Advice

Online divorce papers in Texas are not substitutes for an experienced Texas family law attorney. If you don’t understand each and every term in your divorce settlement agreement, seek the advice of an attorney. The stakes are too high to simply assume the written agreement says what you think it does. One mistake could very well jeopardize your finances, inheritance, or even your relationship with your child.

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Your Spouse’s Whereabouts Are Unknown

If you can’t find your spouse, then you’re not going to have a chance to agree on anything. Moreover, you won’t even have a chance to serve them. Instead, you are going to have to seek a default divorce in court.

These kinds of divorces are rare and generally disfavored in Texas. If you are seeking divorce and your spouse is MIA, an experienced attorney can help with the default divorce process.

Neither Spouse Has Lived in Texas for at Least 6 Months

Texas has a six-month residency requirement for parties seeking a divorce in a Texas court. In addition, most Texas counties require a party to have lived there for at least 90 days before filing for any divorce.

This is the case regardless of whether it is contested or uncontested.

One Spouse Engages in Domestic Violence

Texas courts review settlement agreements to ensure the parties made the agreement willingly and without duress.

Negotiations in which one spouse is actively abusing the other will not satisfy the court. Moreover, Texas law tasks courts with protecting the best interest of all minor children of the marriage.

A parenting plan that awards custody to a violent parent is typically not in the best interest of any child.

One Spouse Is Likely to Hide Assets

Settlement agreements must include every asset owned by you and your spouse.

A settlement agreement procured by fraudulently concealing assets may be rejected outright or subsequently invalidated by a Texas court.

The Parties Cannot Cooperate

Finally, spouses cannot make an agreement if the parties refuse to work together.

Success in fashioning a Texas divorce settlement agreement requires an open mind and willingness to cooperate.

Questions About How to File for Divorce in Texas Online?

Online divorces are not for everybody. Unless you agree on every issue related to property division, alimony, and matters concerning the minor children, you will likely have to file the divorce as contested.

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If you’re beginning your divorce and are curious about filing for a Texas divorce online, call (713) 221-9088 or contact the experienced divorce attorneys at The Larson Law Office today to schedule your complimentary consultation.


Is Texas divorce online legitimate? ›

An online divorce in Texas is a legally binding dissolution of a marriage. The result is the same as if you had gone to court in person. For folks who can't afford (or don't want to hire) an attorney for divorce in Texas, many new online services provide a do-it-yourself method.

Can you file for divorce online in the state of Texas? ›

Generally, if either spouse has lived in the where you intend to file, you can use Texas Online Divorce. Texas Online Divorce cannot resolve contested cases. If you cannot come to an agreement you should first try mediation. If that does not work and you need to have a court hearing, you should contact an attorney.

What is the easiest way to file for divorce in Texas? ›

You may file in the District Court of the county where one party has resided for at least 90 days. The simplest procedure is an uncontested divorce where you and your spouse can reach an agreement about all issues. You begin by filing an Original Petition for Divorce, along with various supporting documents.

What office do you file a divorce in Texas? ›

The divorce can be filed in the district court county where either party has lived for the last 90 days, as long as they have also lived in Texas for at least the last 6 months.

How long does an online divorce take in Texas? ›

The good news about an uncontested divorce is it streamlines the entire process. While there is no way to get around the 60-day waiting period in most cases, many uncontested divorces can finalize soon after that. An uncontested divorce averages around 60 to 90 days, depending upon the availability of the court.

How much does it cost to efile a divorce in Texas? ›

eFiling Visit our site for details. $2.95 per filing.

How do I get a divorce in Texas without going to court? ›

In Texas, it's possible to get a divorce without going to court – or by just appearing one time for a final “prove-up” hearing. To achieve this outcome, the divorce has to be uncontested, amicable, and both parties should be represented by attorneys.

How long does it take to finalize a divorce in Texas? ›

Theoretically, the least amount of time it can take to get divorced in Texas is 61 days. However, even an uncontested divorce typically takes about three to four months to finalize due to the court's docket and the schedules of all the parties involved. What Is an Uncontested Divorce?

What documents do I need to file for divorce in Texas? ›

Personal records – Some of the documents you'll need include your marriage certificate, birth certificates and social security cards for both spouses and any children, other divorce papers from prior marriages, and any legal agreements you have with your spouse (e.g., prenuptial agreement, separation agreement).

Can you get a divorce in Texas without both parties signing? ›

In Texas, one spouse refusing to sign divorce papers does not completely stop a divorce from proceeding. If one spouse is seeking a divorce, they can still achieve it whether or not the other spouse cooperates and signs the papers.

