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Texas Divorce: Spouse's Signature Not Required

Phone: (940)337-4576| (9-5 CST Mon.-Fri.) doityourselflegalforms@divorcehelp.net

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The information available at this site is excerpted from the books and publications published by Pro Se Publications (unless otherwise noted),  and is provided for educational purposes only. It is intended solely for general information, and is not intended to be legal advice for a specific situation.For additional information, see our copyright, disclaimer, guarantee, legal stuff.


The Modern Texas Divorce.

The modern day Texas divorce is usually little more than a simple clerical matter . By the time you have made the decision to get a divorce, the marriage has ended, and all that remains is to take care of the legal ties.

Ending the legal ties often includes dividing up any property from the marriage or just identifying the separate property of the parties.

If there are children of the parties, typically custody, child support, and visitation, will be set out in the divorce paperwork making it easier on every one involved - including the children.

Clearly spelling out who is to do what, when, and under what terms and conditions, eases the normal stress of a divorce, leaving less to be 'argued' over.

Child support is calculated based on the Texas State Guidelinesfor determining child support, eliminating what might otherwise be the biggest 'problem area' between divorcing parents. Unless the parents reach an agreement about the amount of child support to be paid, the Texas State Child Support Guidelines are presumed to produce an amount of support that is fair and equitable to the parents and more importantly, in the best interest of the children. ( ).

It is now the policy of virtually all states to encourage joint legal custody of children whenever practical . Joint legal custody does not necessarily mean a 50:50 time sharing of the children, although some parents are very creative in working out a parenting plan doing just that, or at least close to it. Joint legal custody also does not mean that there won't be any child support ordered. Joint legal custody is in reality is more a 50:50 sharing of the responsibility for decision makingabout the things that affect the lives of the children.

In the most 'common' joint custody plan, 1 parent has primary physical possession, and thenon-custodial parent has the standard visitationof basically every other weekend, alternating holidays, and an extended period in the summer, and pays child support based on the Texas State Child Support Guidelines. In the real world, joint legal custody is typically a parenting plan that keeps both parents actively involved in all of the major decisions impacting the child and gives the non-custodial parent a greater role in the lives of their children. Standard visitation schedule.

The majority of Texas divorces are granted by agreement of both spouses.That means that for the majority of spouses, they have reached a marital settelment agreement about how they want the affairs of their divorce settled and rather than needing or wanting someone to 'tell' them what they 'ought' to do; what they really want is someone to simply do the paperwork - according to the way they have decided to settle their divorce, and give them the procedural information they need to process their divorce without hiring a lawyer. That is exactly what we do.You make the decisions - We Do the Paperwork ; and provide the procedural information to 'walk' you through the process from filing the initial paperwork to walking out of the courthouse a newly divorced single person.

Everyone knows that you can represent yourself in a murder trial , we hear about it almost daily on the news, but few people realize that there is no law in any state requiring you to hire a lawyer; you are not required to hire a lawyer to handle any legal matter for you - including your divorce.


The following sections provide general information on the various aspects of Texas divorce, custody, Texaschild support, visitation, and property division settling the affairs of the marriage.
Who can file for divorce in Texas ?

If 1 of the spouses is not a resident of Texas , the filing spouse must have resided in Texas for 90 days prior to filing for divorce. A divorce may be filed for in any of the following counties: if both spouses reside in Texas no time limit

  • where the defendant resides;
  • where the spouses both resided at the time of their separation;
  • where the plaintiff (filing spouse) resides if the defendant is a non-resident of Texas .

    What are the grounds for divorce in Texas?

    No-Fault:

  • The marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that has destroyed the legitimater ends of the marriage relationship and prevents any chance at reconciliation

  • Fault Based Grounds:

  • cruel and inhuman treatment
  • adultery;
  • conviction of a feloby and imprisonment for at least 1 year
  • abandonment for 1 year
  • confined to mental facility at the time of filing for at least 3 years with no chance at adjustment

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  • How long does it take to get a divorce in Texas?

    There is a 60 day waiting period required before a divorce will be final. Depending on the court's schedule, a online Texas divorce may be granted in as little as 30 days.

  • Can a Texas divorce be granted if the respondent's whereabouts are unknown?

    If the filing spouse has made a 'good faith effort' to locate the missing spouse, and can swear under oath and penalty of perjury that they do not know the current whereabouts of the respondent and have made an effort to locate them, the missing respondent can be 'served' by publication of a notice in a local newspaper.

    How is property divided in a divorce in Texas ?

    Texas is an "equitable distribution" state, (by case law rather than statute), generally meaning that all marital property acquired during the marriage is subject to division. Property brought into the marriage i.e. that a person had before the marriage are not subject to division in a divorce.

    Does Texas have Alimony?

