File for Divorce in Texas Without a Lawyer

100% Court-approved forms for a do it yourself divorce

Do It Yourself Divorce Guide

The decision to get divorced can be difficult. You may be concerned about money, your children, or finding a place to live. Getting divorced is an important decision.

There are many steps to a divorce. When you and your spouse agree on basic issues, it takes about 3 to 4 months to complete a divorce.

Easy Steps to Filing a Divorce in Texas

Qualify and Set-Up Account

Answer a few questions to find out if you qualify. If you do, you can open your account right away.

Generate Your Legal Forms

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File Your Papers

We help you and your spouse file for an uncontested divorce.

How to Start a Divorce

Filing the Petition: The spouse who files for divorce is called the Petitioner. The other spouse is called the Respondent. The first decision to be made is where to file for divorce. To file for a divorce in Texas: (i) you and/or your spouse must have lived in Texas for at least six months before filing for divorce; and (ii) you must file in the county in which either you or your spouse has lived for at least ninety days. A sample divorce petition (called an “Original Petition for Divorce”) is attached to this manual as Appendix “A.”

Although most divorces in Texas are “no-fault,” sometimes, parties will plead grounds such as cruelty or adultery in order to gain a tactical advantage, especially when one person is seeking an unequal division of the community estate. You should take extreme caution when pleading specific grounds for divorce, however. The Texas Family Code permits the court to strike certain types of inflammatory remarks or detailed allegations of marital misconduct from a petition for divorce. The specifics of such matters should not be set forth in detail in the petition. In other words, to plead the ground of adultery, you should say “Petitioner requests a divorce on the grounds that Respondent has committed multiple acts of adultery” rather than “Petitioner requests a divorce from Respondent because Respondent has repeatedly cheated on Petitioner with the next door neighbor.” The Petition should also briefly state whether you believe an agreement will be reached with respect to any custody or property issues and, if an agreement cannot be reached, what you are requesting the court to order in your case.

The Original Petition For Divorce (the “Petition”), along with two extra copies,and the appropriate filing fee, should be filed by hand delivery, or mail, with the District Clerk’s office in the appropriate county. The clerk will date stamp and file the original, and will date stamp the copies to show the date and time the Petition was filed. The original will be assigned a “cause number” that will be listed at the top of the Petition, and one copy will be returned to you. If you choose to mail the Petition,include a self-addressed and stamped envelope for the clerk to return your copy to you.The third copy will be used to notify the Respondent of the divorce proceeding. There is no cost for file stamping of extra copies. However, there is a fee if the clerk later has to make a copy for you from the court’s file. At the time of filing, you will also be required to pay a filing fee. Filing fees vary from county to county and you should call ahead to determine the filing fee for your case. If you cannot afford the filing fee, you must file an Affidavit of Inability to Pay Court Costs, which you must sign in the presence of a notary public, at the same time you file your Petition. If the Judge accepts your Affidavit of Inability to Pay Court Costs, your filing fee and other court costs will be waived. A sample form of the Affidavit of Inability to Pay Costs is attached as Appendix “B.”

Notifying Your Spouse: The second step is to legally notify your soon to be exspouse (the “Respondent”) of the Petition for divorce. You must serve the Respondent in one of the following ways:

  1. (have the Respondent sign a waiver of citation;
  2. hire a private process server or a county constable to personally serve the Respondent witha “citation,” which is formal notice of the filing of the Petition for divorce prepared bythe District Clerk; or (3) if, after a diligent search, you cannot locate the address of theRespondent, you may request that the court order that Respondent be served by publication or posting.

The easiest method of legal notice to the Respondent is through a Waiver of Service. A Waiver is only valid if it is signed by the Respondent after the Petition for divorce has been filed with the court and the Respondent has been provided with a file-stamped copy of the Petition. Once the waiver has been signed by the Respondent, the waiver should be filed with the Court. Make a copy of the Waiver.Take the Waiver and the copy to the District Clerk’s office. Tell the clerk you would like to file the Waiver. The clerk will file stamp the original and the copy. She will then keep the original and return the copy to you for your records. The Waiver must be on file a minimum of 10 days before a divorce can be finalized. A sample form of Waiver of Service is attached to this manual as Appendix “C.”