How much does a divorce cost in Texas? ›

It really depends on how many "contested" issues you have in your case. In other words, the more you and your spouse disagree, the more it's going to cost. The average cost of a divorce in Texas is $15,600 if there are no kids involved and $23,500 if there are kids involved.

How can I speed up my divorce in Texas? ›

Uncontested or agreed divorces are the quickest way to divorce a spouse. Various alternative dispute resolutions to speed up a divorce in Texas include arbitration, mediation with a private judge, or using a mediation attorney for divorce processes.

What is the first step to divorce in Texas? ›

Filing the petition

One of the parties must first file a petition with the court called the “Original Petition for Divorce” (along with paying the requisite court fee). This petition essentially starts the divorce process.

What is the cheapest way to file for divorce in Texas? ›

Mediation is often touted as the key to a cheap divorce in Texas – because expensive family law attorneys aren't part of the process. During divorce mediation, the couple can discuss their parenting plan and how to divide assets – especially those with sentimental value –and other issues.

Is it free to file for divorce in Texas? ›

When you file your divorce paperwork, with or without an attorney, you need to pay a filing fee. However, a person can apply for low-income status, allowing them to file for an indigent divorce so the filing fee can be waived. Texas has set up a system where it is possible to get that fee waived.

Can people get divorced without hiring an attorney in Texas? ›

Uncontested means the parties to the divorce came to an agreement on what they want to happen. In some cases, you can obtain an uncontested divorce in Texas without a lawyer. Texas is a no-fault divorce state. That means that a court can grant your divorce without assigning “fault” to either party.

What is the waiting period for a no fault divorce in Texas? ›

How long will my divorce take? In almost all cases, you must wait at least 60 days before you can finish your divorce. There are only two exceptions to the 60-day waiting period. Both exceptions involve family violence.

Is there a mandatory waiting period for divorce in Texas? ›

Once you file your divorce petition, you must wait at least 60 days before the court will divorce you. The Texas waiting period for divorce means that the soonest you can get a divorce is 61 days after you file. In practice, many people need to wait more than 61 days, even if they are having an uncontested divorce.

Can I file divorce papers myself in Texas? ›

In a pro se divorce, you can download Texas divorce forms online or get them from the District Clerk's office, complete them on your own, and have an attorney review them before filing them. This allows for a DIY divorce in that you do not need to retain an attorney to represent you in court.

Is it better to be the one to file for divorce in Texas? ›

In Texas, it generally does not matter which party files first. However, it may still be beneficial to be the filing party. This depends on your circumstances, and every case is different. If you have any questions, you should speak with your divorce attorney about what is best for you.

Does it matter in Texas who files for divorce? ›

Legally, it doesn't matter who files for divorce first in Texas, but there may be some advantages to one spouse striking first.

Can a spouse refuse a divorce in Texas? ›

Likewise, you cannot stop a divorce by refusing to sign the papers. In Texas, refusing to sign divorce papers will not stop a final divorce decree. If one party is seeking a legal divorce they will get it whether the other party signs divorce papers or not.

Can a spouse stop a divorce in Texas? ›

Can you dismiss a divorce case in Texas? Absolutely, as long as both spouses agree and the divorce hasn't been finalized. From time to time, couples have a change of heart during divorce proceedings.

What happens after divorce papers are filed in Texas? ›

The hearing allows the judge to review each spouse's requests. The judge will then sign the divorce decree to make the divorce final. Unless there was family violence, the judge can't finalize a divorce at the hearing until 60 days after the petition for divorce was filed.

Can you date someone while going through a divorce in Texas? ›

While in general there is no law in Texas preventing a person from doing so, it is not a smart idea to date anyone while your divorce is pending before a court. While it may seem harmless, the effects can be long-lasting and extremely detrimental to your case.

How many months after divorce can you remarry in Texas? ›

In Texas, there is a 30-day waiting period after a divorce before the parties that are divorced can marry a new person. You can get married to a new person on the 31st day.

What is the 10 year rule in divorce in Texas? ›

If the marriage lasted at least 10 years, a court may order spousal maintenance to a spouse who does not have sufficient property or earning ability to provide for their own minimum reasonable needs. Tex. Fam. Code Ann.

Do you have to give a reason for divorce in Texas? ›

Is Texas a no fault state for divorce? Yes, Texas is a “no-fault” state. That means, if you want to get a divorce in the state of Texas, you can file on the grounds of insupportability. The spouse doesn't need to prove the other spouse did anything wrong to file for a divorce.