    Yes. Alimony may be awarded to either spouse for their support and maintenance after the divorce IF it is "equitable and just". It is generally based on the financial circumstances of the divorcing spouses. The needs of one spouse and the ability of the other spouse to pay are the primary factors in determining alimony. Since most spouses are working, alimony (if necessary at all), is usually for a shorter period of time, and smaller amount than in the past, although alimony in Texas is for an indefinite period, meaning that it may be increased or decreased if there is a change in one of the party's circumstances.

    Are there guidelines for custody of children in Texas?

    Most parents agree about the custody, child support, and visitation issues relating to their children. Joint custody arrangements have become common place and in some states the "norm" in determining the care, custody and support of children. If the parents are unable to 'work it out', a judge will ultimately decide these issues for the parents. See the section on Children below for detailed information on custody, support and visitation).

    How is Child Support determined in Texas ?

    Texas , like all other states, has guidelines for determining the amount of child support to be paid. The guideline amount is presumed to arrive at an amount of support that is in the child's best interest. If the parents are unable to agree to an amount of child support, the court will determine the amount of support based on the Child Support Guidelines. (See the section below on Child Support for a copy of the guidelines).

    What about medical insurance for the children?

    A determination as to who is going to provide medical health care insurance for the children and how any uninsured medical expenses shall be paid between the parties is typically part of the parties' marital settlement agreement during the divorce process. If medical insurance is available through a parent's employment, they are required to cover their children through the plan.

    How permanent are the provisions for child custody and support?

    As in any other state, orders providing for the support and custody of children is subject to modification after the divorce if their is a substantial change in the circumstances of the parties i.e. an increase or decrease in income or a change in the living arrangements of the children.

    Agreed Texas Divorce

    In an agreed Texas divorce, one spouse files the papers at the local court house and gives the other spouse a copy of the filed divorce papers,etc. That spouse then signs a waiver of official service of citation which basically acknowledges that they have received a copy of the divorce papers and that the divorce may proceed without them having to do anything else or even having to appear at the final divorce hearing.

    Default Texas Divorce

    In a default Texas divorce, only one spouse (the one filing the divorce) is required to sign anything. One spouse files the divorce papers. The other spouse is then notified by being delivered a copy of the divorce papers by the Sheriff, Constable or other authorized process server, (and in some states by certified mail). The spouse being "served" with the divorce papers is not required to sign anything. All that is required is proof that they were notified - not their consent. You cannot force someone to stay married to you.

    Missing Spouse

    If you don't know where your spouse can be found to be 'served' (notified), and you have made a good faith effort to locate them, you can still get your divorce. Missing spouses can be 'notified' by:
  • running a notice in a local newspaper.
  • The Process of Divorce

    There are only three basic procedural steps to divorce:
  • File divorce papers
  • Notify Spouse (by service of summons and/or signing a waiver or acceptance of service.
  • Final Divorce Judgment (only the filing spouse is required to attend although both spouses may choose to be present for the hearing)
  • Filing Fees

    You pay the same filing fees and court costs that lawyers pay in your county. You can call the court clerk at your local courthouse and ask for the filing fees for an agreed divorce, or a divorce with service of process.

    Online Divorce Order Form for "instant" online ordering

    CHILDREN

    Child Custody; Support; Visitation

    CHILD SUPPORT

    Texas, like all other states, has guidelines for child support that are presumed to be in the child's best interest. Unless both parents agree to an amount other than that calculated using the guidelines, child support will be based on the guidelines as a percentage of the parent who will pay the support's income.

    The following percentages of net income are generally presumed to be in the child's best interest and will give you a "guide" to determining child support. Unless both parents agree to an amount other than that calculated using the guidelines, child support must based on the guidelines as a percentage of the parent who will pay the support's disposable (net) income.
    Number of Children to Support From This Marriage
    1 = 20% 2 = 25% 3 = 30% 4 = 35% 5 = 40% 6 = 45%

    A Child Support worksheet and minimum child support guidelines chart is available for printing as a 'guide' and reference for calculating child support.

    Withholding Child Support From Earnings

    Virtually every state, including Texas , has a provision for withholding child support directly from the earnings of the parent who is ordered to pay child support; much like the way income tax is withheld. This makes both receiving and paying child support 'easier and more certain for both parents. Child support is typically withheld and sent to the state agency authorized to receive and disburse payments. Once the support has been 'logged' in to verify that it was paid, the payment is then forwarded to the parent who is to receive support for the benefit of the children.

    Visitation With Children

    Much like calculating child support, the standard visitation 'schedule' which is presumed to be in the best interest of the children is 'universally' accepted. Although parents are generally free to visit with their children at all times mutually agreed to by the parties, the Standard visitation schedule provides a 'safety net' for those times when parents cannot agree. With some minor differences, generally all states use what is considered to be the "standard" visitation schedule which is basically: Every other weekend; Summer visitation of approximately 4-6 weeks and Alternating Holidays.

