Divorce, simply, is the legal process of dissolving the marriage of couples and making them free of matrimonial responsibilities. But it may not be as simple as understanding the literal meaning of divorce when it has to be dealt in person. Divorce is a complex legal procedure and it can be costly. So, you have to be very sure about your decision of divorcing your spouse. The overall procedure for divorce is almost the same all around the United States but there might be slight variations in laws in different States.
Basically, in State of Texas, there are two types of divorce cases that can be filed in the court and they are:
Contested divorce is such divorce case having unsolved issues like child custody, property division, alimony etc. between the couples willing to divorce. When there is no agreement about the issues, you have to file a contested divorce case.
Uncontested divorce is such divorce case with complete agreement in all issues between divorcing parties. In the case of uncontested divorce, the legal procedures are simpler as compared to that of contested divorce.
Your divorce case is uncontested if:
You and your spouse agree about all the issues in your case OR
Your spouse is given legal notice of your divorce by Official Service of Process, Publication or Posting and does not file an Answer or Waiver of Service with the Court or otherwise appear in the case.
Following are the stepwise explanation of the divorce procedure for uncontested type which may be helpful for you to deal with your divorce case while eFiling in Texas:
First thing you have to do is visit a lawyer and hire one for your case. Describe the lawyer with all the true information about your case then as per the instruction of the lawyer visit court house nearby or Texas Court website to get a petition form of uncontested divorce or you can access the form from various other legal service websites. Fill it properly and save it in the computer as text recognizable pdf file.
After you correctly fill up the form, print the copy of your petition and sign on the form where ever indicated. Then scan the signed petition and save it as a pdf file with text recognition or your lawyer can handle these procedures on your behalf but may charge for the service.
Register and file your case through US Legal PRO, OCA certified free eFiling service provider in Texas. After you or your lawyer’s firm register with US Legal PRO, log on to it and fill up the forms in which you need to provide some answers to the questions regarding the case. The information you provide about your case is helpful in identifying information about your case and information about which court and county you want to file with.
Now upload your divorce petition to US Legal PRO and submit your petition and other supporting legal documents as prescribed by your lawyer. US Legal PRO, being free eFiling service provider, it does not charge you for filing your case but may ask for the credit card information to settle the payment to the court charges for filing the case. After the payment’s settlement you will get a confirmation e-mail from US Legal PRO confirming that your petition has been successfully received. Texas eFiling system also provides you with the e-mail after submission of your petition to the court.
When you receive the confirmation e-mail from Texas eFiling system it sends you the court stamped copy of your petition. Save that petition, print it and use it as official copy.
After you have successfully e-filed your uncontested divorce case, provide your spouse with the notice of divorce filing and notification can be provided with following methods of services:
- Waiver of Citation: This is for the case when there is complete agreement in all issues between the divorcing parties and spouse doesn’t want a copy of divorce filing and signs it.
- Answer: This is for a case when the spouse wants the copy of divorce files but doesn’t wish to attend the hearing and agrees to all the issues.
- Service by publication: For the case when you are unable to find your spouse, you have to file an affidavit with the court stating that you are unable to find your spouse with your honest efforts and publish your petition on newspapers for finding your spouse.
If you and your spouse are in complete agreement i.e. if your case is an uncontested divorce, the court processing would not take long. You can familiarize with terms and requirements of courts, standards of your evidence and how you present yourself in court etc or you can get more information about standards of evidence for Texas courts through your lawyer.
Attend the hearing on the court in the designated date. If both parties are in agreement on all issues hearing concludes within ten minutes.
Finally, you need to file Divorce Decree along with Information on Suit Affecting Family form by yourself which judge will sign after 60 days of date of filing of petition. After the judge signs your Final Decree of Divorce, turn it into the clerk’s office. Your divorce is not final until you do so. Get a certified copy of your Final Decree of Divorce from the clerk while you are there. The clerk may charge a fee for the certified copy.
In this way, you can handle your uncontested divorce case following these simple steps and get benefited from the e-fling service. It is not the complex case when it comes to uncontested divorce. You can even file a case on your own and get the verdict without the help of the lawyer or attorneys. But it is always better to approach the courts with your lawyer rather than alone because if something goes wrong, the legal processes can be confusing and frustrating to handle.