Is Texas a 50 50 divorce state? ›

Texas is not a 50/50 community property state. The Texas Family Code requires a just and right division of community property. Judges may divide 55/45 or 60/40 if they see bad behavior on one side, or if there are fault grounds (adultery, cruelty, etc.), or if there is disparity in earning capabilities.

What is a wife entitled to in a divorce in Texas? ›

The answer is that women's rights in a divorce in Texas are the same as men's rights. Whether it be an award of spousal support or the just division of marital assets (called community property), both parties are subject to the same rules and considerations imposed by Texas courts.

How does adultery affect divorce in Texas? ›

Adultery and divorce: Can infidelity affect divorce settlements in Texas? Yes. If you are able to convince a judge that your spouse's cheating is the ground on which your divorce should be based, you could be awarded a greater share of the marital property.

Do I have to pay for my wife's lawyer in a divorce Texas? ›

The decision about who pays divorce attorney fees is made by the family law judge on a case-by-case basis. In some divorce cases, each party pays their own attorneys. In other cases, one spouse will be ordered to pay all or part of their ex's attorney fees.

What qualifies you for alimony in Texas? ›

In order to be eligible, the spouse seeking maintenance must lack sufficient property once the divorce is final (including separate property) to provide for her minimum reasonable needs.

How do I protect myself financially in a divorce in Texas? ›

Protecting Your Assets During a Divorce
  1. Checking and savings accounts.
  2. Investment accounts.
  3. Life insurance policies.
  4. Business entities, professional practices, partnerships, or interests in closely held corporations.
  5. Pension, retirement or executive compensation packages.
  6. Trust funds.
  7. Real estate, furniture and automobiles.

How long after filing for divorce are papers served in Texas? ›

This method could take between 5-14 days as an estimate due to the steps that must be taken before the process server or sheriff even comes into possession of the documents to serve.

How to get a divorce lawyer in Texas with no money? ›

Legal Aid Divorce Help
  1. South Texas College of Law Legal Clinic – Phone: 713-646-2990.
  2. AVDA – Phone: 713-224-9911.
  3. Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program – Phone 713-237-9429.
  4. Houston Lawyer Referral Service – Phone: 713-228-0735.
  5. Lone Star Legal Aid – Phone: 713-652-0077.

Is Texas online divorce legit? ›

An online divorce in Texas is a legally binding dissolution of a marriage. The result is the same as if you had gone to court in person. For folks who can't afford (or don't want to hire) an attorney for divorce in Texas, many new online services provide a do-it-yourself method.

Can you get a divorce in Texas without going to court? ›

In Texas, it's possible to get a divorce without going to court – or by just appearing one time for a final “prove-up” hearing. To achieve this outcome, the divorce has to be uncontested, amicable, and both parties should be represented by attorneys.

How to get a free divorce in Texas? ›

You must first fill out and file an affidavit of indigency form. When you file, the district clerk will set a hearing date. At the hearing, you present your financial situation to a judge and ask them to waive filing fees.

How to file for divorce in Texas without knowing where my spouse is? ›

In most cases, Texas law requires the personal service of divorce papers. However, if you do your due diligence and still cannot find your spouse, the court will allow substitute service by either publication or posting. The former consists of publishing notice of your divorce in a local newspaper.

How long does it take to get a divorce in Texas if both parties agree? ›

Texas requires a 60-day “cooling off” period once a petition for divorce has been filed. Once the 60-day period has passed, a divorce order may be entered. Therefore, if the parties have come to a full agreement, they could be divorced in as little as two months. Typically, even uncontested cases take 90 to 120 days.

Can a judge deny a divorce in Texas? ›

So, can a judge deny a divorce in Texas? The answer is usually no. While it is infrequent for a judge to refuse to grant a divorce outright, there are several ways that the process can be delayed or complicated if an experienced divorce lawyer does not represent you.

At what point is a divorce final in Texas? ›

The Hearing

The judge will then sign the divorce decree to make the divorce final. Unless there was family violence, the judge can't finalize a divorce at the hearing until 60 days after the petition for divorce was filed. Keep that in mind when "setting," or scheduling, your hearing.

Do I need a divorce lawyer if we agree on everything in Texas? ›

No there is no legal requirement that you hire a lawyer for your divorce in Texas. Five reasons that a person should consider hiring a divorce lawyer include: Expert advice.

How do I file a divorce through the newspaper in Texas? ›

Finalizing A Divorce by Publication

With court approval, a petitioning spouse must then have a notice printed in a local newspaper or other approved publication that states the intent to terminate the marriage. An agent of the publication sends in a Return of Citation as proof the notice was published.


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