    View complete Standard Visitation Schedule

    Joint Custody

    Virtually every state is now 'urging' parents to work together for the benefit of the children and reach a 'joint custody' agreement. Joint custody is seldom a 50:50 time sharing of children. It is more accurately a 50:50 sharing of responsibility and participating in the decision making process in matters that affect the children. Generally, one parent is named as the 'primary' joint custodian and the other parent is granted visitation "at all times mutually agreed" and failing agreement, under the terms of the state's standard visitation policy. The primary joint custodian typically retains the decision making authority to determine the child's primary residence and school; and to designate such things as the child's primary physician.

    The following are parenting plan options which are included in our Parenting Plan as part of the Online Worksheet/Order Form that can be ordered 'instantly' over the net or is available for printing to be mailed or faxed in.

    VISITATION: (choose one)
    _______Custody, Visitation, Support By Agreement _______Custody, Visitation, Support to be determined by the Court

    Unless you specify otherwise the parent who does not have primary physical custody will be presumed to have visitation with the child(ren) and the paperwork will be done accordingly.

  • If otherwise please specify i.e. (no visitation, or supervised visitation only)__________________________________________________________
    STANDARD VISITATION? NOTE The Standard Visitation Schedule provides that parents are free to visit their children AT ALL TIMES MUTUALLY AGREED BUT Provides that if you can't agree, then the Standard Schedule is already in place guaranteeing a minimum visitation periods of generally ALTERNATING WEEKENDS, HOLIDAYS AND SUMMER VISITATION etc.)
    Use the standard visitation schedule? YES NO
    IF NOT STANDARD VISITATION specify other visitation As follows:
    Specify__________________________________________________________
    ____________________________________________________________
    JOINT CUSTODY?__YES___NO__ (Even if Joint Custody; list who the children will primarily live with above in the child(ren)'s information and visitation choice

    CHILD SUPPORT:

    ____NO CHILD SUPPORT TO BE PAID BY EITHER PARENT
    DOES THE PARENT TO HAVE CUSTODY RECEIVE AFDC?__YES__NO

  • IF YES: How much is the monthly AFDC benefit? $______

    AGREED CHILD SUPPORT: $_____________ per month
    Parent to pay child support_________________________________

    MEDICAL INSURANCE FOR CHILDREN Which parent is to provide medical health insurance for the children?__________________________

    *** PARENTING PLAN for CHILD CUSTODY, VISITATION, AND SUPPORT

    CUSTODY

  • _____Joint Legal & Physical Custody: Husband and wife shall jointly share the legal and physical custody and care of their minor children and shall be guided by the following terms and conditions: (attach sheet detailing your parenting plan providing for the care, control, and support of your child(ren))
  • _____ Joint Legal Custody with Primary Physical Custody:Husband and wife shall jointly share the legal custody of their minor child(ren), and ______________________________ shall have the primary physical custody of the child(ren) and shall be guided by the following terms and conditions:
  • _____Standard Visitation for non-custodial parent
  • _____ Parenting Plan for visitation attached
  • ______Sole Custody With Visitation ___________________ shall have the sole legal and physical custody of the minor child(ren), subject to the right of the non-custodial parent to visit with and temporarily take possession of the child(ren) as follows:
  • ____Standard Visitation for non-custodial parent
  • _____ Parenting Plan for visitation attached as separate sheet.
    ADDITIONAL PARENTING PLAN PROVISIONS choose any or all that apply

  • _____ Neither parent shall conceal a child's whereabouts from the other parent nor remove a child from the state of the child's current residence for more than _____ days without the prior written consent of the other parent.
  • _____ The child's primary residence shall remain in the state of ___________________ (and) in the county of ______________________ unless prior written consent of the other parent is given or until further order of the court.
  • _____ The child(ren) will keep the father's surname and not take on the Mother's maiden name or name of any new spouse, at least until the child is eighteen years of age and is old enough to make that decision for themselves.
  • _____ The child(ren) will be raised in the ___________________ religion with ______________________ to be primarily responsible for the child's religious training.
  • _____ The following grandparent(s) ____________________________ will succeed the non-custodial parent in their rights of visitation with and temporary possession of the child(ren) in case the non-custodial parent, with visitation and temporary possession rights, dies before the child(ren) are eighteen years old. ** attach a separate sheet detailing additional provisions not provided for above
    BASIS OF AGREED SUPPORT. The support established by this agreement is based on the following facts:

  • $_____________ monthly gross combined family income before separation
  • $_____________ monthly average expenses of the family before separation
  • $_____________ Husband's current gross monthly income
  • $____________ Husband's current monthly expenses
  • $____________ Wife's current gross monthly income
  • $____________ Wife's current monthly expenses
  • $____________ Child Care (monthly) expenses necessary to allow both parents to work
  • $____________ Child(ren)'s monthly educational expenses (tuition, books, clothes, extracurricular activities, lunch etc.)