Do I Qualify for Your Uncontested Divorce in Texas?

You and your spouse can qualify for an uncontested divorce if the following requirements are met:

  • you or your spouse has been a resident of the State of Texas for at least the last 6 months before we’ll file;
  • you and your spouse agree to a divorce (keep reading if one spouse does not agree); and
  • you have been separated for at least twelve months, or six months if you have an agreement and no minor children.

Filing for an Uncontested Divorce Online

Unless you’ve been through this before, you have no idea what to expect.Let me take the mystery out of it for you and show you why our service will get you divorced in Texas without a court appearance.

  1. It starts completing our questionnaire. This is a form that we need returned that asks the questions we need to prepare your documents for divorce. Contact us and we’ll e-mail or mail this to you at your request.The fee agreement spells out what we’ve agreed to do and what you’ve agreed to pay. There are no hidden fees.Once we have the intake sheet, fee agreement and the fee, we get to work.
  2. We draft the complaint and e-mail it to you for your review before filing.
  3. Complaint is then filed in the Clerk’s office, usually by hand-delivery within a business day of your hire.
  4. Once the Complaint is filed, we will send you the Waiver for your spouse to sign and have notarize. The Waiver is what allows us to complete the divorce within about 3 to 4 weeks. If they will not sign the Waiver, the process takes about 2 and half months.
  5. Depositions are transcribed, Final Decree is drafted, Vital Statistics form is completed and your papers are filed with the Court. From here, there is nothing to do but wait. You are usually about 3 weeks from being divorced at this stage in the game.

When Can I File for Divorce in Texas?

Many people are confused about when they can file for divorce in Texas. I’ll try to explain this below, assuming we are filing on no-fault grounds. There is a mandatory 60-day waiting period in Texas, that counts from the time the divorce is filed until you are eligible to appear in court in order to finalize your divorce.

How Long Will My Divorce Take?

Using our service, it can take as little as three weeks if the spouse signs and accepts delivery of the papers promptly.

Will I Need to Go to Court?

If you qualify for an uncontested divorce, no court hearings would be necessary.

What if I Don’t Know Where My Spouse Lives?

If you have lost touch with your spouse and cannot find them, all is not lost.

If you have some identifying information (such as a social security number) we are often able to find them.

If the spouse is still not found, a divorce can be obtained by filing an order of publication and having a notice published in the newspaper.

How do I get my name changed?

I will submit an Order for Name Change along with your Court papers so that when the Judge signs the Final Decree for Divorce, your name can be changed as well. There is an additional fee of $75.00 for this service which includes the court filing fee.

Texas Forms for an Uncontested Divorce

Many people are confused about what forms they need to fill in order to file for divorce in Texas. I try to explain this below, assuming we are filing on no-fault grounds.

No Children
Instructions for an AGREED Divorce without Children
Petition for Divorce
Civil Case Information Sheet
Information on Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship
Statement of Inability to Afford Payment of Court Costs
Waiver of Service
Respondent’s Original Answer
Final Decree of Divorce
Notice of Current Address
Sample Testimony for Divorce without Children
With Children
Instructions for an AGREED Divorce with Children
Petition for Divorce
Exhibit: Out-of-State Party Declaration
Income Withholding for Support
Civil Case Information Sheet
Information on Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship
Statement of Inability to Afford Payment of Court Costs
Waiver of Service
Respondent’s Original Answer
Final Decree of Divorce
Notice of Current Address
Sample Testimony for Divorce with Children

Tips for Preparing Divorce Papers

The amount of paper in a court case can be overwhelming. Start out right and follow these tips:

  1. Always write down the date and the name of the court personnel, state marshal or others who give you instructions or explain things to you.
  2. When you must mail something, you may want to send it by “certified mail” with a “return receipt” so you have proof that you mailed it and that it was received.
  3. Keep all documents, notes and receipts in a file, envelope or binder.
  4. When you file a document with the court, include the full docket number and case name.
  5. Always keep a copy of every document for yourself. Do not give away your only copy of a document.


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