  • Child Support: to be paid by __________________________(The Obligor), paid to ____________________________ for the benefit of the child(ren)
  • _____ No child support - Skip this section
  • **Most state's child support guidelines generally provide for child support to be determined as a percentage of the Obligor's "net" (take home pay) monthly resources as follows: 1 child = 20% of net , 2 children = 25%, 3 children = 30%, 4 children = 35%; as older children become 18 or are no longer entitled to support, child support typically decreases by the percentage allotted for each child (roughly 5% per child). IF you want child support to decrease as each child becomes ineligible, indicate the amount support will decrease by below. For example if child support for 2 children is to be $400 per month and reduce by 5% as each child reaches 18; support will be reduced 5% of $400 = $80 reduction for each child.
    **Note The cost of medical insurance and child care is not included in the above percentages, and
  • $____________ Amount of monthly child support (total for all children)
  • $____________ Amount support will be reduced by as each child reaches 18 (if any)

  • ___Medical Health Insurance for the child(ren):
  • ____________________________ will obtain, maintain, and pay the cost of, a medical health care insurance policy for each child entitled to child support.
  • For medical expenses not covered by insurance, the father shall pay _______ % and the Mother shall pay _______%

  • ___Child Care required for both parents to work
  • __________________________ shall pay to ________________________ for child care a total of $___________ per month, payable in advance on the ____ day of each month, to begin on __________________ 20___ and continuing as long as child care is necessary AND ACTUALLY being paid.

  • ____Life Insurance:To ensure that funds are available to adequately support the minor child(ren), ____________________ (i.e. Father, Mother, Both) parent(s) will carry and maintain a policy of life insurance in the amount of $____________, and shall name as the sole irrevocable beneficiary of the policy ___________________ (ie. other parent or minor child(ren)), and shall not borrow, assign, or otherwise encumber said policy.

  • ____ The child support obligation shall terminate upon the death of the parent receiving the child support provided the payor assumes full custody of the child(ren), otherwise, the support obligation shall continue being paid to the Seventh party assuming primary custody and child rearing responsibility for the child(ren) as successor to the primary custodial parent.

    **Note; The above list of options for developing your parenting plan is not intended to include all possibilities or circumstances and is only provided for your general information and educational purposes; attach an additional sheet detailing any provisions of your Parenting Plan not included in the above list of the most commonly used provisions.

    About The National Divorce & Bankruptcy Center

    The National Divorce & Bankruptcy Center is a division of Pro Se Publications, Self-Help Center,Your Lawyer alternative for Texas divorce 70 percent less than a Texas lawyer . National Divorce and Bankruptcy Center began in May of 1990 and provides the public with easy and inexpensive access to the courts without the expense of hiring a lawyer. We help you better inform yourself about laws and legal procedures so that you can make your own informed decisions - about the legal actions that affect your life. We provide services at low cost because we are not lawyers and do not give legal advice. Instead, our service is limited to providing you with self-help information and providing quality legal document preparation.

    IN SHORT - We Help Our Customers Solve Their Own Legal Problems Without The Expense of Hiring A Lawyer.

    Document Preparation; The Paperwork

    Your responses and directions, taken from the online order form, will be used to generate all of the 'signature ready' documents, required to file, process and complete an agreed or default Texas divorce, and returned to you 'signature ready', for filing at your local courthouse, along with the procedural information & guidelines necessary to process the paperwork without a lawyer - including all of the following documents:

  • Petition/Complaint [tells the court what you want]
  • i.e. a divorce & approval of your division of property, child custody, child support, visitation, alimony etc.
  • MSA [Marital Settlement Agreement][the 'heart' of an agreed divorce]
  • sets out property division, child custody, child support, visitation etc.
  • Parenting Plan [if you have children]
  • details child custody, support, visitation [see the parenting options below]
  • Summons and/or Accetpance & Waiver of Summons (as required to 'notify' your spouse)
  • Final Judgment/Decree of Divorce
  • grants a Texas divorce & approves the terms of the MSA i.e. property, children's issues

    Complete the online Texas divorce information form, indicating your decisions. Your completed paperwork will be returned to you signature ready to be filed within 2 business days (most within 24 hours), along with procedural information to 'guide' you through the process from filing your initial documents to walking out of the courthouse a newly divorced person.

    Texas divorce forms href="https://www.divorcehelp.net/order_dv.htm">

    Online Divorce Order Form for "instant" online ordering

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